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…

How Society Publishers Can Compete Today
September 30, 2015 at 2:19 pm

I wish to describe a situation that I often come across and then try to explain how it came about. What are its implications for scholarly communications and library consortia in particular, and can we project into the future to think about how this situation could evolve? So here is the situation. Please note that…

Explode Format & Promote Discoverability
September 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm

The digital revolution invaded the research space earlier and more quickly than other areas of publishing. In many ways, we’re a bit further along on the digital transition and with that we hope comes good insight into what the next big thing might be...

Deceptive Publishing: Why We Need a Blacklist, and Some Suggestions on How to Do It Right
August 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

In an earlier posting, I suggested that the term “predatory publishing” has perhaps become too vague and subjective to be useful, and I suggested “bad faith” as a possible replacement term. But in light of the subsequent discussion in the comments section of that posting and after continuing to think about the issue, I’d like…

Thinking About Internet Scale
July 21, 2015

Those of us who labor in scholarly publishing can be forgiven for thinking that the world is a tiny place. The academic journal, the keystone of our industry, cumulatively brings in about $10 billion a year, not enough to get the CEOs of Uber or Pinterest out of bed in the morning; and the book, the much-despised book, is in retreat everywhere. While librarians continue to insist that there are huge publishers out there, corporations so big that they have a stranglehold on the academic community, if not the world overall, the actual figures