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Greco, Albert N. “Publishing Economics: Mergers and Acquisitions within the Greco, Albert N. The EssentialJSP: Critical Insights into the World of Scholarly Publishing, Vol. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; under editorial review. N. The JSP Essentials: Critical Insights Into the World ofScholarly Publishing, Vol.
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The search for models to distribute books online has proven difficult. As with many new technologies, early distribution models were not well suited to the needs of users, and, for the content providers, revenue from these sources remained minimal. According to our survey, 73 percent of presses said they publish at least some books electronically primarily through licensing to aggregators such as NetLibrary and ebrary , but the average revenue contribution from these products is just over one-third of 1 percent. Presses are still working almost exclusively cover to cover.
In the past year there has been a resurgence of interest in electronic books, led by large and commercial presses and online retailers such as Amazon. Publishers have started to show through their actions that this format is important to them, and they want to control their assets. Oxford Scholarship Online OSO has demonstrated to the university press community that a large aggregation of quality monograph content, optimized for online scholarly use, generates strong usage and holds sufficient appeal to librarians to support a profitable business.
Two of the largest commercial scholarly publishers, Springer and Elsevier, announced major electronic book products. Commercial trade publishers such as Random House and HarperCollins are developing full service solutions for controlling their content electronically i. Having invested in significant technological infrastructure, they are now beginning to offer services to prestigious smaller publishers, including some of the more trade-minded university presses.
The goal of these commercial publishers appears to be to gain more control of their assets, amortize their technology development costs, and increase the value of their content by aggregating it with quality content from other publishers. Leveraging its investment in digitizing books for its Search-inside-the-book program, Amazon has launched a new product called Amazon Upgrade, which allows customers who purchase a print copy of a book to access the electronic version for an extra fee. Google, too, has been mulling business models for selling access to the book content that publishers have provided for inclusion in Google Book Search.
Without the resources to invest in their own solutions, small publishers are nevertheless trying to find the optimum way to control their assets, develop a customer base, and maximize both revenues and dissemination of their content. A number of the presses consulted for this study have put renewed energy into developing strategies for creating, storing, distributing, and monetizing electronic content.
New digitization, storage, and reversioning services such as Bibliovault and codeMantra have been launched to support the development and maintenance of this electronic content. Experimentation with large commercial e-book aggregators such as Amazon, Google, and ebrary now offering, in addition to its licensing model, a platform for publishers to sell directly to libraries is growing across the university press sector. And of course the opportunities for licensing e-content continue to abound e.
These represent big choices and tough decisions for publishers without the resources to invest in the preferred end-to-end solutions of their larger competitors. For smaller university presses, and for those that do not publish journals, these decisions are particularly challenging because they involve so much new terrain, and because there is so little time and capacity within the press to develop the complex skills that enable them to navigate that terrain.
But, it must be noted, those skill sets and decisions are also a challenge to the bigger university presses — a worry that we heard throughout our interviews. One could make an argument for small presses to let commercial publishers risk their capital in experimenting with new technologies and business models until the market matures, especially since most of the content at stake humanities monographs has limited commercial appeal.
We are concerned, however, that the commercial publishers are pursuing different objectives that may not lead to desirable outcomes for universities; for example, universities have an interest in exploring ways to use new technologies to reduce costs of publishing so that the monograph continues to be a viable format for new authors and those in less mainstream fields.
Commercial publishers are focused instead on maximizing scale. Presses are beginning to change, but most still lack critical resources and capabilities. Most of the presses we consulted are attuned to the problems described by provosts and librarians, and are trying to re-establish and reinforce their value to their universities.
Our survey found that almost all presses aspire to align their publishing programs at least somewhat with the strengths of their parent universities, with the larger presses more in favor of this strategy and the smaller ones somewhat less. Many in the university press world attribute this focused strategy to Frank Urbanowski, the long-time director of MIT Press. A press leader argued that university presses should move more toward the local interests: They used to have a specific mission — to act as the showcase for the research of their particular university [and serve the] institutional good.
