Scholarly

The Convoluted Profits of Academic Publishing
December 18, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Richard Price always had an entrepreneurial bent. He started a cake business in his mum's kitchen during a summer break from his doctoral program at Oxford, eventually converting it into a sandwich-delivery service after realizing people only ate cake once a week. Then, when one of his philosophy papers took three years to get published,…

For Open Access Monographs, Peter Pays Paul. Who Pays Peter?
December 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm

The underlying economic assumption of the movement for open access monographs is that provosts will pay for what librarians will not. Never mind that libraries get their funding through the provost’s office; what matters is the shell game: move the money around and somehow or other it will grow in size. And if it does…

The Non-Linear Reading Revolution Is Now. Here's How Publishers Are Handling It
December 3, 2015 at 11:20 am

Going mobile is more than just big pages fitting on tiny screens. Mobile requires content to be organized so that it can be quickly served up in bite-sized chunks into any of the myriad forms that users might want, because today’s consumers want their content their way, on their devices, and in their timeframes. Publishers…

In Fight Over Academic Publishing House, Fear of Corporate Values
December 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm

When Ashgate Publishing was bought last summer by Informa, a large corporation, some academics feared for its future. What would happen to the family-owned publishing house, which had spent four decades building a reputation for social responsibility and close relationships with its authors? In November those fears started coming true. According to a Change.org petition…

Trade Publishers See First Sales Growth of 2015
November 10, 2015 at 2:44 pm

According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), July was a strong month for trade publishers. In its Monthly StatShot report, the AAP reported that sales grew .3% in the trade market from January to July 2015 -- the first increase in trade sales this year. Driving that growth were double-digit increases in adult, children/YA,…

The Future of Scholarly Publishing
November 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm

In thinking about the future of scholarly publishing – a topic almost as much discussed as the perennially popular ‘death of the academic monograph’ – I found a number of themes jostling for attention, some new, some all-too familiar. What are the challenges and implications of open access? How do we make our content relevant…

Academic Publishing Can't Remain Such a Great Business
November 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Publishers of academic journals have a great thing going. They generally don't pay for the articles they publish, or for the primary editing and peer reviewing essential to preparing them for publication (they do fork over some money for copy editing). Most of this gratis labor is performed by employees of academic institutions. Those institutions,…

Open Access at a Crossroads
October 28, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Last week marked the annual celebration/marketing event that is Open Access Week, and this year it seemed something of a mixed bag. Open access (OA) is growing into maturity, and has rapidly become integrated into the scholarly publishing landscape over the last fifteen or so years. We have now reached a point where experiments have…

7 Big Stories from the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair
October 21, 2015 at 2:58 pm

The international Frankfurt Book Fair came to a close on Sunday, ending a week-long gathering of authors, agents, and publishing leaders who shared optimism for the future of the book industry. Whether publishing professionals expressed their excitement for global publishing initiatives, discussed the promise of data-driven strategies, or noted the challenges of ebook pricing, many…

Does Alliant Press Suggest a Self-Published Future for University Presses?
October 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Last week, Alliant International University (AIU), a private US college announced an intriguing scholarly publishing partnership with Author Solutions, the self-publishing arm of Penguin Random House. Together the two organizations said they were creating Alliant Press, a university press that would be built using Author Solutions infrastructure and be dedicated to publishing “academic works of…