Scholarly

Amid Declining Book Sales, University Presses Search for New Ways to Measure Success
August 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

The University of Michigan Press, like many university presses these days, is facing two realities. First, there is the perception of the press as an innovator in its field. It is recognized as one of the first to argue that university presses can better serve the needs of scholars by working with their own university…

What is the Role of Social Media in Scholarly Publishing?
July 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

It seems as though the role, value, and impact of social media in scholarly communications is a continuous debate. Do researchers use social media? Does social media boost citations? Are citations really all that matter? Does social media impact the reputation of publishers, authors, or the particular discipline of study? Are some disciplines more likely than…

Neither Fish Nor Fowl: Journal Publishing and the University Press
July 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

The thesis of my talk is that university presses are not well positioned to thrive (and we’ll come back to that word) 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.…

The Scholarly Publishing Industry Is Mature, But Scholarly Publishers Are Not
June 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

The basic paradigm scholarly publishers have been working in has shown signs of maturity for many years now. We can list these signs, or at least some of them — the flattening of library budgets, the growing involvement of regulatory agencies in the operations of publishers, the difficult challenge in introducing new content-based products —…

What if Academic and Scholarly Publishers Paid Research Authors?
May 25, 2016 at 10:24 am

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education sought to explore what the authors of the 10 most-downloaded Sci-Hub articles think of Sci-Hub. Aside from cherry-picking its facts (the journalist interviewed three authors out of dozens involved in the papers), the question itself is a red herring. After all, because publishers assume financial risk…

The Society Publisher at the STM Conference
May 24, 2016 at 2:12 pm

This year I was asked to moderate a panel for Society Day at the annual STM Association conference. We put together a highly informative panel: Angela Cochran, Journal Director for the American Society of Civil Engineers; Edith Holmes, Executive Director, JOSPT (Journal of Orthopaedics and Sports Physical Therapy); and David Gammel, Executive Director, Entomological Society…

Academic Publishing Meets Open Access
May 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

If you want to read an article from the Journal of Financial Economics, and you don't have a subscription or access to a library that does, publisher Elsevier will charge you $39.95. For one article! Don't despair, though. You can also just go to the Social Science Research Network, where drafts -- in some cases…

The Power of Community — Why Much of Scholarly Publishing Is Unlikely to Change Quickly
May 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm

We often see discussions of scholarly publishing framed with familiar terminology — commercial vs. non-profit; subscription vs. open access; glamour vs. non-glamour; specialty vs. general; high-impact vs. low-impact. Using these frameworks, it’s difficult to see why publishing wouldn’t change quickly and easily, with just a few adjustments, the proper financial incentives aimed at these simple distinctions, and…

What’s the Future Hold for Altmetrics?
April 27, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Altmetrics (a non-traditional assessment of citation-impact metrics in scholarly publishing) have passed their fifth birthday. While there are debates taking place about important issues (the potential gaming of altmetrics, how to weight the various events, etc.), they are helping to engage readers and drive article downloads. Who hasn’t found themselves clicking on a most shared/commented…