The Future(s) (plural) of Publishing

A presentation to the ISMTE conference. The argument is that strategy is an integral part of business operations and must be used to measure all activity within an organization. A three-step process for strategic planning is included.

Neither Fish Nor Fowl: Journal Publishing and the University Press

University presses are not well positioned to thrive in journal publishing because they have not adopted any of the (relatively few and common) business strategies that are necessary, given market dynamics, for success. I do not put forth this thesis lightly. I have great affection and admiration for university presses, their value — craftsmanship, attention to detail, “getting it right”— and their mission. This is not admiration from afar: I served, in the formative years of my career, at the University of Chicago Press (Chicago), where I learned the tools of the trade and many of the practices and protocols of scholarly publishing still in use today. But after nearly two decades of observing university presses, from within and without, this thesis seems to be inescapable.

Integrate to Innovate: Using Standards to Push Content Forward

While many of the traditional publishing tasks remain intact, new tasks that are much more technical in nature have changed the skill sets required to be scholarly publishers. As new and developing standards and services such as Funder Identification, ORCID, CHORUS, and more come online, publishers and their vendors must integrate when they would rather innovate. The trick is in realizing where integration allows more innovation.

Winning Strategies for Journal Publishers

Although we in scholarly publishing typically focus on the problems we face, there is a small group of highly successful journal publishers. These publishers fall into three broad categories. To a great extent, these publishers are resistant to challenge.

Bulwarks, Agility, and Foresight

[Editor’s note: This is the edited text of a presentation that Joe Esposito gave as a keynote at the PSP conference in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 3, 2016. The slides for the presentation are embedded at the end of the text. […]

The Network Model of Publishing

One of the unanticipated consequences of the introduction of digital media to scholarly publishing is that publishing properties increasingly are organized into networks, with one property pointing to another for the benefit of all. This essay describes the network publishing model and comments on some of a network’s characteristics and economic opportunities.