John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

China Must Create a New Academic Publishing Business Model

China’s top libraries issued a warning to the world’s major (for profit) academic publishers:  “develop a reasonable, realistic price policy…” or else!

The fallacy behind the 1 September 2010 “Joint Open Letter to International Publishers” [ http://tinyurl.com/2befyob ]  is that the group is all librarians, albeit, prominent librarians from prominent institutions. But in the information world of today, the librarian is no longer the customer.  If the declaration had come direct from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science & Tech or other member of the State Council, or even from an organized group of Chinese scientists, that would bear more weight.   Elsevier pushed through a huge price increase 2-3 years ago in China in spite of cancellations from basically the same group of libraries that issued the 1 Sept declaration.  Elsevier took its case direct to the university administrators who ordered the librarians to renew ScienceDirect and pay the increase.

The only way for China to reduce its dependance on “a few international STM publishers” is to sever the umbilical cord that measures PhD achievement in China with publishing in high impact factor journals (that are primarily owned by “a few international STM publishers”).  Simply building a larger consortia by adding the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Library, and NSTL to CALIS will not solve the fundamental problem.

China is seeing huge growth in paper submissions to the world’s top peer-reviewed journals.  The number of papers accepted has been gradually increasing, too, as the quality of research reporting in English improves.

China must proactively promote the open access green model to Chinese authors, and China must build top quality academic publishing houses inside China.  China should be an early adopter of the new publishing paradigms that are being experimented with globally today.  China has the potential to build a new academic publishing business model that will be an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Librarians around the globe have been writing letters to “a few international STM publishers” and complaining about price increases for more than 30 years!  Another letter will not make any difference, its time for a more fundamental change in the way knowledge management is done.

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Link to the original English letter on the Chinese Academy of Sciences website:

Joint Open Letter to International Publishers – 中国科学院国家科学 …

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13 September 2010 Posted by | Scholarly Communication, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future Library Should Focus on Collecting and Formatting In-house, Locally Created Content

My vision for the future library is to have it focus on collecting and formating all local content into a single knowledge base. When all content: data sets, science notebook, papers, books, reports, manuals, blogs are part of the same knowledge base, then the archive, search, and distribution interfaces are easily managed and updated as technology evolves. In concept, this is similar to what Adam Bly refers to as a “digital core,” but Adam’s vision is global. The focus here is making the local institution’s in-house content future friendly.

27 April 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Key to an Efficient Archival System Must be How Quickly You Can Access the Content

Librarians have always been good at storage. And to a lesser degree, so have publishers. But the KEY TO EFFICIENT STORAGE MUST BE EASE OF USE. Most archival systems are evaluated in these terms:

– Permanence. Will it be there for the next generation?
– Responsibility. Who is going to build it? Who will maintain it?
– Buy-in. What percentage of our authors are contributing to the archive?
– Completeness. How comprehensive is the archive, how far back does it go?
– Copyright. What are the legal limitations of these archived materials?
– Cost. Can we afford to archive it?
– Accessibility. How do we get the data back out?

In my experience, the last requirement ACCESSIBILITY is not emphasized enough. From the design stages, the end user experience must be kept at the forefront. How user-friendly will the final product be is crucial to the success of all archival systems. If librarians and publishers have successfully stored away the past 200 years of scholarship, but you can’t find it on Google, how useful is it really? If the archived content is not being used, there is a danger it will be considered irrelevant and useless. Certainly, rarely accessed archives that receive little attention will find it difficult to raise funds when needed upgrades are due.

Archival solutions must fit the way humans think and must work with the tools we have on hand now. They must mesh smoothly with the popular search engines. A 2009 study by Dotov, Nie, and Chemero on the impact of inefficient tools on the human brain (citation into with DOI at bottom of this post), consistently shows that learning slows radically when the brain – tool link malfunctions.

If it takes too long to get there, the brain stops focusing on the subject, and starts focusing on packaging (the tool being used to access and evaluate the subject). Or in the case of online searching, if you are used to a search taking 3 seconds, and suddenly it takes 9, your rhythm is interrupted and your brain slows down. When I was at EBSCO we used to call it the “3-Clicks, You’re Out” rule.

An archival system that does not allow for near-immediate access is like frozen steak in the bottom of the freezer downstairs in the basement. If you’re hungry the food in the kitchen is what you’ll eat. Even worse would be a frozen steak in your neighbor’s basement!

Archival and storage systems from the onset must have the end-user access in mind. Just locking it away safely is not enough.

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Dotov DG, Nie L, Chemero A (2010) A Demonstration of the Transition from Ready-to-Hand to Unready-to-Hand. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9433. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009433

20 March 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION / A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing

NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION
A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing

John Ben DeVette
DeVette Publishing Solutions
johndevette@devettepublishing.com
https://devette.wordpress.com

Assuming libraries are unsustainable, universities are re-engineering scholarly communication models, and forcing publishers to re-engineer business models. Legacy publishing systems must evolve or become redundant. A host of new publishing, social networking, and online communication tools now exist and are pushing academics toward a significant new way of interacting with peers and the publishers.
The series begins with a review of the goals of scholarly communication. A session will focus on why ScienceDirect and PLOS in their unique and seemingly contradicting ways have become huge successes. The group will learn about a variety of new publishing and online communication tools, and methods for measuring academic achievement. Twittering will be strongly recommended and real time examples given of its effectiveness in learning and communication.
[9 LECTURE SERIES. 17 HOURS]
1. What is Scholarly Communication. Why scholars communicate. [1 hour]
a. Finding the truth & making it known
b. Humans are a social organism: Teamswork
c. Importance of interdisciplinary communication

2. Overview of publishing models: present and future [3 hours]
a. Science publishing.
i. Case study: the evolution of Elsevier’s ScienceDirect.
ii. Case study: PLOS, publishing articles, not journals.
b. User-generated science. Online collaboration. Crowdsourcing.
c. Blogs and other social networking tools are building global societies of scholars.
d. How to use Twitter.