University presses have drifted away from this second mission and we need to get back to it. Clearly they should strive to publish the best work in the fields in which they have programs. One way is by aligning their programs with the strengths of their universities, as MIT Press has done, so that these goals are compatible. Another is by using local faculty as editors and reviewers, offering them an opportunity to help build publishing centers of excellence in their subject areas.
For example, presses could help faculty and students develop program-related websites, preprint sites, or other complements to traditional peer-reviewed publications. We found numerous examples of presses that are actively redesigning their editorial programs to reflect local academic priorities. A medium-sized press is planning to start new branded journals in public policy and veterinary science, areas that the press has not published in before but which are strengths of the parent institution.
A large press is starting a new list in regional environmental studies—again, a leading program at its university. It is also defining templates, standards and procedures for faculty-initiated digital projects of various types, including critical editions, encyclopedias and other reference materials, interactive databases, and multimedia works. Another press director joined his president on a trip to China to consider publishing opportunities together. Likewise, most press directors understand the need to shift to electronic publishing. For example, OSO has already demonstrated the value of converting footnotes to web-enabled reference links.
In partnership with the Institute for the Future of the Book, Prof. He has integrated some of the critiques and commentary on the site into the print version of the book, published by Harvard University Press. These examples are by no means proven models in fact, Gutenberg-e highlighted some of the challenges of reinventing the monograph , but they are illustrative efforts at experimentation. University presses have begun to act on their stated intentions. Yale University Press and Columbia University Press have recently announced agreements with ebrary for technology platform hosting that will allow them to market electronic versions of their monographs.
There is once again widespread hope that electronic dissemination, done effectively, could revitalize the monograph. Electronic monograph products could also be sold in price tiers that segment the market in a way that is not possible with print. With the low marginal costs of delivering access to electronic resources, publishers may be able to reach new customers or sell different access options to different packages of content.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about these possibilities. Librarians may worry about extending the leasing model to monographs. Some publishers argue for the enduring worth of the sustained argument that the scholarly monograph represents. They act as change agents, uniting disciplines and making bridges between subjects. They form the basis for a more general conversation and more galvanizing work.
We would argue that authors should continue to produce book-length arguments, but must accept that readers will not always read them end-to-end. Moreover, earlier attempts to foray into eBooks have been disappointing. What will be different this time? One issue seems to be that making this transition in a truly meaningful way requires new capabilities and infrastructure, but presses still lack a number of elements required for this strategy to succeed. First, most still do not have a business model for electronic content other than journals.
Second, they lack the technological infrastructure and tools. Third, they need ways to conduct market research and strategies to market content online. Fourth, most lack the funds to build or buy this technological infrastructure or the skills to develop and implement an electronic marketing and distribution strategy. And because scholars and tenure committees in many fields, especially in the humanities, still resist electronic-only publication which is not viewed as carrying the same prestige as print publication , presses will probably have to operate both print and electronic programs during a transitional period.
But a renewed wave of investment from commercial publishers and reader manufacturers suggests that the time may now be more ripe for eBooks to take root, provided publishers can develop models that meet the needs of customers. The next question we explored with our interviewees is what university presses can bring to the table in a new world of university publishing. What are they good at, and will that continue to matter? First and foremost, they excel at credentialing scholarship bearing in mind that there are many fields and types of scholarship, in the humanities at least, which are not adequately covered by the existing arrangements.
In a world where anyone can publish anything online, the role of identifying what is important and worth reading will remain critical. Presses have developed networks of reviewers and detailed processes, refined through years of experience, for the purpose of selecting content. Presses also help to develop and improve scholarly work through the editorial process — organizing, refining, and sharpening arguments.
This refinement is often based on a dialogue with the academic community including peer reviewers about what will make the work better, as well as the deep disciplinary knowledge and editorial skills that subject editors bring to the process. Through these processes they have developed brands associated with particular disciplines, which add value to the materials they publish and, we would argue, their host institutions.
Finally, many presses have strong regional publishing programs. These are particularly important for state universities, as they provide one bridge between the institution and the constituency it serves. Presses also have experience evaluating demand for a product, setting a price, making production decisions accordingly, risking their capital to back up those decisions, and extracting from the marketplace enough revenue to sustain the publishing process. This experience is very relevant in an electronic world, where universities have invested vast amounts of money in creating online resources with little attention to how they will be used and by whom.
