My Job in 5: Jean Liu

My Job in 5: Jean Liu

Describe your role
I’m head of product at Altmetric, a London-based data company that tracks and analyses online activity around scholarly research outputs. I serve as the bridge between the commercial and engineering parts of our business, and I am responsible for planning, setting and communicating our roadmap and product vision. I also manage a team of software engineers that focuses exclusively on new product development.

What do you like best about your role?
The best thing about my role is the fact that Altmetric products are helping to change the way that the scholarly community thinks about the societal impact of research. Through user research sessions, I get to interact with and learn from many groups within the scholarly community, including publishers, academic institutions, funders, and more.

Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
Currently, we’re adding the final touches to an update for our AltmetricExplorer platform. We’re also in the process of planning a new author alerting system that will let book publishers quickly generate and send informative Altmetric data reports to their authors and editors.

What skills do you need for your role?
As a product manager, having great written and verbal communication skills is a must. My role is very social—on any given day, I might need to present a compelling product pitch to our customers, train our sales team on technical aspects and product messaging, and then also talk extensively about user needs in an engineering planning session.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
It’s a really exciting time to be in scholarly technology, as many companies in this space have been growing at a really fast pace and are doing some fantastic work. My biggest piece of advice for those looking to work in the industry is to be open-minded and engage with people at conferences, meet-ups, and other events—be ready to make connections and share ideas!