Editor’s Note for Reimagining the University Press [JEP Fall 2010 issue]

November 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs | Comments Off on Editor’s Note for Reimagining the University Press [JEP Fall 2010 issue]

Editor’s Note for Reimagining the University Press:

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, this already tottering publishing system – while still publishing an impressive stream, both broad and deep, of scholarly books in all of the humanities and social sciences, as well as providing many of the most important analyses of the critical social, political and cultural issues for general as well as academic readers (the latter precisely the kind of books that the large US trade publishers, almost all now controlled by global media conglomerates, have been rapidly jettisoning) – had to confront arguably the greatest disruptive force of all: the accelerating and escalating digital tidal wave, which, it became quickly apparent, would overwhelm all preexisting forms of social and professional communication—while providing entirely unforeseen and massive new opportunities and resources. But this comes at a Faustian price, since such root-and-branch transformation inevitably threatens all existing publishing processes, personnel, and prerogatives as well.

As individuals at beleaguered institutions are wont to do, the initial reaction of some at university presses consisted of circling the wagons, repeatedly intoning stale mantras of self-praise, clinging to fraying publishing practices like a security blanket, and convincing themselves (or letting their benighted professional organization convince them and others) that they could ride out this technological tsunami intact, in part by clutching ferociously to the Disney-corrupted version of the print copyright regime.”

Scholarly publishers are looking at libraries right now and seeing what has always been the best and most reliable market for their products suddenly changing into a highly unreliable one.

September 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Libraries, Monographs | Comments Off on Scholarly publishers are looking at libraries right now and seeing what has always been the best and most reliable market for their products suddenly changing into a highly unreliable one.

If I Were a Scholarly Publisher:

Very interesting essay on the outlook for scholarly publishers and the academic library market:

Given the currently dire and highly unpredictable budget environment for higher education, 2010 is a rather frightening time to be a librarian. For the same reasons, this must be an absolutely terrifying time to be a scholarly publisher.

‘Obscenely priced books and journals, glacial timescales and limited formats’

May 10, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in Journals Publishing | Leave a comment

Times Higher Education – It’s time to put the point back into the pen of scholarly writing:

Obscenely priced books and journals, glacial timescales and limited formats are squeezing the life out of academic publishing …The problem is the near-complete disconnection of academic publishing from the rest of literary culture and the monomaniacal focus of the academy on only a limited range of publication formats… academic publications are often self-limiting due to their formats: crazily priced books that will be bought only by libraries; obscenely priced journals that are difficult to access; and protracted publishing timescales that limit contemporary relevance. Whether or not these limitations are economically inevitable (and I cannot for the life of me see why a publisher should deliberately produce books in formats that ensure exclusivity), the result is that academic publications are further ensconced in the ivory tower, regardless of their possible wider interest.

ALA 2010 report: significant spending on e-publications

May 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Libraries | Leave a comment

ALA | 2010 State of America’s Libraries Report released – Recession drives more Americans to libraries in search of employment resources; but funding lags demand:

  • Academic libraries added 20m e-books in 2008, bringing the total to about 102.5m – an increase of 59% in two years.
  • Expenditure on e- resources also increased, reported as rising from US$691.6m in fiscal year 2006 to $1bn in fiscal year 2008.
  • Google Editions

    May 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing | Leave a comment

    Good piece on Google Editions in Library Journal:

    Google Editions, Bookstore in the Cloud, Will Go Live By July – 5/6/2010 – Library Journal:

    UK Serials Group 2010 Summary

    May 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing, Libraries, Open Access | Leave a comment

    LiveSerials: Hannah Whaley’s UKSG summary: ”
    LiveSerials

    A number of themes started to recur through the sessions and discussions, as summarised:

  • Big deal bubble must burst, as it is unsustainable for many institutions
  • We must move further towards open access, but it is not yet clear how
  • Journal impact factor isn’t good enough anymore, we need to
    review the commentary and produce new ranking factors
  • Linked information is nearly here, allowing informal and pre-publish conversations to be viewed and measured in a structured way on the web
  • The age of the article is here, meaning metrics, usage and discoverability will increasingly be at article level rather than the ‘journal container’
  • Just-in-time must replace just-in-case, as no one can maintain a full array of items that may only occasionally be required
  • How to accomplish the transition from print-based to electronic publishing successfully

    April 13, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing | Leave a comment

    A thought-provoking post from Sandy Thatcher to liblicense:

    The #1 problem that book (not journal) publishers in almost all sectors face for the foreseeable future (5-10 years) is how to accomplish the transition from print-based to electronic publishing successfully.

    In the eyes of faculty, electronic versions of journals are now utterly mainstream

    April 13, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing | Leave a comment

    Ithaka S&R Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies:

    In the eyes of faculty, electronic versions of journals are now utterly mainstream. While print journals may continue to play a limited role for faculty with specific needs that are otherwise poorly met, digital versions are clearly the medium of choice for most faculty members, even among humanists. Bringing together the preservation and business models to wind down print publishing and collections programs wherever appropriate would probably reduce expenditures by publishers and libraries alike.

    Digital online access will become the norm

    April 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Open Access, Print on Demand (PoD) | Leave a comment

    Interesting post to the liblicense list by Colin Steele.

    The challenge for twenty-first century scholarship, which
    includes e- books, is to implement an infrastructure for the
    digital world untrammelled by the historical legacies in the
    frameworks and costings of print culture. In academic monograph
    and textbook production, digital online access will become the
    norm, more often than not supplemented by data and multimedia
    additions. Print ,however, will not die, given the likely
    explosion of cheap POD outlets. Readers will still be able to
    judge a book by its POD cover.

    E-book futures are still clearly evolving and cost and ease of
    access will be crucial issues. A discernible trend is, however,
    emerging with open access e-book environments. If e-outputs and
    their impacts become embedded in promotion and tenure and
    research assessment exercises, then more institutions will assume
    responsibility for harvesting and providing global access to
    their scholarship, scholarship that combines authority with
    public accessibility. A suitable vision for the twenty first
    century? ‘Let those who are not old, – who are still young,
    ponder this well’ (Trollope, 1866)”

    Responding to the credit crunch: What now for librarians and libraries?

    March 26, 2010 at 11:47 am | Posted in Libraries | Leave a comment
    Tags:

    ALPSP has released the results of its survey of librarians entitled ‘Responding to the credit crunch: What now for librarians and libraries?‘. The survey attracted 173 respondents from 14 countries (58% of respondents were from the US, 17% from the UK).

    Key points are:

    E-only
    ———
    There is a strong desire among librarians to move away from print-on-paper journals. 90% of librarians responding either strongly agreed or agreed that they would like to move more journal titles to electronic only with only 2% disagreeing.

    The main reasons for librarians wishing to move to electronic-only access provision for journals are the low usage of the print version of journal, to take advantage of any saving on subscription price and to save shelving space.

    The main reason cited by librarians for not moving more journals to electronic only is that it is not offered by the publisher, with concerns over perpetual access (post cancellation access) a close second.

    ‘Big Deals’
    ————–
    There are strong pro- and anti-‘Big Deal’ groups of librarians, but the evidence is that the proportion of journals purchased as part of a Big Deal will increase in 2010, with a corresponding decrease in the number of journals purchased as single subscriptions. (Big Deals are > 90% purchased through consortia.) Confusingly, however, there are also signs of higher rates of cancellation or downgrading of deals by existing Big-Deal subscribers.

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