At the request of a professional society, I recently prepared some remarks on the context of scientific publishing. That session was not recorded, but I have taken the slides from it and am pasting them in below.
Now, you might ask, What the heck is the context of scientific publishing? I had in mind all the strategic issues that the head of a publishing organization has to keep in mind as he or she pilots the organization through the current environment. When I first began thinking about this, I had one issue (the regulatory environment and open access) in mind. But after making a presentation on that topic, I saw fit to add a second urgent strategic matter. Soon that led to a third, then a fourth. Now I am up to five, but I am not sure if I am still counting or not. What this underscores is that the current situation of society publishing is under a great deal of stress, with an army of strategic challenges besetting it on all sides. Think about this the next time somebody talks about the ivory tower.
What I would be interested to know is whether other observers of the practice of scholarly communications agree about the five items I have isolated; and the follow-on question is whether they would like to expand the list. That’s why blogs have Comments sections.