Societies have two fundamental choices when it comes to publishing their journals: they can remain independent, managing all facets of the publication business, or they can work with a larger commercial or not‐for‐profit publisher. If a society chooses to work with a larger publisher, it will invariably do so via a publishing services agreement. This article discusses the challenges and complexities facing independent society publishers and the reasons why some societies choose to enter into publisher services agreements, whereas others choose to remain independent.Read More
Community perceptions of peer review have significant stakes for publishers of medical and scientific journals. The value delivered by peer review in the eyes of the community is directly tied to the value of a society’s journal portfolio. Given its critical role in the research ecosystem, we must consider the future of peer review as well—whether it is delivering on its promise, how it might evolve, and what implications this may have for journal publishers, authors, and readers.Read More
Plan S implementation guidance has not provided reassurance to anxious society publishers. The stated aim of Plan S is to achieve “full and immediate Open Access to publications from publicly funded research,” but the prohibition against publishing in hybrid journals is not needed to accomplish that aim.Read More
Shifts in how publishers market and sell journal packages have significant implications for society journal valuations over the long term. These same shifts may also be setting some societies up for publisher “lock-in” — making it difficult to change publishers in the future.Read More
University presses are not well positioned to thrive in journal publishing because they have not adopted any of the business strategies that are necessary, given market dynamics, for success. In this transcript of Michael Clarke's talk at the 2016 AAUP Annual Meeting, he discusses what these strategies are and why university presses have struggled to adopt them.Read More
The challenge for associations is not developing content, but rather connecting members – and prospective members – with content that matters to them. By understanding the information needs of different segments, and establishing flexible content practices and systems, content can be targeted to those needs. These case studies from two leading associations show how to deploy content strategically to extend into new member categories and deepen engagement and awareness with existing members.Read More
Retractions of scientific papers have been growing in number. At the same time, there is a heightened awareness of retractions in the media, among journal editors and publishers, and among researchers themselves. This awareness is, in part, due to the effort of Retraction Watch, a journalism initiative started in 2010 by Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus that reports on retractions and the stories behind them.
Smaller independent and society publishers are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the economies of scale around production, technology, and (most important) institutional sales that can be brought to bear by a large publisher. If you are a society that has been self-publishing for many decades, such effects may appear as only a recent headwind in a long publishing tradition. This headwind, however, is most likely not a temporary zephyr but rather a permanent fixture of the STM and scholarly publishing landscape, and one that will only increase in intensity.Read More
Where will growth in STM and scholarly publishing come from? The growth strategies of the past two decades appear to be nearing, if not a peak, at least a plateau. Site licensing and global expansion have driven growth for nearly two decades, but we have reached a point where these strategies will at best offer incremental growth in the decade to come. In this presentation we explore new strategies for growth in the current flat landscape of today’s STM and scholarly publishing market.
Scholarly publishers – especially those in the STM fields – are increasingly enriching their content with an array of metadata with the aim of ensuring that content is distributed broadly, adaptable for multiple purposes, and rendered interoperable with other relevant content. The options available continue to grow, and the value added to content grows as well. Semantic enrichment is an additional class of metadata that further improves the utility, discovery, and interoperability of content.Read More
Since the late 1990s there have been two drivers of growth in STM and scholarly publishing: site licensing and global expansion. As successful as these activities have been, we appear to be nearing if not a peak, at least a plateau. So the question is, where is the growth going to come from?Read More
The websites and online resources of professional associations are too often designed around the organizational structure of the association itself, instead of the information seeking behavior and workflows of their members. What are some strategies associations might consider that put the needs of their members and other users first?Read More
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Elsevier has issued a sweeping series of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take down notices regarding Elsevier-published content to Academia.edu, a file-sharing network for researchers and other academics. Is this a footnote or the end of a chapter in the annals of digital science publishing?Read More
Given the pace of technological change, new sources of professional information, the increasing competition for attention, shifting demographics, and an uncertain economy, an effective strategy is more important than ever. Not-for-profit organizations tend to focus less on these activities than those in the commercial sector but this "strategy gap" can be overcome.