This category contains 390 posts

What is an Academic Journal?

We spend much time these days wondering when the academic journal as we know it will cease to exist. Robert Harington discusses the role of the journal in light of a fascinating new venture in the field of mathematics – the overlay journal Discrete Analysis. Continue reading

Libraries and Consortia in the Context of a Publisher’s Strategy

Professional societies are facing growing resistance to place their publications in libraries. This results in these societies seeking arrangements with the largest commercial publishers, whose sway with libraries and especially library consortia is significant. Libraries have demonstrated a clear preference to work with the larger publishers over the smaller ones. This leads to increasing concentration and market power in the academic publishing industry. Continue reading

The Global Gold Open Access “Flip”: A Realistic Plan or Magical Thinking?

Is a flip to a Gold OA world as easy as a recent paper suggests? Continue reading

Ask The Chefs: How Has The Move To Distributed Networks Impacted Scholarly Publishing?

The digital era has increasingly led to distributed networks and a move away from centralized locations for both people and data. As our ability to communicate, participate, and share has increased, how has our ecosystem changed? Continue reading

Proof of Concept, Proof of Program, and Proof of Scale in Scholarly Communication

New scholarly-communication initiatives have to do more than just demonstrate proof of concept: they have to demonstrate ongoing sustainability (what we might call “proof of program”) and the ability to create desirable products in the amounts needed (what we might call “proof of scale”). What do these look like when they’re achieved, and how are some recent initiatives doing? Continue reading

What Is “Publishing” if Even a Library Can Do It?

Libraries increasingly provide a wide range of publishing activities, but are there some areas where libraries are not active? It appears that libraries are unlikely to play a large role in publishing that is based on end-user demand. Continue reading

Is it True that Most Open Access Journals Do Not Charge an APC? Sort of. It Depends.

We often hear that the majority of open access journals charge authors no fee for publication. Is that true? Well, it depends on how you count journals. Continue reading

Amazon and the Future of Work

Amazon was recently criticized harshly in an article in the New York Times. The piece raises the question of whether the hard-charging culture of the tech industry is what we want. Continue reading

Parallel Worlds? To What Extent are General Internet Trends Applicable to Scholarly Publishing?

A number of recent articles have posited the idea that information distribution on the Internet is undergoing a massive change – driven by the failure of site advertising and subscriptions as a general purpose economic model, and the rise of mobile powered social media as the discovery tool of these times. To what extent is this way of thinking applicable to scholarly publishing? Continue reading

Deceptive Publishing: Why We Need a Blacklist, and Some Suggestions on How to Do It Right

Predatory publishing is a big and complex problem; so is calling out and shaming deceptive publishers by means of blacklisting. Is that something we should even do, and can it be done fairly, constructively, and helpfully? Yes, and here are some suggestions how. Continue reading

What They Still Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School

A recent article about the publishing industry confuses the various business segments and offers prescriptions that are largely irrelevant to the task of running a publishing enterprise. Continue reading

A Social World: Society Membership, Social and Economic Rewards and Human Behavior

How do shifts in cultural and economic views on social behavior affect the decision of a student, or researcher when deciding whether or not to join a relevant academic society? What social and economic forces are involved in an academic’s collaborative life, publishing life, and teaching life? Robert Harington delves into a fascinating report from the World Bank, entitled World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society and Behavior and its relevance for publishing and academia. Continue reading

Revisiting: Is Access to the Research Paper the Same Thing as Access to the Research “Results”?

Is access to the research paper really the same thing as access to the research results themselves? Are funding agencies creating a false equivalency by confusing the two? And does this confusion favor researchers in some fields over others? Revisiting a 2013 post to re-examine these questions. Continue reading

The Gatekeeper  Strategy in the Library Market

EBSCO is now, through the acquisition of YBP, the largest vendor to academic libraries of both serials and books. This is the beginning of a gatekeeper strategy, which will put EBSCO in a position to mediate a large proportion of the arrangements between publishers and libraries. Continue reading

The Changing Nature of Scale in STM and Scholarly Publishing

Smaller independent and society publishers are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the economies of scale around production, technology, and (most important) institutional sales that can be brought to bear by a large publisher. If you are a society that has been self-publishing for many decades, such effects may appear as only a recent headwind in a long publishing tradition. This headwind, however, is most likely not a temporary zephyr but rather a permanent fixture of the STM and scholarly publishing landscape, and one that will only increase in intensity. To understand why, it is helpful to look at the two vectors on which scale operates in STM and scholarly publishing: horizontal and vertical. While horizontal scale has long been the province of commercial publishers, society publishers are typically organized to take advantage of vertical scale. The headwinds are presently blowing along the horizontal plane, from the perspective of the society publisher. Continue reading

The Mixed Marriage of For-profit and Not-for-profit Publishing

Scholarly publishing is virtually unique in that it has significant representation by both for-profit and not-for-profit publishers. This alters the very nature of this segment of publishing, making the not-for-profits more business-like and forcing the for-profits to behave at times like mission-based organizations. Continue reading

Deni Auclair Discusses Outsell’s Open Access Report

Rick Anderson interviews Deni Auclair, VP and Lead Analyst for Outsell Inc., about the recently published report “Open Access 2015: Market Size, Share, Forecast, and Trends.” Continue reading

Connecting to End-Users

Digital media enables us to collect a huge amount of end-user data, far more than we could gather for print publishing. This presentation summarizes the way that data can be used to foster growth and concludes that end-user data is likely to require the creation of a new class of products. Continue reading

Can We Stop Talking about the “System” of Scholarly Communications, Please?

There are countless proposals for a new “system” for scholarly communications, but such plans are typically top-down and overlook all the creative initiatives by individuals working independently. Continue reading

Revisiting: On the Likelihood of Academia “Taking Back” Scholarly Publishing

Revisiting Rick Anderson’s 2013 post on what the options for the academy to take control of scholarly publishing, and whether any of those options seems feasible. Continue reading

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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
The Scholarly Kitchen is a moderated and independent blog. Opinions on The Scholarly Kitchen are those of the authors. They are not necessarily those held by the Society for Scholarly Publishing nor by their respective employers.

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