Publishers are losing online traffic on their own platforms. What does this mean for the future of the publisher site and the hosted platform companies?
Instead of the rich and seamless digital library for scholarship that they need, researchers today encounter archipelagos of content bridged by infrastructure that is insufficient and often outdated. Researchers need a supercontinent. Will it be Elsevier, Digital Science, Clarivate, ResearchGate, or someone else? And what does this mean for other publishers?
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.
There is a rumor, based on no or scant evidence, that Google is preparing to launch a platform for scholarly communications, which could threaten established STM publishers. A publisher should react to this by reviewing its own internal operations and value proposition. In particular, the role in certification should be strengthened.
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.
Eighteen years ago, Mosaic ushered in the potential for a sea-change in publishing based on technological prowess and scale. Today, the “open” label covers a set of disparate incentives under a single blanket, one that funders, government, and technology companies are all under, each for its own reason.
Publishers can and should explore strategies that are built around users, which is a kind of D2C marketing. However, working on a direct basis has its costs and may make us all appreciate all the efficiencies that intermediaries provide.
Has the era of semantic publishing moved a significant step closer?
With more and more science being tested and communicated outside traditional outlets, we may face a moment when faith in the existing system breaks down.