Panel: “The Future of Platform Wars: Is this where STM Publishers should be focusing?” Part 2

[At the STM 2015 meeting in London in early December, I was a member of a panel that discussed the topic of “platform wars”: should publishers buy, build or partner?  The panel was moderated by Freddie Quek, previously at Wiley and now a researcher at the Henley Business School.  I represented the platform provider perspective; my colleagues on the panel were Christian Kohl — previously with DeGruyter and now working as a consultant — and James Walker — with IOPP, who has its own platform.
Freddie’s questions to the panel were thought-provoking — i.e., off the cuff answers were not advised!  In this post I’m going to reprise Freddie’s questions, and my answers.  Part 1 of this post appeared previously, and covered questions 1-3, listed at the end of this post. Part 3, the final in this series, will be out in a week.]

4. Should publishers still be building platforms?

  • Isn’t platform just a commodity these days?
  • Is the “Feature race” still on or is it well and truly over?
  • Is it essential for competitive advantage?

Continue reading

Panel: “The Future of Platform Wars: Is this where STM Publishers should be focusing?” Part 1

At the STM 2015 meeting in London in early December, I was a member of a panel that discussed the topic of “platform wars”: should publishers buy, build or partner?  The panel was moderated by Freddie Quek, previously at Wiley and now a researcher at the Henley Business School.  I represented the platform provider perspective; my colleagues on the panel were Christian Kohl — previously with DeGruyter and now working as a consultant — and James Walker — with IOPP, who has its own platform.

Freddie’s questions to the panel were thought-provoking — i.e., off the cuff answers were not advised!  In this post and upcoming ones, I’m going to reprise Freddie’s questions, and my answers.  Continue reading

Recommended Reading: “Impact of Social Sciences” blog from The London School of Economics

Over the last year I’ve been regularly subscribed to the blog, “The Impact of Social Sciences” blog which is one of the 60+ blogs from the London School of Economics blog network.    And I realized in the last few weeks that it has now taken its place alongside The Scholarly Kitchen as one of only two “must read before going in to work” blogs of the several that I follow(1).  I think it is invigorating to read a blog that:

  • often covers publishing, and publishing-related topics
  • is not usually about the business of publishing
  • has few repeat authors — thus a very wide authorship
  • whose authors are not publishing professionals, to a great extent
  • has authors who seem to be typically younger, and in academic careers, and thus have very different voices from those on professional-publishing blogs

I suggest this is important not because I prefer it to The Scholarly Kitchen (which is, after all, my other must-read blog!), but because the diversity of viewpoints, and viewpoints from young academics can be a bright light, where some of us see a lot of grey rather than black and white.   I was realizing this after I read Rick Anderson’s recent TSK post about young librarians being of a single mind on some things — the likely end of “just in case” collections being a case in point — that the older generation of librarians sees as still active debate.

The pieces in the LSE blog are often like that.  While the voices are not intemperate (I don’t see zealotry, just enthusiasm), they are often sure of the direction things are headed, while not quite predicting a sudden tipping point.

The posts often cover assessment of impact (the REF, but also “impact” in the narrower sense of impact metrics), the use of social media, public engagement, the tools researchers use, academic writing, bibliometrics, open access, publishing, etc.   Browse a list of the most recent posts or the most popular posts if you are interested.

What are your favorite blogs or other provocative-reading sources?

(1) The blog of the Stanford Graduate School of Business is next on my list.  It covers primarily management topics, as you’d imagine.