Friday 28 June 2013

Four steps for effective journals marketing integration

Do you integrate your journals marketing strategies or are you concentrating on one or two channels?

Alexa Dugan, Associate Marketing Director for Life Science Journals at Wiley-Blackwell, holds responsibility for the global marketing strategy for over 100 journals. Here, she reflects on successful marketing integration.

"Institutional marketing, author marketing, end-user marketing, marketing to funders and developing relationships with Subscription Agents and Aggregators. These are some of the elements today's journal marketer has to integrate into their global strategy.

Journals marketing is becoming increasingly complex, as research continues to evolve and develop in an ever changing environment. This could result in a tendency to concentrate on individual channels rather than implement an integrated approach. However, as the market becomes even more complex, the need for greater - not less - integration becomes apparent.

There are four stages to ensuring successful integration of your journals marketing strategy. You need to:
  1. Set measurable and achievable objectives
  2. Identify each of the channels to market
  3. Identify the most effective and efficient marketing tactics for each channel
  4. Measure results, and crucially, do not be afraid of refining your approach."
Alexa is co-tutor on two ALPSP training courses. Effective Journals Marketing (9 July, London) and Getting the Most from Journals Publicity (20 November, London)

Friday 21 June 2013

So making it OA means you can access it?..Latest issue of Learned Publishing now out

So, an author pays to make their article Open Access in a hybrid journal  and the publisher makes it open – so anyone can see it, right? Wrong. Well, often it’s wrong, simply because library link resolvers work at the journal title not article level. That’s just one of the issues that Chad Hutchens covers in his article on metadata – and it’s one you can’t help feel those resolvers must indeed resolve, somehow. This is one of several articles in the issue on important and long-standing issues in journal publishing. We reproduce a Paula Gantz piece which analyses what difference all those big and consortia deals have made to how we might view journal pricing. And Helen Zhang co-authors a survey on how journals view the republishing of conference papers – a bit of a vexed question for many journals and publishers. Hans Dillaerts and Ghislaine Charlton tell us about a collaborative system for charting all the different policies publishers have on self archiving. Xiang Ren has a piece on the remarkable (at least to me) state-run system for open publishing in China with many thousands of papers, Science Paper Online, which goes in for post publication peer review and then offers a grading system – and it’s started a hard-copy version!

But it’s not all about journals. Two slightly unusual papers about books: Pieter Borghart describes a new Belgian system for ascribing a ‘peer-reviewed’ label for books which seems to be taking off – and it may catch on elsewhere – but if it does, he wants us to be aware of all the (undesirable) consequences that have ensued and need to be guarded against; then Alison Baverstock  and colleague report on their research on self publishing – not, mainly, academic works, but something that could perhaps spill over into our realm. More on that next issue too. And there’s a book review on a book about the history of …. Books.

Not just books either. Margo Leach and Shaun Hobbs have a paper describing how an information system, combining published material and human expertise has been created to provide up-to-date and reliable information on plant health to developing countries – Plantwise.

Experienced editor Mriganka Awati gives us a list of all the things that would really help him in his everyday editing tasks, and wants your suggestions – that’s while he figures out what his author means by ‘PNA-rocked nucleic acid cramp’. Talking of help, Jilan Sun suggests how vocabulary extraction techniques can help non-native English speakers get to grips with foreign language papers.

And, two more book reviews, one quite critical, but the other (mostly) admiring of Sally Morris (former editor of Learned Publishing) et als’ (that can’t be correct punctuation!) Handbook of Journal Publishing.

The editor, ever in iconoclastic or even idiosyncratic mode, has an editorial based on an old Gershwin song – no, not ‘I got plenty of nuttin’’, nor ‘I got rhythm’, nor even ‘I know milk’, but it is about love.

All in all, a varied, not to say haphazard, issue, and a very international one – I hope there’s something in there you can enjoy.
See you in three months.

Alan Singleton
Learned Publishing

Thursday 13 June 2013

Outsourcing: the good, the bad and the ugly. Staying in touch with your suppliers and understanding cultural differences.

Chris McKeown from Aptara
Chris McKeown, European Director Account Management for Aptara outlined the ingredients for a good customer/supplier relationship at ALPSP's Outsourcing seminar today.

The customer must be clear on what the supplier can deliver and any limitations on what the supplier can deliver. They need to avoid the 'yes' pitfall by being clear a supplier won't lose work or damage your perception of them by saying no to something. You have to feel comfortable that the supplier has a clear understanding of the partnership and they know the services the vendor can offer.

The supplier must be clear on the specification for the work and service level agreements (including times and quality measurements). They should understand what feedback and reporting is required as well as what the customer publishes and how the customer likes to work - communication is at the heart of this part of the relationship. Key performance indicators will be based upon communication, service and quality.

McKeown provided a range of tips. Think about public holidays in the country where your supplier is based. Ask the vendor to write up notes/actions to ensure they understand what has been agreed. Also have an escalation list of who to speak to if something does go wrong. Be aware of how an increased  inflow of work can have an impact on quality. Regular vendor reporting and regular calls are a great way to avoid problems.

