Perspectives

Perspectives, insights, and research

C&E Perspectives

The Agency Model and Publishing Services RFPs

July 14, 2020  |  By

The publishing services RFP is often managed as if it is a “procurement” or “vendor selection” process. This is problematic, as such processes are typically designed to evaluate proposals for fee-for-service vendors. Publishers, however, are not vendors, and they do not typically operate under fee-for-service arrangements. Understanding that the procurement model is not suited to selecting a publisher and negotiating an agreement for publishing services, then what is the alternative? If the procurement model is not suited to selecting a publisher and negotiating an agreement for publishing services, what is the alternative?
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From the Scholarly Kitchen

Marketing in Times of Disruption (and How to Avoid a #marketingfail)

July 1, 2020  |  By

Marketing, at the best of times is hard, and in a time of crises, it can feel near impossible. But market we must. Colleagues depend on marketing to develop programs to bring in revenue, which keeps people employed and enables the mission of scholarly and professional publishing to move forward. Customers depend on marketing to stay informed. A handful of simple but powerful strategies can make the difference between striking the right note and a #marketingfail.

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Other Publications

Trends in U.S. Trade Book Publisher Mergers and Acquisitions

June 18, 2020  |  By

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in trade book publishing has accelerated over the last two years, a trend that is expected to continue post-pandemic. In a low-growth publishing environment and in an industry that increasingly rewards scale, M&A activity is a useful growth strategy for publishers and a plausible exit strategy for owners of independent publishers.
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From the Scholarly Kitchen

Scientific and Scholarly Meetings in the Time of Pandemic

May 4, 2020  |  By

Conferences are so deeply embedded in the culture and cadence of science and academia that it is hard to imagine what professional life would look like without them. Many organizations are looking to replace conferences with virtual events, but simply streaming the same sessions on the same schedule may prove insufficient. Shifting meetings to virtual formats requires reconceptualizing meetings for the needs of attendees working from home — and rethinking business models, technologies, and processes as well. Societies and associations with annual meetings will need to think the implications for member engagement and member renewals, manuscript recruitment, education, and other ripple effects.
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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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Other Publications

The Journal Publishing Services Agreement: A Guide for Societies

January 13, 2020  |  By

Societies have two fundamental choices when it comes to publishing their journals: they can remain independent, managing all facets of the publication business, or they can work with a larger commercial or not‐for‐profit publisher. If a society chooses to work with a larger publisher, it will invariably do so via a publishing services agreement. This article discusses the challenges and complexities facing independent society publishers and the reasons why some societies choose to enter into publisher services agreements, whereas others choose to remain independent.
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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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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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Other Publications

The Value of Peer Review

April 29, 2019  |  By

Community perceptions of peer review have significant stakes for publishers of medical and scientific journals. The value delivered by peer review in the eyes of the community is directly tied to the value of a society’s journal portfolio. Given its critical role in the research ecosystem, we must consider the future of peer review as well—whether it is delivering on its promise, how it might evolve, and what implications this may have for journal publishers, authors, and readers.
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From the Scholarly Kitchen

Where Does a University Press Sit in its Parent’s Priorities?

April 29, 2019  |  By

When Stanford University proposed cutting the subsidiary it provides for its university press, a furor erupted, in part because Stanford is an exceptionally well-endowed institution and the subsidy required seemed a pittance. But in the context of overall university finances and priorities, rarely are presses moved to the top of the pile. For a press to be successful, it has to develop a strategy, including a financial strategy, that does not require it to take money from the university’s operating fund.
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