Are You Ready for the Future
Philip Shaw is the Oxford, U.K.-based managing director at Elsevier
Science and Technology Books (www.Elsevier.com), part of Elsevier Group PLC, headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, Africa and Latin America. Elsevier is a global multimedia publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products. It is a pioneer in information-sharing, creating advanced technologies to deliver research and clinical information to the desktop. It is a publisher and provider of more than 20,000 products and services, including journals, books, electronic products, services, databases and portals serving the global scientific, technical and medical (STM) communities.
What are some of the challenges you anticipate will impact the book publishing industry as a whole during 2006?
Shaw: The biggest challenges I foresee are related to the rapid changes in the electronic delivery of information, and to striking the right balance between copyright control and the protection of author and rights-holder’s interests versus the customer’s expectation to have content available free via the Internet.
What challenges do you foresee for your segment of the industry?
Shaw: Some of the challenges STM publishing faces for the future also represent important growth opportunities for publishers like Elsevier. For example, the integration of reference and research content into information tools that support the workflow of both scientists/researchers and health-care practitioners to improve productivity and efficiency. Two examples of our product development that are designed to respond to these needs are Engineering Village, [which] incorporates and integrates professional content from 300 books in a reference library known as REFEREX. The other is MDConsult, which has 275,000 registered users, includes 40-plus key reference texts covering 27 major specialties, 1,000 practice guidelines, and patient education materials. One-hundred percent of physicians surveyed said MDConsult improves patient care and helps answer clinical questions more quickly.