The unfortunate news about cutbacks at Stanford University Press makes it clear that all presses must develop strategies to make them more central to the university’s set of priorities.
Many society publishers, concerned about the disruptive implications, of Plan S, are nervously considering selling off their publishing assets.
Society publishers resist the sale of their publications to bidders from the commercial world because they view the publications as a central component of the society itself.
Research publishers may acquire textbook publishers in order to increase market share in libraries with inclusive access programs
We typically classify publishers as Old Media and New Media, but now we have companies that are part of a new paradigm, the Dat Media company. Such companies sit above both Old and New, studying patterns in usage and in the databases of information aggregated by publishers.
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.
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.
While it certainly is the case that scholarly publishing is a mature business, some of the companies operating in this industry have found new avenues for growth by expanding beyond the publication of content into data science. This is an opportunity that is only available to the larger companies with enlightened management.
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.
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.
[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. […]
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.
Why do publishers and platform providers spend so little time seeking incremental improvements?
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.
Publishers have to distinguish between features, products, and businesses. Not all features can become full-fledged businesses. Sometimes the best business case for a feature is to link it to an established business, where it adds value to assets that are already in place.