Winning Strategies for Journal Publishers
It’s three years now since I posted “The Inexorable Path of the Professional Society Publisher” and I thought it was time to revisit it. What’s always troubled me about that post is that it takes the view of the underdog — that is, of the small or mid-size professional society publisher — which is struggling to remain competitive in an environment in which administrative costs explode, the budgets of customers are flat and sometimes declining, and libraries continue to invite consolidation among vendors in order to reduce administrative costs. While few journals truly lose out entirely in this environment (they more likely get absorbed into other companies in some fashion), the fact is that some journal publishers win bigger than others. Let’s tell the tale of the winners this time, those publishers that remain independent and even grow, some magnificently.