Moreover, presses collectively possess deep knowledge about the size and characteristics of the markets for scholarship in nearly every discipline. This expertise is valuable in deciding how resources should be allocated to address the needs of these markets, whether for print or electronic resources. Presses are also good at getting what they publish out to the market. They have relationships with wholesalers and retailers, including online ones such as Amazon, with the ability to reach a global audience. They have accumulated extensive experience in marketing — i. They also have a great deal of experience in managing their intellectual property to balance their goals of maximizing exposure while protecting copyright and their ability to sustain the enterprise.
It is worth reiterating that print will likely be a preferred technology for cover-to-cover reading for some time to come; many people will continue to derive pleasure from building a library of books that represent their interests. Traditional production skills, such as designing book jackets and managing distribution of print copies, will continue to be needed, even if this ceases to be the primary format in which content is read.
Moreover, book marketing and distribution will continue to be very important to reaching markets that do not have access to large aggregated electronic offerings, which are chiefly targeted to academic libraries. Publishing consultant Joseph Esposito provides a useful summary of what presses have to offer. It is a complex process; it took many decades to evolve, it takes years to learn, and it requires talent to master Finally, presses have an existing base of networks and scholarship that offers enormous potential as a foundation for building a platform for disseminating research.
There are natural partnerships between the press and library due to their complementary skills and assets see Appendix B for a detailed description of the strengths and weaknesses of each. This was a good collaboration. I think what we need to do is figure out the line between building special collections ourselves with tools to make them more accessible, and creating editorial layers that filter that content.
The former is what we do well. The latter is what presses do well. How can we work together to build on these mutual strengths? At Penn State, the press director now reports into the library, which has enabled several areas of collaboration through a newly established Office of Digital and Scholarly Publishing. A monograph series, Penn State Romance Studies, was launched via a collaboration between the press, library, and several academic departments. Both series are available free online with the technology and hosting provided by the library and for purchase in print via print-on-demand.
These collaborations face many difficulties, especially without high level support, and we came across a number that were less successful. These challenges stem from their disconnected leadership structures and the different cultures reflecting the ways each face their respective markets. In order to do this, we need to get the administration to pay attention. We have identified a set of actions to enable universities to play a more effective role in publishing. In this section we describe these actions and explain why they are important.
This section will conclude with a brief summary of recommended steps that presidents, provosts, press directors and librarians could take on their campuses. There are at least five reasons why, collectively, universities should play an active role in publishing their own research outputs and should take part in a community-wide publishing system:. University leaders should take a strategic approach to the communication and dissemination of the knowledge they produce.
This strategy should encompass what services are needed for scholars to create and disseminate content, how these services should be priced, what level of subsidization if any is appropriate, and where funding will come from. It should take a coherent position on issues pertaining to intellectual property.
It should identify what activities should remain within the university and what should be outsourced to third parties either commercial or not-for-profit. Finally, this vision should encompass peer review and its relationship to publishing.
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There should be consistency in the value placed on scholarly publishing i. Provosts should develop strategies that enhance the reach and reputation of the institution through its publishing initiatives. Create organizational structures necessary to implement these strategies. As a first step, administrators need to take inventory of the publishing-related activities currently taking place within their institutions. To streamline these activities one must understand what products are produced, how they are created, what services are provided, who provides them, what funding is going into these activities and where it is being spent.
Next, administrators should identify the leadership, managerial, editorial, and technical skills required to carry out the strategy. The set of skills residing in presses, libraries, faculty, graduate students, and technology departments today is more a reflection of historical roles than future needs.
New publishing strategies are likely to involve new configurations of activities on campus, best achieved at least in the short run through collaborations between various entities and people on campus, including libraries, presses, academic departments, and individual faculty. Combining skills and assets across these historically siloed units can enable more efficient and dynamic content creation and dissemination.
