Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Publishing trends to watch

The publishing consultants at Greenhouse Associates have put out a list of Five Trends to Watch in 2008.  The trends focus on non-academic publishing, but consider whether they apply to academic publishing as well, esp. this pair in tension:

3. The pay wall will stand

Online advertising was one of the biggest stories of 2007, evidenced by the growth of online advertising revenues, emergence of new forms of advertising, and the voracious acquisition of online advertising companies by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL. Yet for all of that activity, the business and professional segments of the information business have been largely untouched. Paid content remains the rule for business and professional users, especially as such content becomes increasingly embedded in critical workflow applications used in healthcare, science, law, financial services, construction, manufacturing, energy, and other industries.

4. Content producers will adopt open-source approaches

Wikipedia established the viability of content that is created and maintained by users, rather than by publishers' editorial staffs. Commercial databases have been untouched to date by this open-source mode, and even worked to try to prove the inferiority of such approaches as compared to traditional, centrally-controlled approaches. However, we are now aware of several information companies that are considering opening their databases so that their users can make entries to supplement or correct the publishers' own data. While processes must be worked out in these cases to maintain the integrity of the data, the value of leveraging the resources of the user community appears too compelling for publishers to deny much longer....