Fighting on Three FrontsJoseph J. EspositoCSSPWashington, D.C.April 27, 2013
Processed Media is amanagement consultancy workingin the areas of publishing,software, and education. Clientsinclude both for-profit and not-for-profit email@example.com
Topics• How will the new open access mandates affectprofessional societies?• How do I navigate our organization through apublishing environment dominated by hugecommercial concerns?• Is the management and governance structureof our society equipped to deal with pressingenvironmental issues?
Varieties of OA Mandates• Mandated deposits into institutionalrepositories (Green OA)• Stipulations by funding organizations (e.g., theWellcome Trust)• Government policies (e.g., recent statementfrom U.S. OSTP)• Some mandates may include embargoes• Let’s not forget piracy (unmandated!)
Implications of Growth of OA• Growing amount of literature available—putting increased pressure on search anddiscovery• Likelihood of multiple versions of samematerial online—making usage harder toassess, driving down measurable accesses• In some fields, migration of papers, even someof the finest, toward Gold OA services
OA Implications #2• Rapid growth of new OA services to absorb allthe new material• Greater competition—likely to result indownward pressure on pricing and a need forgreater investment in technology• New premium on marketing• No clear path to long-term preservation• Overall, higher expenses and less revenue
But why not simply create our ownGold OA service and migrate ourbusiness from subscriptions to theauthor-pays model?
New OA Service: Benefits• Retains authors• Potentially can be additive to subscriptionjournals• Potentially Gold OA fees can be combinedwith membership dues, creating a path to anenlarged membership• “If we don’t do this, someone else will”
New OA Service: Limitations• Competitive environment• Could cannibalize subscription revenue• OA revenues typically lag behind traditionaljournals• Could challenge standards of peer review• More speculatively, likely to change the natureof desirable content over time (e.g., moretopical)
The second front: commercialbehemoths (John Wiley, Springer,Elsevier, WoltersKluwer, Sage)
Structure of the Marketplace Today• 85% of journals revenue derives from libraries(percentage varies by discipline)• Libraries prefer to purchase aggregations• Large aggregations marginalize smallpublishers, including many society publishers• Market is growing modestly, mostlyinternationally• Largest publishers are well positioned toremain dominant for the next several years
A Society’s Typical Path1. Go it alone—no partner, use own tech2. Outsource tech, but remain independent3. Join a consortium4. Place journals under the umbrella of auniversity press5. Place journals under the umbrella of a largernot-for-profit entity6. Create an arrangement with a behemoth
The real issue for a society publishertoday is how to get access to thelibrary budget, and increasingly thegateway to that income is controlledby the largest commercialpublishers.
The Third Front: Governance• Need to be responsive to environmentalchanges—and to anticipate them• Efficient decision-making• Open channel of communication between theBoard and the publishing management
HighWire Illustration• Large group of all HW publishers• Presentation: How will OA affect yourpublishing program?• Multiple requests for slide deck• Need to inform society management ofpublishing issues• Concern that societies were not attentive tobusiness concerns
If governance is a problem, it islikely to become the definingproblem for the entire program.
Practical Steps1. Empower a special committee to overseepublishing operations; put outsiders on thatboard/committee2. Hire “high”—that is, seek publishingmanagers who are strongly qualified to runoperations3. Exercise bias in favor of personnel with atleast some commercial experience
Practical Steps #24. Explore aggregating publishing operationswith other societies5. Explore Gold OA programs, tying publishingfees to society membership6. Annual strategic planning review: placeprogram into context of marketplace7. In working with large partners, seek to retainrights for markets outside libraries
Thank you!Joseph J. Espositoespositoj@processedmedia.com