Administrators will need to be actively involved in encouraging more collaboration and providing the necessary incentives. Press and library directors, for their part, will need to learn to work together effectively. Some universities have tried to encourage this kind of collaboration by bringing the press inside the library, or creating centralized leadership for both bodies in the form of a chief information officer or head of academic information and services. We do not wish to advocate a specific configuration or reporting structure for these activities, but we would argue that these activities must be connected to program strengths of the university if they are to remain relevant to their campuses.
We heard a pervasive view that one of the key factors behind the difficulties of university presses is scale. They lack the scale to compete effectively with commercial presses, to take risks with new business models, and even to have the bandwidth to think strategically and boldly about how to deal with the forces of change. Presses cannot remain competitive in the electronic environment given their small size. It is possible to imagine many little presses going out of business and a few large ones getting big enough and sophisticated enough to compete.
Experiments must be conducted at sufficient scale to demonstrate their potential value. In the online environment, the value of certain resources rises exponentially with scale due to the network effect. To cite a common example of this phenomenon, fax machines became useful as they became pervasive. Or think of JSTOR, where the full value of the aggregation would not have been evident with a prototype of ten journals. By bringing together a critical mass of both content and users, platforms such as HighWire Press, Wiley InterScience, ScienceDirect, and Project Muse have been able to create great value for both sides.
Most presses lack the technological infrastructure for creating, loading, storing, preserving, and distributing dynamic electronic content. They also lack the capacity to market this content effectively. Without a compelling framework for cross-institutional collaboration, most have been stuck in a mode where they can only put a limited amount of content online, and that content is not extensive enough to form a destination in itself, or to justify enhancement through deep linking or interoperability, or to spark excitement that would lead to substantial investment.
In the journals world, this problem of scale and the spread of investment over a large infrastructure has been overcome for not-for-profit publishers through the emergence of third party aggregators and service providers such as Project Muse, HighWire Press, and JSTOR. But there is still no clear model or end-to-end not-for-profit solution for presses that enables them to produce and market eBooks effectively, much less new forms of dynamic content. A shared electronic publishing infrastructure across universities could allow them to save costs, create scale, leverage expertise, innovate, unite the resources of the university e.
This platform would be designed to meet the specific needs of scholars. It would also enable the community to speak with a more unified voice with powerful entities, and could coordinate the identification and adoption of standards for technology and metadata. Presses and libraries cannot do everything at once, but they should immediately develop a plan to move forthcoming lists online much as journals developed a transitional print plus electronic model. This plan should envision ways for material conceived for print publication to become more accessible and newly relevant to scholars in electronic form.
Presses should also develop plans to bring their backlists online much as JSTOR has reinvigorated the historical journal literature , although this will take time and a sizable amount of capital. Looking ahead, presses and libraries should work together to build publishing environments and develop skill sets that enable the creation and dissemination of innovative types of scholarly products and tools now beginning to breed in the electronic environment. These new virtual laboratories — created on campus and built together by libraries, presses, and faculty — can assemble and interlink a variety of content types, from traditional peer-reviewed formats such as monographs, journals, and reference works, to conference proceedings, newsletters, wikis, subject matter repositories, preprints, interdisciplinary centers, large primary source collections, gray literature, datafiles, multimedia products, and other new and hybrid formats.
Universities have always directed portions of their budgets to publishing activities, whether through subsidies to their own presses, underwriting faculty publications, support of on-campus journals, digitization of library collections, or a variety of other initiatives. In allocating funds to various enterprises on campus, administrators should do so with a strategic vision for how publishing-related activities fit together. In the recent past, libraries have been able to find room in their budgets to launch institutional repositories and to digitize local collections. Most presses, however, have such small and constrained budgets that there is no room for experimentation, let alone for making the kinds of transformative investments that are needed to reinvigorate existing programs or launch new ones.
The transition from print to electronic scholarship requires investment capital in order to develop new infrastructure, build new capabilities, and repurpose existing assets whose value can be enhanced considerably by being put online. Funding is required to link resources together and maximize their value to scholars. Funding is needed to create the tools and infrastructure needed to support the kinds of research and collaboration environments described above. Over time, initial funding should lead to cost savings through greater efficiency, economies of scale, less reinventing of the wheel, more transparent understanding of how money is being used, and through recapturing some of the publishing space from vendors with high profit margins.
