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Association Publishers: Workers want your specialized professional development resources - are they optimized for discoverability?

A post over at the No Shelf Required portal highlighting a new whitepaper from Oxford University Press recently caught our eyeNavigating Research examines "how users seek contextual information and guidance for areas of scholarship as they conduct research, and how reference resources can support their work.”
Key findings of the paper,  include, among others (bolding ours):
  • recognition of ‘reference’ as a specific category is declining and users are not likely to identify ‘reference resources as those belonging to a distinct category
  • research needs of today’s researchers are moving away from basic factual information and terminology (for which free online sources are used)
  • resources offering guidance to a field of study retain appeal as a ‘bridge between introductory materials and specialized research publications'”
  • resources offering guidance to a field of study are also used to support work in interdisciplinary fields
  • use of reference sources relies on their visibility and discoverability; this is likely to remain a challenge for publishers, librarians, and researchers
Those bolded bullet points should stand out to association and mission-based publishers. It's not much of a leap from academics and librarians to professionals and workers -- all of these groups are searching for specialized information. 

As with researchers and librarians, workers can find more basic professional development resources online for free, but there is a growing need for more trust-worthy, in-depth and specialized information. And, as with researchers and librarians, ensuring workers can find that information depends upon visibility and discoverability.

Consider also, this post, "The Age of the Wisdom Worker Is (Still) Just Ahead". It is aimed at an audience of content marketers, but is highly relevant for association and mission-based publishers. In it, author Robert Rose discusses the trend of "knowledge workers" transitioning to "wisdom workers", and bemoans the failure of many businesses to take advantage of technology to meet the needs of these professionals who are "...distinguished not only by their ability to think with reason, but also with creativity, intuition, and emotional intelligence." He argues:
"The internet revolution has been realized at the expense of content’s value. Because of the ever-increasing ease with which content can be produced and distributed, businesses have viewed content as yet one more widget that can be made more efficient when measured by output".
Online publishers who focus on quantity over quality are going to be left behind. Information that is plentiful and free, but not at all useful to the knowledge/wisdom-seeker, has no value. Conversely, professional development resources designed to teach workers to better analyze information and apply their expertise become increasingly valuable. But, again - only if people can find them.

Is your content optimized for discoverability? Publishers employing Tizra's digital publishing platform have a built-in advantage in that they can easily make even their paywalled content discoverable via Google and other search engines. In addition, Tizra's digital publishing platform offers publishers the ability to: 
  •  improve their SEO through name based URLs, search engine friendly redirects, and special content formats tuned for search engine crawlers. 
  • take advantage of Tizra's powerful built-in search with relevancy ranking, preview snippets, contextual scope of options, linkable results, and hits that lead directly to relevant pages.
  • create customized search fields for specialized audiences and applications.
Professionals at every stage of their careers are searching for trust-worthy and specialized content online, and they're willing to pay for it. As association publishers, your content is considered trust-worthy and addresses the needs of professionals throughout their career paths. But, can those professionals find that valuable content when searching for solutions online? With the right digital publication tools, you can ensure your digital content is optimized for discoverability - better-serving both your membership and your bottom line.

Want to learn more about how Tizra can optimize your digital publications for search and discovery? Drop us a note, or sign up for a demo to see how.

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