Laxmi Chaudhry
Laxmi Chaudhry is a Director of 1 Stop HR and a cross-cultural trainer and consultant. She closed the seminar with an engaging overview of communication as the glue for outsourcing. There are several misconceptions people hold about cross-cultural communication.

Do you believe English is a common language? Think again. Jargon, phrases, irony, inference can all be lost in translation. Ask for clarification and confirmation, repeat, put in an email to reconfirm, and don't worry about patronising. That only comes from a tone of voice, not checking what has been understood.

Why does cultural awareness matter? It is about effective communication, language, successful teams and relationships between partners. Motivation and recognition drives higher performance and better collaboration. It also helps you to reflect your market place. It is an effective way of remote working and can impact on your bottom line.

Laxmi suggest that cultures are like icebergs: with explicit/overt observable behaviours above and implicit or covert beliefs, values and assumptions below, which are not easily observable. The key is to understand that what lies beneath is hugely influential on what goes on above. She urged delegates to consider cultural values and how they impact everyday business. Consider the differences in culture on the importance of hierarchy, relationships, context, direct or indirect approaches, how important the group is compared to the individual and the value of losing or keeping face. When you take these areas into consideration, it makes a lot of sense of how people respond.

Other advice included: don't underestimate the importance of non-verbal communication. Check for understanding - don't assume anything. If you are managing important overseas relationships, take steps to work more effectively with partners and have cultural awareness training.

What do the US Open and ALPSP Annual Conference have in common?

This September will see a hive of scholarly publishers converge on The Belfry, 'the spiritual home of The Ryder Cup', for the ALPSP International Conference. Once again, the ALPSP Ringgold Golf Tournament will take place on the final afternoon.

If you love golf AND scholarly publishing, it seems appropriate to highlight two major events this week: the US Open kicks off today and the ALPSP conference early bird rate ends tomorrow. Make sure you take advantage of both.

Richard Fidczuk from SAGE Publications wrote a summary of last year's tournament:

"The now traditional ALSP Ringgold Golf Tournament took place on the Belfry Derby course after the conference finished, on Thursday afternoon. After worries that the weather would be like Wednesday afternoon, when it was hard to hear the conference speakers as the rain was so heavy on the roof of the hall, Thursday afternoon proved to be a beautifully sunny autumn day. There were thirteen participants in four teams, of all standards – and I do mean all, from handicaps as low as 6 to a clutch of high-handicappers , some of whom had only played golf a handful of times. And truly international, with players from The US, South Africa, and the Netherlands, as well as the UK. The Stableford scoring format, which gives players extra shots depending on their handicap, meant that everyone, regardless of ability, had a chance to score points for their team.

It was a closely fought contest, with two teams tying for first place at the end of the 18 holes, and after a tense count back process to decide the winner, the team comprised of Arend Welmers (Quantum90), Mark Carden (Metapress) and Phil Roberts (IET) came out on top. The individual winner was Chris Fell (CUP), who despite his rather ordinary putting (he won’t mind my saying that – I hope!) scored a total of 33 points to win. All winners received a magnificent trophy which cost, literally, pounds.

Thanks to Laura Cox from Ringgold for sponsoring the event again and providing refreshments at the 19th hole; and for Lesley at ALPSP for organizing with the conference venue. We will of course be playing again this year and will be looking for more participants (of all standards)."

Further information on the conference programme is available on the website.
Book your place at the early bird rate until Friday 14 June.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Outsourcing: the good, the bad and the ugly. Selecting suppliers, sales and marketing.

Helen Whitehorn
Helen Whitehorn is Director of Path Projects Ltd and advises organizations on resolving a variety of operational and strategic challenges. She outlined the following five stage framework for selecting suppliers:

  1. initiation
  2. discovery
  3. design
  4. deliver
  5. sustain

Start with a high level proposal and really think about why you are outsourcing. Which processes, departments and people should be involved? Are there key timings, such as product launches to be considered? When you produce the high level stratregic document. You begin to understand whether you know your workflow and what you require.

After developing your high level proposal, you should move on to a detailed specification and preferred suppliers, get an agreement in place and outline suppliers selected, detail the delivery of work underway, and outline monitoring, control and ongoing improvement.

Lorraine Ellery
Lorraine Ellery is a sales and marketing professional with experience in the information industry. She provided an overview of what to consider when outsourcing sales and marketing. Which services do you want to outsource? If it is market research, are you interested in quantitative, qualitative, industry, market or competitor research? Do you want telemarketing, web, PR and media, social media including SEO/SEM or mailings. With sales, are you interested in direct sales representatives, trade fair representation, telesales or sales support? You can also commission consultancy on strategy, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions or strategic alliances.

Ellery outlined suggestions for best practice. These include managing expectations and ensuring you have a mutual agreement. A service level agreement is essential and it should be a professional agreement. The vendor should include a comprehensive sales and marketing plan so everyone is clear about what you want to achieve and what is to be undertaken.

It is very important from a sales agent's point of view that they have clear market feedback. This can be provided in various forms, from discussion with sales rep on the ground to monthly and pipeline reporting, that all good sales agents should provide you with. A timely response to any publisher enquiries is essential for building confidence in progress and reporting. She also suggests that you ask for references and percentages where they have been successful.