One would also expect to see higher productivity among researchers, though this benefit may not be translated into financial gain. Developing a compelling strategy for scholarly communications can also lead to new sources of funding. For example, in raising money for a major new program or center, development campaigns can build in funds to support publishing activities that disseminate the research outputs of that initiative.
Presses and libraries could work with development officers to create scripts for potential funders about how dynamic publishing helps to accomplish their goals, have global reach and impact, and brand campus initiatives. Furthermore, universities can tap into the current focus among foundations and governments on the need to build cyberinfrastructure following two influential reports one on the sciences and engineering, another on the humanities and social sciences to seek support for building the tools and infrastructure required for new forms of publishing.
None of these elements is likely to materialize without leadership from the three constituents discussed here, particularly from presidents and provosts. Due to the siloed structure of universities, real collaboration is difficult to enact without impetus from the top. We recognize that the list of recommendations made here may feel daunting and that many of the ideas described in this paper have been percolating fruitlessly in the academic community for some time. It is one thing to say that the organization needs to have a coherent vision of scholarly communications, quite another for provosts, press directors and librarians to agree on what that is and to put it into effect — especially when elements of this vision must be embraced across institutions.
What is different now? The use of the Internet has become almost ubiquitous. The basic infrastructure is there, and the question now is what the next layer or layers will look like. The recent report on cyberinfrastructure in the humanities and social sciences explored this question and focused attention on the state of scholarly communications in these fields. In addition, the terrain may now be more fertile for elements of the electronic research environments described in our report to take root, as the necessary ingredients e.
In our discussions we found strong interest in the notion of creating a third party entity to catalyze and lead these changes. This entity could provide some combination of the following elements: This entity could act as a partner for library and press directors in helping them put forward a compelling vision to their university leadership, helping them develop plans of action, and could provide the shared electronic space in which to implement these plans. A good first step is for people from institutions that wish to take a leadership role to convene and take action towards launching pilot projects, ideally out of faculty initiatives.
These discussions could include press directors, librarians, IT staff and faculty. Getting these conversations started, and building momentum behind the concept of a third party entity, will require direction from presidents and provosts. We hope that this paper will help to make the case that this focus and attention is warranted. Libraries and presses have different and often complementary strengths and weaknesses that could be harnessed to deliver a compelling new publishing enterprise.
The table below outlines how we see the particular strengths of libraries and presses in terms of scholarly communication in general, and publishing in particular. This will obviously vary by institution; we see this as a catalyst for conversations between libraries and presses that could lead to an effective division of labor between the two. Within higher education, much of the recent agenda for change in scholarly communication has been centered in libraries. University presses have a big role to play, but they need to make that role more concrete and persuasive to the academic community by making clear how they can:.
Articulate a long-term vision that inspires local constituencies and those who hold the purse-strings. Universities need to have a better grasp of what is possible for their presses. To that end, every press should create, and regularly update, a 5-year strategic plan, complete with ambitions for their publishing programs and a financial framework. It will create a framework for long-range discussions about publishing priorities, investment and subsidy expectations, and shared criteria for success. Each press will have a different approach to this vision, which will depend on conditions at the host university.
They should fight to be at the table when major new academic programs are being planned, and to have a publishing component built into major research and capital campaigns. They should take an inventory of the exciting new academic ventures at their institutions, and consider which ones might lend themselves to publishing programs. They should reach out to the professional schools to form publishing alliances and joint ventures.
A key question this raises is how to ensure that presses do not evolve into vanity publishers the concern that got them where they are now. What we heard is that university presses do and should act as the sector of university publishing that relies on peer review and rigorous standards of selection — that is the prestige of the imprint.
Other types of publishing will arise from the parent institution, and university presses may play a role in this publishing through service functions editorial, marketing , or through collaborative linking to unrefereed content on campus, but the press proposition remains the protection of standards of selectivity, credentialing, and refinement cooked rather than raw content , as well as setting a price for that selectivity and refinement. Presses should carefully select areas where they can excel, set ambitious targets, and concentrate on building those programs.
