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How did it get so late so soon?’ Well, Dr Seuss could well have been talking about the Insights schedule when he posed that question.

Amazingly, we are approaching mid-summer yet again here in the UK, and it is time for us to launch our holiday reading on an eagerly awaiting world. While other people’s minds may have been focused on planning their summer holidays, the team at Insights (with help and assistance from the staff at our host platform, Ubiquity Press) have been busy preparing another blockbuster summer read. We’ve also made a few changes to our editorial team, so are pleased to start by introducing you to two of our new members, Randa Al Chidiac and Leo Appleton. We’ll be making a few more introductions in forthcoming issues.

We begin the issue proper with interviews with newly appointed Director of Member and Community Outreach at CrossRef, Ginny Hendricks, and Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, who recently took on the mantle of President of LIBER. We also spend a (virtual) day in the company of Ruth Kirkham, Digital Humanities Network Co-ordinator at the University of Oxford.

It wouldn’t be a July issue without a few reports from UKSG’s ever-popular annual conference, but, as always, we also bring you a selection of commissioned articles on a wide range of topics. For those of us who are a little longer in the tooth, it is sometimes easy to forget how exciting and challenging the world is in which we work, so it is always interesting to read the thoughts of the students and early career professionals who were part sponsored by SAGE and Springer to attend the UKSG conference. We were fascinated by their insights, so hope you find their report on their experiences as first-time attendees an interesting read.

The themes of technology and technological change were picked up in many of this year’s conference presentations, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, they reoccur in our commissioned articles, including Peter Reed’s fascinating look at technology and the contemporary library. At the conference, Rick Anderson talked about the ‘quiet culture war’ which he believes is going on in research libraries, and Catherine Allen gave us her views on the use of apps as a medium for delivering non-fiction content innovatively. Michael Levine-Clark took a look at trends and opportunities in e-book usage, while Caroline Myrberg and Ninna Wiberg examined the differing experiences of customers in reading online and on paper.

We are also bringing you articles on some of the more challenging issues being faced by information professionals today. Leo Waaijers takes a look at the problems of open access in his article, ’Open Access or Open Excess?: libraries at the crossroads’, while Adriana Sikora and Kai Geschuhn present a detailed case study on ways in which automated systems can help with the management of article processing charges. Peter Burnhill, Muriel Mewissen and Richard Wincewicz highlight some of the threats posed by ‘reference rot’ in online content, and Martin Blenkle, Ruth Ellis and Elmar Haake take a look at how E-LIB Bremen is seeking to improve the relevance ranking of search results to enhance the customer experience.

But, technology brings with it great opportunity, so we are pleased to be bringing you articles by Michele P Claibourn on the work being undertaken on research data management services at the University of Virginia, on text and data mining by Rachael Lammey, and a report of Todd Carpenter and James Wilsdon’s conference presentation on metrics. Amy Bourke-Waite has written an article for us which takes a look at how the scholarly peer-review process is changing at Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan, and, on a related theme, our Key Issue this time is from Michael Markie, who tells us all we need to know about the world of post-publication peer review (PPPR).

And, finally, it is with great sadness that we will be waving a fond goodbye to John Jardine, who has finally been allowed to retire this year. John has been a fixture of UKSG for what feels like forever, and has been single-handedly compiling the People pages for Insights (and previously Serials) for many, many years. We took the opportunity to chat to John about his long and varied career, but also to talk to some of the people who have known and worked with him over the years, and write-ups of these can be found in our ‘People’s John Jardine’ feature. Insights will be that much the poorer for the lack of John’s contributions, but the team here wish John every happiness in his (well-deserved) retirement.