For its 2016 Next Wave conference, scholarly nonprofit organization ITHAKA brought together nearly 200 academic librarians, publishers, technology partners, and scholars at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel on November 30 to take a look at what may lie ahead for academia. “The Bigger Picture: How Macro Changes in Higher Education Should Shape Your Strategy” condensed what had previously been spread over two days into one all-day session, with a strong focus on academic professionals’ take on the landscape.
Everyone has a book in them, it’s said. While Christopher Hitchens completed that phrase with “in most cases that’s where it should stay,” it doesn’t seem the public agrees. This is dramatically demonstrated by the expansion of U.S. publishing, as measured by Bowker, the U.S. issuer of ISBNs, the numbers that help track book sales. In 2002, Bowker issued 247,777. In 2012 (the most recent figures available), demand rose to 2,352,797—an increase of 2,105,020, or a whopping 849.5 percent.
Academic profile platform SelectedWorks has been redesigned and was recently relaunched as a librarian-facing faculty support tool, enabling academic libraries to manage the creation and organization of consistent, institution-branded faculty profiles that showcase open access articles and other scholarly work. The redesign was the result of “a change in understanding” of how the platform was being used, according to Jean-Gabriel Bankier, president and CEO of bepress, developer of SelectedWorks, as well as the Digital Commons institutional repository software suite and other academic publishing and communication products.
At a high energy midtown New York gala, the UJA-Federation of New York honored Steve Potash, president and CEO of leading library ebook distributor OverDrive, Inc., and Stuart S. Applebaum, emeritus executive vice president of Corporate Communications at Penguin Random House. UJA’s annual Publishing Division Dinner, held May 24, marked the first time the organization has acknowledged someone entirely dedicated to digital content with its celebration of Potash’s contributions.
The infamous Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case (Cambridge University Press v. Patton) emerged last month from its long winter slumber to give us yet another 200+ page decision which librarians, lawyers, and publishers have begun to parse and analyze. And, like me, they are probably asking themselves: What does this decision actually mean?
A new industry award aims to highlight extraordinary programs in public libraries across the country. Sponsored by big five publisher Penguin Random House (PRH), the Library Awards for Innovation will “acknowledge innovative public library programs and services that engage citizens in reading while strengthening the social and cultural fabric of their communities” according to a press release. The awards will consist of one $10,000 grant and four $1,000 grants for runners-up. Additionally, each winning library will receive $1,000 in PRH books.
What does fracking have to do with scholarly publishing and journal pricing? While the library financial landscape has improved since the depth of the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, it still cannot be considered robust. As articles such as this one chronicle annual serials price increases, libraries, publishers, and vendors search for innovative ways to fulfill information needs within the finite, predefined budget environment. New business and access models ranging from the initial e-journal big deal packages, article pay per view, open access, mega-journals, and publisher e-journal database pricing have evolved in response to the environment; libraries, publishers, and vendors have merged, consolidated, or disappeared along the way. Just as fracking keeps the oil and gas flowing, these strategies enable the current scholarly publishing ecosystem to extract the necessary resources—intellectual and financial—to survive.