These programs will no doubt include traditional areas of excellence built over time by presses. But every university, no matter how small, also provides ample opportunities for press specialization in areas that reflect its intellectual ambitions. The best drama school in the country might well set out to publish the best drama list. A university that has set a goal to build interdisciplinary programs could work with its press to create model online interdisciplinary publishing centers in targeted areas.
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Presses should seek to work with development officers to build a publishing component into campaigns related to a major new academic program or center. They should help to create scripts for potential funders about how dynamic publishing helps to accomplish their goals, create global reach and impact, and brand campus initiatives. Work together to identify content of institutional value.
Co-develop products, tools and professional educational and training programs for faculty, researchers, and students around traditional and electronic publishing issues, procedures, etc. Co-develop joint programs for preservation and archiving or collaborate in support of third party platforms that ensure preservation.
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Co-develop tools for content creation and online collaboration. How big is your press staff, revenues, number of books published, number of journals published, other metrics? If you report into the university, to whom do you report provost, library, VP for administration, research, finance, etc. What are the challenges associated with this relationship? How does it affect the way you run your press? What entities on your campus do you work with directly library, development, public relations, VP for research, other units?
How often do you meet with them? What is the nature of your collaboration with other units library, academic departments, institutes, IT, distance learning across the university? Has your library or other units of the university ventured into electronic publishing e.
What are the obstacles to your greater involvement with your library or other units across campus? What cross-institution collaborations are you involved with for products and for services other presses, scholarly societies, etc. What regional collaborations have you been involved with state and local, industry, museums and cultural institutions, tourism boards?
What model of collaboration would you find most appealing: One led by another press, a new organization, a third party existing organization, a consortium of presses? What kinds of electronic publishing are you currently involved with print on demand, short run digital printing, electronic books, electronic journals, etc. For your books program, what digital technologies are you currently using in your books publishing program, backend digital production, digital asset management, print on demand, short run digital printing and front-end online marketing, electronic distribution?
For your books program, what databases is your content included in? What has your approach been to licensing your content for electronic distribution? For journals you publish on behalf of others, to what extent are you involved with the editorial side? Are you more of an editorial driver or service provider? What are your distribution channels for journals print, electronic, licensing, distribution on behalf of others? When did your press decide to put its current journal issues online? How was the decision made? Why did you choose [your current online vendor]?
Which factor was the most important? What importance did you place on Have you considered any other online service providers since then? What did you like about the others? Which vendors are most advanced in terms of electronic publishing? Which are the best electronic journals platforms? How long have you been at your current platform provider? If you have made a transition recently, what were your decision-making priorities? How satisfied are you with the service your publishing platform currently provides?
To what extent are your books and journals programs integrated or separated? Is your books program growing because of journal relationships? Have you lost any journals recently? Have you acquired any journals recently? Why do the ones you have stay with you? How close is the match between your editorial program and the disciplinary strengths of your university?
Do you think that matters? Why do you want to grow: What methods or tools could make your marketing more effective that you currently are unable to do? How has this changed with the advent of the Internet? What are you trying to accomplish with your website? What other web presence do you have? Where do your revenues come from endowment, clients, licensing, university budget allocations, sales, fundraising? If you had a great publishing idea, are you confident that you could amass the capital required to invest in it and bring it to fruition? Where would that capital come from?
What are the major capital investments that you have made in the past 10 years? From where did the funding for these come? How much of the content you produce has close brand ties to your press e. What are the obstacles to your achieving your mission in the very broadest sense e. What is going on at your university in the area of online scholarly communications? Who is leading these projects? Have you expressed interest in a collaboration with your press?
And they interested in a collaboration with your library? What are your concerns about the future of the scholarly communications system? What are the opportunities? Do you see the mission of your press more in the context of your university or in the context of the wider world? If break even, how do you define break even?
What costs does the press cover and what costs does it not cover? Have there been any successful examples of collaboration between your press and other units at your university? Have you tried to encourage greater collaboration between the offices at your university library, academic departments, institutes, IT, distance learning and your press? How did this go? It seem that on many campuses, libraries are taking over some of the traditional functions of university presses.
