One might think that all other problems fade into the background when there’s a recession, but for university presses, that’s certainly not true. Questions about changes in education funding and student habits rear up alongside concerns about preparing for the digital future; still, the country’s economic woes are plaguing university presses, and the stress is not likely to disappear anytime soon.
Duke University Press
Durham, N.C.-based Duke University Press (DUP) is hoping to reverse the trend of declining hardcover-book sales to libraries by offering those libraries its full list—approximately 100 new scholarly titles per year and a backlist of over 900 titles—electronically on Ebrary (ebrary.com). By purchasing through Ebrary a subscription to DUP's list, called the e-Duke Books Scholarly Collection, an unlimited number of simultaneous users at the subscribing library can access the content and utilize Ebrary's searching, navigating, archiving and other research tools.
Chris Anderson’s ironic farewell to the retail bookshelf is a harbinger of how direct distribution in the supply chain is bypassing the traditional foundations of bookselling—as well as library patronage—and is also flowing into nonprint formats. But while that transformation is nibbling around the edges of distribution, the fact remains that the book publishing industry’s supply chain model has as its primary target a physical book on a physical bookshelf. In this special two-part series, I want to discuss how digital data management drives workflow through the operations, acquisitions, development, production and distribution supply chain; in particular, how use of the Online Information Exchange