|Hannay: authors have more economic power now|
What is a publisher? Hannay doesn't feel like one. He sees himself as scientist who is passionate about technology, who runs a software company within a publishing business. It's interesting to note his company has a portfolio of technology companies that are run like start-ups. This is unusual for publishing.
One of the major purposes of journals is to help researchers learn about discoveries. So the nature of the (traditional) relationship has been between readers and institutions with:
- a reader service
- highly filtered content, but inefficient (high rejection rate and editorial input, peer review adds a lot of value, but takes a lot of time and resource for all involved)
- the reader has little economic power - beyond subscription, very few ways of getting hold of the content other than asking author for copy of paper.
However, the author experience sucks. Publishers provide a clunky interface, opaque processes, are slow, slow, slow, and create Sisyphean experience for their authors. The publishing industry and the people in it, are not without innovation, but there is not enough of it and it tends to come from large, established players.
We are starting to see new entrants who display different relationships. Examples of new start-ups where innovation comes from outside the industry include:
For authors its about career path and development of reputation. Journal publishing isn't everything to this. Metrics also help. Getting information isn't everything, it's about exposing your institution and peers about what you are doing. The different stages are:
- Gaining a reputation
- Finding collaborators
- Finding a job
- Obtaining funds
- Planning experiments
- Learning about discoveries
For the researcher, the cycle is:
- learning about discoveries
- planning experiments
- conducting experiments
- evaluating results
- sharing results
- publishing discoveries
Publishers are in fear of Google, Apple and Amazon and lump them all together. They are all very different business: one is a retailer, one is an advertising network and one is a hardware company. Their common success factor is that they are amazing at technology. There is a direct correlation to mastering technology and success.
Publishers should own their technical development for their markets.