Is that true on your campus? Are you willing to invest in electronic publishing experiments by your press? How much do you think it would be appropriate for your university to risk? One influential provost recommended a massive consolidation of university presses.
What models of consolidation or collaboration would you find attractive?
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We can test specific models at this point. How would you assess the attractiveness of a potential collaboration with another press, institution or other organization? What regional collaborations has your university you been involved with state and local, industry, museums and cultural institutions, tourism boards? Are there natural collaborations your university is involved with, e. If there were to be a collaborative model of university presses, which one would you find most appealing: One led by a press, a new organization, a third party existing organization, a consortium of presses?
What do you think the impact of open access will be on your press? Do you think it will aid or hurt the financial footing of your press? Is your university prepared to provide more subsidy to your press to make up for revenues lost to open access? How much more money would you be willing to budget for your press? Please briefly describe the nature of these collaborations, distinguishing one-offs from those that are ongoing.
Comments are edited only to preserve anonymity. In the past, terms such as scholarly communications and scholarly publishing were often used to depict research outputs that met certain criteria, such as certification, selection, and preservation. We argue here that the lines between formal and informal publication are breaking down, and thus the definitions of these terms are in flux.
We use them in this paper to refer to the broad spectrum of ways that scholars share their research with one another. The unit sales of scholarly monographs have fallen to a quarter or less of what they were in the s, and what was once a relatively straightforward and profitable type of publishing has become much more difficult in financial terms.
Thompson, Books in the Digital Age: Abel and Lyman W. Available online at http: Large publishers tend to be commercial and small publishers tend to be not-for-profit. The decline in sales of monographs is caused by a number of additionalfactors which we will not explore in detail here. Again, see John B. See also Robert B. For a version of this argument, see Paul N. While these studies are not currently publicly available, many of the lessons from this work are reflected in our thinking and conclusions in this paper.
Online reference resources such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy have developed new procedures to enable stable citations and reference linking. Based on a survey of librarians conducted by Ithaka in the fall of Based on our survey of directors of American university presses. Of course, most of the cost of university press publishing is shared by the institutions and individuals that benefit from it, by buying books.
One president we consulted pointed out that very few presidents and provosts of AAU very large research universities were drawn from the humanities. And yet we did not sense that senior administrators from non-humanities background were any less sensitive to the importance of their presses and the challenges in monograph publishing than those who came from the humanities.
From an Ithaka survey of faculty conducted in the fall of To be sure, presses have been taking up digital production technologies to support their print monographs programs. Among those presses that do publish monographs online, the median number of monographs available online was , and the mean was , according to our survey of press directors. The networked version of the book is available online at http: The deal that these presses struck with ebrary contrasts with the earlier ebrary licensing model, which involved ebrary marketing and selling content.
In this model, ebrary is a technology platform service provider to the presses. AAUP conference, June It is worth noting that the lowest price bracket, for customers with least access to resources, may be free in a progressive pricing model. Free access to scholarly content in poor countries is most feasible online. It is worth noting that this credentialing service is most important when sales volume is so small that market criteria do not generally apply. The exceptions — scholars whose star qualities are measured by their ability to publish with commercial presses — prove the rule.
The credentialing process for monograph publications rests on at least three rounds of internal and external review — subject specialist editors at the presses choose the most promising works of scholarship from among those submitted, further refine their selection through rigorous peer review, and finally submit their choices including the recommendations from the peer reviewers to publishing boards often made up of faculty specialists at their parent institution who give final approval or rejection.
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Volume 10 , Issue 3 , Fall Please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues here at Ithaka with comments of any kind. Guthrie President Ithaka kg ithaka. Objectives This is the final report of an assessment of university-based publishing and the future role of the university in the scholarly publishing system. This paper has four purposes: Following are some of the specific changes we observed that motivated this research: Emergence of new publishing models in the electronic environment Most presses already have harnessed digital technologies for back-end production  , enabling shorter print runs, better inventory control, and print-on-demand.
