Creating Online Products with Bottom-Line Impact
Put Time On Your Side
The Internet has slashed the time it takes to publish in-depth research, which has made it more challenging for publishers to produce print titles that readers will consider relevant. But likewise, it provides opportunity, according to Hall.
“Timeliness is an inherent problem of quarterly publications since the articles don’t appear until at least four to five months after the article was written,” Hall says.
Haworth mollifies readers’ demand for current content by previewing forthcoming articles on its Web site. After a quarterly journal goes to page layout, the company posts pre-publication galleys that only subscribers can access.
By adding a news brief section or column, niche publishers can address timely topics and also attract readers to their Web sites, Hall says. To remain topical with current research in library science, Haworth publishes a column by archivangelist Stevan Harnad of the University of Quebec at Montreal on its recently developed Web site on the topic.
The low cost of online publishing also provides an avenue for publishing content that merited inclusion in print, but was cut due to page restrictions.
“Some disciplines have an overabundance of quality papers,” Hall says.
Haworth is considering publishing peer-reviewed articles in the online versions of its quarterly publications, but the company has to resolve some technical challenges before deciding.
Academic search engines reference articles using a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) that includes the issue, date and page number of the print title in which they were published. Since an
online-only article would not have a page number to reference, publishers must develop a new mechanism for referencing, Hall says.
Major Changes in the Pipeline
Haworth has ventured into e-book publishing, through a partnership with NetLibrary, and has produced approximately 50 digital titles, Hall says, with plans to expand the number of e-books as part of a comprehensive electronic publishing overhaul.