One form that the sharp competition in journals publishing takes is spirited auctions for the rights to the publications of professional societies. The head of a scientific society sometimes stumbles into this situation like a yokel coming into the big city for the first time. "They are really proposing to pay us that much? And with all these guarantees????" Yes, it is surprising to see what the commercial value of highly specialized research publications has become. The reason for this is that the largest publishers know very well what the prize is
Published in October of 2013, The Content Machine explores the publishing industry in crisis, disrupted by digital innovations, yet continuing to adapt. Written by Michael Bhaskar, digital publishing director at Profile Books, The Content Machine outlines a theory of publishing that allows publishers "to focus on their core competencies in difficult times while building a broader notion of what they are capable of
It is the world's most definitive work on the most global language, but the Oxford English Dictionary may be disappearing from bookshelves forever. Publishers fear the next edition will never appear in print form because its vast size means only an online version will be feasible, and affordable, for scholars.
Earlier today, the British Academy released a research project report, Open access journals in Humanities and Social Science. The project was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and was meant to address practical issues that may arise surrounding open access (OA) publishing, particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). There is a significant lack of data used to back up a substantial number of arguments and suggestions for policy surrounding OA.
HarperCollins is launching a new education publishing division in India which will mark its "largest ever" investment in international education publishing.
Collins India, as the new division will be called, hopes to provide its first range of books to Indian schools in 2014. Colin Hughes, m.d. of Collins Education, said: “This major new initiative is HarperCollins’ largest ever investment in international education publishing, aiming to open up new opportunities in the rapidly growing market in Indian schools, where upwards of 90,000 schools teach in English.”
Book Business is reporting today from the RSuite CMS User Conference at the Cira Center in our hometown of Philadelphia.
The morning sessions, delivered to a packed house at the Cira Center’s Hub (just upstairs from the fantastic Jose Garces restaurant J.G. Domestic) have included a case study from Elsevier Health Science on “Managing Book and Journal Content with RSuite CMS to achieve an E-First Workflow”; a presentation from RSI’s metadata guru Lisa Bos titled “Search as the Center of the Customer Experience: How Metadata Management is the Key Component of Findability”; and a panel featuring SPi Global’s VP Solutions Architect John Prabhu, Merion Matters’ CIO Khader Mohammed and the American Institute of Physics’ CIO, Publishing, Evan Owens.
Scores of our generation's most celebrated authors have famously waxed poetic about the joys of using the original 20-volume "Oxford English Dictionary." David Foster Wallace, for instance, had a well-documented obsession with the OED. Simon Winchester wrote not one, but two nonfiction books about the dictionary's history. Even J.R.R. Tolkien, who briefly worked on the OED (he was assigned to the letter "W"), spoke fondly of his time there. But the simple fact is this: When I need to know the correct spelling of, say, "onomatopoeia," or "conscientious" or "hierarchy," there's a decent chance I'll be heading straight to Dictionary.com.
It doesn't seem so long ago—and that's because it wasn't—that referring to "the cutting edge of ebook technology" was redundant. Ebook technology itself was the cutting edge: File-based delivery of tomes was the driving force behind all of the messy disruption in so many publishing houses in the last 10 years.
I have often reflected on a passage from Jared Diamond's magisterial ”Guns, Germs, and Steel” when the question of the relative success of for-profit and not-for-profit (NFP) publishing enterprises comes up. Although there are some conspicuous exceptions, most of the big dogs in scholarly communications are commercial enterprises. What is it about the for-profit world of publishing that has enabled it to become dominant over its well-intended, hard-working fellows in the NFP camp?
Nine experts weigh in on scholarly publishing and ebooks:
Suzanne BeDell, managing director, Science and Technology Books, Elsevier:
When we talk about e-books we mean books to be read on devices and e-readers, which all our books are, in all e-book formats. One third of our e-book sales last year came through Amazon but access on the iPad is increasing. Our e-books are also available through the B&N platform on the Nook device and through Google Books too. It requires considerable work and investment to manage and support the different feeds…