David Worlock | Developing digital strategies for the information marketplace | Supporting the migration of information providers and content players into the networked services world of the future.
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-03-04
"The Springer Nature announcement that they were working with ReseachGate on a fair sharing policy has elements that run right through the tracery of fissures . It tells us that commercial players have no commercial reason to do anything but compete , and that Springer Nature , Thieme , CUP and in time others want to be seen as more user supportive in this regard than , others . This is not for me a new form of permitted “syndication “ – simply a gracious concession to license what users were doing anyway and remove some friction. It also says that in the games yet to be played , many people see tracking usage of the traceable communication as an important source of information , and potentially of revenues . The pressures felt by players like Springer Nature and Wiley as they at once try to differentiate themselves from the very clear stance of a market leader like Elsevier while trying to protect their service integrity at the same time are similarly shown in the Projekt DEAL developments . Market leaders get trapped and isolated in market positions they cannot give up , while the rest dissociate and differentiate themselves as best they can , while trying hard not to lose revenue margins in the process . Then sit down and read the reactions to Plan S – Springer Nature were paragons of moderation and reason . The loudest squeals came from those with most to lose – scholarly societies with journal revenue dependence. ...
So what can the market leader do about this change as they face increasing user criticism ? The traditional answer always was “ push intransigence as far as it will go , and if those who would change the terms of trade do not come to heel , change your CEO as a way of changing your own policy without losing face “ . It may of course be an entire co-incidence that Elsevier’s CEO Ron Mobed retired last week without prior indication that he was about to go , and has been replaced by a very experienced RELX strategy specialist , Kumsal Bayazit . She is warmly welcomed and deserves a good chance to rethink the strategies that have backed Elsevier into a corner with Projekt DEAL and with the University of California . The people who work at Elsevier are , to my certain knowledge , as dedicated as any group I know to the objectives of their customers and the improvement of scholarly communications : they know that at the end of the dy the customer has the final say . And let’s think about what the power of a market leader now really means : 20 years ago companies like Elsevier demanded that authors surrendered their copyrights on the grounds that only the publisher was powerful enough to protect them , while today no publisher is powerful enough to shutter SciHub...."