News & Views: What questions should your organization ask during times of change? - Delta Think
peter.suber's bookmarks 2023-09-11
"The world of scholarly publishing continues to evolve.
- Generative AI is currently trending, but new technology is nothing new. Remember the Information Superhighway? Web 2.0? The iPad revolutionizing the way we consumed content? The rise of XML?
- Last summer’s OSTP memo made headlines. A zero embargo on open content is a significant and potentially disruptive change. But new policies have continued to shift: Plan S, the NIH deposit mandate, China’s publishing evolution, the Wellcome Trust’s early OA policies, to name a few.
- Open Access was once an unproven model that many considered unlikely to be financially viable. Born-OA publishers now account for one fifth of content produced and have been growing an order of magnitude faster than the underlying market.
- The APC-based OA business model is now itself being disrupted. Big OA publishers’ growth is slowing. Transformative Agreements and their like might move OA closer to the Big Deal. New Subscribe to Open launches are increasing even as calls for more equity are making publishers rethink their APC models entirely.
- Operations change too. Publishers that once outsourced and divested their production suppliers have been acquiring publishing platforms and services companies as part of their competitive strategy....
Any change has the potential to disrupt the status quo. Another key set of questions therefore falls under the “what might break” category. If a particular policy was enacted or adopted, how might the revenue or cost change? Developing our example of looking at a policy promoting “open” publishing, you might ask:
- What subscriptions might be at most or least risk?
- Are there multiplier effects? For example, bundles or collections of journals that might be much less attractive if just a few key journals were removed or made open.
- Are we clear about the value of subscriptions and of OA activity… by journal/collection/subject?
- Are there other sources of value, such as advertising or licensing? How much are they dependent on paywalls or publishing fees?
- At what threshold might we need to flip a journal from hybrid OA to fully OA?
- At what threshold does a subscription journal become unviable?
- How do we measure thresholds: Pricing? Volumes of output? Usage?..."