Scholarly publishers have long thought in categories such as journals, monographs, textbooks, and reference. Reference as a category is splitting in two.
University presses bring a diversity not only of costs, scale, and business models, but also of organizational capacity, incentives, and objectives. As efforts are mounted to transition monograph publishing to open access, it is vital that we recognize the richness and complexity of this community.
A special day was set aside at the recent International STM Association conference in Washington to discuss society publishing. One panel included the head of three society publishing operations, all of which are different and all of them successful. The panelists shared their strategies with the audience. The presentations are linked to from within the post.
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.
At the recent PSP conference there was a panel on the cost of complying with the many new open access mandates from funding bodies. The panel explored the cost of compliance and how to reduce those costs. The current regulatory regime is complicated and administratively expensive, but the mandates will continue to be promulgated because the people calling for them are not the ones that have to implement them.
Combining most if not all of a publisher’s scholarly content on a single publisher platform has not always been the norm. Oxford University Press’s transition to a new platform represents not just a one-to-one platform shift but in fact a consolidation from more to fewer platforms. This is a trend worth understanding and watching.
A collaborative venture between Oxford University Press and the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library exemplifies a new approach to library publishing, one that could be replicated elsewhere with relative ease and that offers potentially huge benefits to scholarship.
New research on book publishing shows that ebook usage is growing and that the academic and professional segment is maturing, while still growing at a steady pace.
The competition among the largest journal publishers to acquire the rights to professional society publications is very keen. The bidding for these publications is likely to result in an alteration of strategy, whereby the bidding publishers seek to bind the societies more closely to them.
A surprising set of recipients dominate a list of APC payments released by Wellcome Trust, suggesting that OA is not leading to a reshaping of the industry but perhaps merely driving further consolidation.
A set of short films illustrating the state of the art in publishing technology, circa 1925.
Does the rise of altmetrics mean a shift in the journal publishing landscape where marketing and publicity efforts surrounding articles take precedence?
The university press world is operating under circumstances that are somewhat tighter than they were even a few years ago. While most presses now publish ebooks, ebooks in themselves do not provide a strategic path to growth.
There is a predictable path for society publishers as they explore their options. Their programs may be under pressure today, leading many of them to seek alliances with large commercial firms, though many societies are unhappy to do so.
Universities should seek to retain control of their copyrights and develop mechanisms to monetize them to ensure the financial health of the institutions. This is a proposal that sides neither with open access advocates nor with the interests of commercial organizations.