3. Bottlenecks to communication & learning [2 hours]
a. Copyright. Protecting the author’s idea or the publisher’s profits?
b. Applying Cournot’s Model of Oligopoly to the publishing market.
c. Publish or perish. The difficulties of measuring academic success.
d. Information overload. Finding the needle of truth in a haystack of hubris
e. Journals are better for storage than communication.
f. Language barriers to learning

4. The role of e-books in scholarly communication [2 hours]
a. E-books, e-readers, e-platforms, and why the iPad will change everything.
b. 30 million e-books. How will these impact the future of libraries and online use of information?
c. The Google Books Library Project
d. Digital text books are different
e. Print on Demand

5. Copyright [2 hours]
a. History of copyright law. Why we protect intellectual property.
b. Enforced scarcity in a market of overproduction?
c. Public Knowledge Project.
d. SPARC. Open Access Movement.
e. Creative Commons.
f. How Google is changing the rules.

6. The Self-publishing Movement. [3 hours]
a. Role of universities in the information chain.
i. Campus-based publishing. Merging the library and the university press. Case study: Univ of Michigan.
b. Leveraging the university institutional repository.
c. Role of learned societies.
d. Micro-publishing in a mega-publisher world.
e. New (and often open source) tools for publishing.
f. The blog as a record of scholarly achievement.

7. How to create scholarly communities for people who cannot speak the same language. [1 hour]
a. OAI-MPH compatibility
b. Translation strategies
c. Symbol-based evaluation and feedback models
d. Visual learning. Use of videos and charts in publishing.
e. Aural communication solutions

8. Findability. Improving the way online content is accessed. [1 hour]
a. Digital formats
b. Indexes. Human or Machine
c. How to get hit by Google
d. Metadata & XML. CrossRef & DOIs.

9. Evaluating scholarly performance / Bibliometrics. How we spotlight quality and evaluate scholarly performance. Are we rewarding excellence or limiting innovation? [2 hours]
a. Impact Factors, including their role in academic advancement.
b. Focusing on the quality of an article or an author. New metrics. Article Level Metrics. ResearcherID.
c. Using the Hirsch Index to measure an author, a faculty, a university, and even a nation.
d. How to measure tagging activity.
e. Self-mediated peer review.

ONLINE LINK TO GOOGLE DOCS AT:
http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcbj2pbh_6ktz93cdn

Copyright info at Creative Commons:

Creative Commons License
NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing by John Ben DeVette is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

24 February 2010 Posted by | Crowd Sourcing, Digital Publishing, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CAMPUS-BASED PUBLISHING: CAN A MARRIAGE OF THE LIBRARY WITH THE UNIVERSITY PRESS SPARC A SOLUTION TO THE SERIALS PRICING CRISIS?

Please see my article on new e-publishing paradigms, and specificially campus-based publishing trends. Go to page 9 at
http://www.ifla.org/files/information-technology/ifla1-09-dec_its.pdf

2 February 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , , | Leave a comment

What is CAMPUS-BASED PUBLISHING? An Excerpt from My Upcoming Article…

Campus-based publishing is a new phenomenon taking place at some of the world’s leading universities. Campus-based publishing is where the university press and the library form a partnership, often one combined organization with singular leadership and a mandate from the university chancellor to be the general manager of the entire flow of information from consumption to creation to storage to dissemination. These new entities are self-serving and proud of it!

For decades, universities have had established university presses. Also, for decades these in-house publishing units have acted mostly independent of their faculties’ traditional activities of research and reporting, and their libraries’ information management responsibilities. It has become obvious that universities have been sitting in a vast pool of learning (a knowledge base) that has been growing and maturing in their own back yard, but has been grossly miss-managed and underutilized.

It is crucial for the long term viability of universities to retain control of the knowledge they create. University presses know how to publish. Libraries are experts at acquiring and archiving information.

The world wide web changed the way scholars communicate, creating new opportunities for information management. Academia is making fundamental changes to the way the universities package and distribute scholarly communications and published results.

25 December 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

CAMPUS-BASED PUBLISHING: Building a New E-book Publishing Platform for a University Press

Discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing campus-based publishers, specifically in regard to academic e-books.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to a consortium of NYU U Penn, Temple, and Rutgers Presses, to brainstorm and recommend how university presses might collaborate and build new publishing models for e-books.

HIGHLIGHTS from Monica’s Talk:

The aim is to jointly build ONE PLATFORM that can eventually be used by any academic press anywhere in the world.

The strategy reminds me of the Public Knowledge Project’s vision when they began developing OJS open source software 10 years ago.

Academic E-BOOKS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT from e-journals, largely because 75-80% of e-books buyers are INDIVIDUALS (therefore buying single books). As opposed to e-journals for whom 99% of their purchase are libraries. Ergo: e-books sales are mostly BtoC, but e-journals are BtoB.

The intended business model is not open access. They intend to sell the content online.

They plan to develop a REVENUE SHARE MODEL where a percentage of revenues is paid to the author.

Two friends of mine: Judy Luther and October Ivins are consulting on the project ;-D

Monica McCormik, of NYU Press, had a webinar on November 20, which was taped and posted on SPARC’s website. Watch the complete talk with Q&A (1 hour) here= http://blip.tv/file/2916345

16 December 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Utah State University Press & Library Merge

Utah State Today – Utah State University.  Another major U.S. university merges its publishing house with the university library to create an organization that will manage and promote scholarly communication for the school’s scholars.  Others include:  University of Michigan  and Penn State University.

14 December 2009 Posted by | Self Publishing, University Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

   

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