Flight to scale threatens all but the largest publishers The scholarly communications sector has long supported a vibrant mix of large and small for-profit and not-for-profit publishers, but in the last decade this ecosystem has shown signs of strain. Role of university presses is in question University presses, the traditional publishing arms of universities, have struggled to keep up with these emerging trends.
Approach This report is intended to be a commentary on the state of university publishing and a call to action. The future of scholarly communications In this section we will provide a description of what the world of university publishing looks like today and where it appears to be heading. Everything must be electronic Most of our interviewees were in agreement that information technology is profoundly transforming the ways in which universities disseminate their primary outputs, the types of content that are produced and shared, and the ways scholars consume research.
We heard descriptions of elements of a future in which discipline-based portals offer scholars a range of electronic tools for data manipulation, content creation, and social networking, and a layered, interlinked platform containing a wide variety of content — from fee-based to free — including: Multimedia and multi-format delivery will become increasingly important We heard from a number of sources that scholars increasingly wish to incorporate audio and video materials in their research and teaching.
New forms of content will enable new economic models Traditional economic models of publishing are being disrupted by the Web, and new ones are emerging. This new mission involves a combination of: Many university presses have struggled to adapt to changing needs University presses historically acted as an important arm for publishing the research outputs of universities, both on their own campuses and on behalf of the entire scholarly community.
University presses can continue to play a critical role in publishing 1.
Presses are beginning to change, but most still lack critical resources and capabilities Most of the presses we consulted are attuned to the problems described by provosts and librarians, and are trying to re-establish and reinforce their value to their universities. Presses possess unique skills and assets The next question we explored with our interviewees is what university presses can bring to the table in a new world of university publishing.
Collaborations between the press and library can create value There are natural partnerships between the press and library due to their complementary skills and assets see Appendix B for a detailed description of the strengths and weaknesses of each. Summary of Recommendations Recognize that publishing is an integral part of the core mission and activities of universities, and take ownership of it. Take inventory of the landscape of publishing activities currently taking place within your university.
Develop a strategic approach to publishing on your campus, including what publication services should be provided to your constituents, how they should be provided and funded, how publishing should relate to tenure decisions, and a position on intellectual assets. Create the organizational structure necessary to implement this strategy and leverage the resources of the university. Develop online publishing capabilities for backlist and frontlist content and for new emerging formats.
Develop a shared electronic publishing infrastructure across universities to save costs, create scale, leverage expertise, innovate, extend the brand of U. Commit resources to deliver an agreed strategic plan for scholarly communication. Tell a compelling story Within higher education, much of the recent agenda for change in scholarly communication has been centered in libraries. University presses have a big role to play, but they need to make that role more concrete and persuasive to the academic community by making clear how they can: Create a strategic plan Articulate a long-term vision that inspires local constituencies and those who hold the purse-strings.
Reframe conversations with development offices Presses should seek to work with development officers to build a publishing component into campaigns related to a major new academic program or center. Collaborate with libraries to co-develop tools and programs Work together to identify content of institutional value. To whom do you look for examples of future directions for your press? How long have you been director? What are the major issues your press is facing? Relationship to host 1. Is your press a unit of the university or do you have an independent governance structure?
What is the history of this reporting relationship? What does your university provost, president, faculty see as your role? Has your library expressed interest in a collaboration with your press? Are you interested in a collaboration with your library? If yes what would you do together? What about this prospect do you find appealing? Have there been any successful examples of collaboration between your press and the library?
What kinds of e-publishing would you like to be involved with? What are the main impediments to your involvement in these areas? At this point, share a list of university press services 4. Which among these services does your press require? Gutjahr, Indiana University David D. Toon meer Toon minder. Recensie s A model of scholarly publication and institutional cooperation. A timely achievement and a great one.
Without university presses, we would still be waiting for HBA. Bears reading for new approaches to understanding how print culture affected the lives of Americans in a myriad of social settings and occupations. Such is the incredible and incredibly flexible power of this primitive technology. It is limited but perfect. Relevant and lucidly written. Places the handsome, often gold-stamped, book-product front and center in a larger print universe operating in many sites.
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