Posts by Joseph Esposito

C&E Perspectives

How Information Asymmetry Works Against Societies

August 20, 2020  |  By

A major element of the scholarly and professional publishing ecosystem is the publishing services agreement, or PSA. In a PSA a professional association or learned society signs an agreement with a larger publisher for journal publishing services. What many societies negotiating a PSA fail to see, however, is that the large publisher has access to a great deal more information about the publishing business than the society does. This essential asymmetry of information provides an enormous advantage to the large publisher in negotiations.
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From the Scholarly Kitchen

Good vs. Evil? Finding the Right Mix of For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Services

July 21, 2020  |  By

This post was co-authored by Joe Esposito and Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka S+R.

Every day, choices are made, and positions advocated, about the best organizational forms for providing the various services needed for the academic enterprise. This is an important, and underexamined, issue for academia. As well-resourced as some universities are, they are not infinite in size, and, as a result, they have to prioritize their investments. When purchasing or developing scholarly communications services, library systems, and research workflow tools, individual universities seek cross-institutional scale, which can be achieved in a variety of ways, including open source software, institutional partnerships, consortia, and outsourcing to third-party organizations, both not-for-profit (NFP) and commercial in structure.
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Angel and devil on a scale; balancing good vs evil

From the Scholarly Kitchen

Building a Brain Trust

January 15, 2020  |  By

Heads of organizations--CEOs and Executive Directors--need to have a small group of trusted advisors to help in formulating strategy, especially when, for whatever reason, the questions at issue cannot easily be shared with the rest of the management and may initially be beyond the Board’s expertise. Building a brain trust must be done carefully; it must be viewed as a supplement to the management and Board and not a replacement.
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Little boy playing with can phone connected by string, concept for talking to yourself

From the Scholarly Kitchen

A Case for Popularization: A Review of Rockonomics

August 5, 2019  |  By

Academics are often treated contemptuously by their peers for attempting to write for a popular audience, but the case for popularization is strong, as it both educates the public and helps to gain support for the academic enterprise. Economist Alan Krueger’s Rockonomics is an exceptionally interesting take on the “winner-takes-all” nature of some industries, including music.
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Cover of book entitle Rockonomics

From the Scholarly Kitchen

The New “University Journals” in the Marketplace

May 6, 2019  |  By

The launch of a new journal called “University Journals” by a European consortium was the occasion for a piece on what it takes for a new service to become successful. The challenges are great, as even well-resourced start-ups, with prestigious backers (as is the case for “University Journals”), have to operate in an environment with a great deal of competition. This post lays out what has to be done to be successful.
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Generic cola cans 1980