What does a sales agent expect from a publisher? An indication of budget really early on as it makes a big difference to proposal they make so it is appropriate. Marketing collateral and product information needs to be of good quality. If it doesn't meet the niche market needs, that can be part of the service that can be provided.

Share competitor information that you can that will help with the agreement. Pricing guidelines are key and include detail on pricing for different markets. The agent will be able to help with this. One model for one territory does not always translate well to another.

Consider conflicts of interest around allocation of resources, whether it is complementing or competing, and around internal communication - make sure work is agreed across the organization. Consider the compensation model. Some models are based on the value of sales, some on economies of sale,  others on commission-only models. Ellery cautioned that the latter holds more risk to the agent as it cuts off time to deliver and the lengthy sales process is not always conducive to reward (sales can come in direct to the publisher or via another sales agent). She advises a combination of fee based service with some kind of compensation model.

Ellery has tended to use formal contracts for services, but it can be as simple as an agreement to accept a proposal. The 3 Cs to bear in mind with a contract are commitment, clarity and communication.

Outsourcing: the good, the bad and the ugly. Edward Wates reflects on the Wiley-Blackwell experience.

Edward Wates, Wiley-Blackwell
Edward Wates is Global Journal Content Director for Wiley-Blackwell. He reflected on the Wiley-Blackwell experience at the ALPSP seminar on Outsourcing, providing insights into what to consider when outsourcing and insourcing, as well as lessons he has learnt.

The wider context for outsourcing is the changing environment. We are in a period of rapid change. There is a reduction in growth, digital transformation of business, with growth in open access that means lower revenue per article. There is restructuring and reinvestment in growth and innovation. Wates believes that you need to invest in article enrichment - they want their content to do more, and they want to use it in a more interesting way.

He noted that journal contract renewals is a competitive matter, often associated with improved royalty payments to keep the business. This will be the case for all publishers. All this has an impact on the cost base, so they have a responsibility to think about this.

What can be outsourced? You have to be careful about what you do and balance what you outsource and insource. This starts with redefining core competencies. They insource content acquisition, editorial judgement, sales reach, and purchasing/specification. They outsource: technology development, 'processing activities', customer services, marketing collateral and support.

You should use a range of financial metrics including cost of sale (typesetting, PP&B), plant costs (copy editing, project management), direct expenses (overheads), and releasing funds for investment. Production insourcing at Wiley-Blackwell has an ethos of 'manage more, do less'. They focus on workflow development, specification, purchasing, training and support, relationship management and project management.

Their content strategy is now multi-channel (web, mobile, ebook and print), multi-product, user focused containing multiple combinations. They also focus on discoverability. Underpinning principles set the framework for think about how they deliver these things. Wates was clear about the need to win hearts and minds internally when outsourcing. If colleagues aren't fully on board they can undermine the work.

The benefits of outsourcing include:

  • increased productivity and cost savings
  • redeployment of in-house staff
  • speed to market
  • efficiency
  • access to competencies
  • access to tools.

Often, you may face a challenge at senior level, where there is lack of understanding of process and tools. This has led them to focus on tools for content management. Other areas to consider are the commoditization of production services, how vendor expertise is developing and widening, flexible approaches and ways of slicing the functions to outsource.

Perceived downsides of outsourcing have to be taken into account. These can include concerns around loss of control, quality and time zone factors. The impact of growing economies and exposure to exchange rate fluctuations, staff turnover,  as well as takeovers and company failure are also areas of concern.

And what about quality issues? It helps to pin down exactly what they are: style, language, layout, timeliness – of these, the most critical is XML. Wates also defined the 'scrutiny effect' whereby the extra attention given to outsourced work may require higher quality levels than previously existed.

In the future Wates believes that speed to market, greater consistency and further standardisation will be critical. New media and enriched content will facilitate a move away from a print-oriented way of thinking about outsourcing.

Outsourcing: the good, the bad and the ugly. Richard Fidczuk on to onshore or offshore?

Richard Fidczuk: onshoring
Richard Fidczuk is Production Director at SAGE Publications. Constant change in both journals and books businesses means the need exists to be able to adapt processes, workflows and systems to meet changing requirements. People are needed to develop these processes, workflows and systems. Managing resources is key. They have developed an insourced approach to offshoring by establishing their Delhi office.

When done well, the benefits are clear: being able to offshore staffing for production has meant reductions of 27% per page costs. Delhi handles SAGE owned journals with society contracts handled from London, due to the complexity of relationship and potential perceived (versus real) issues. He advises not to focus on new processes that are not ready for outsourcing as they are not stable enough.

Growth has enabled them to keep staff after they have off-shored functions. But it wouldn't be large enough alone to cover all staff, so they've looked at the business to change the way they do things so in order to redeploy staff. As their business has been in a state of perpetual change, it has freed them to think about how they can adapt processes to change.

Individual production editor tasks have evolved. They now have end to end responsibility, for online as well as print, with a shift to article based production. SAGE has created a new role - Production Innovation Manager which focuses on the case for improvements to production workflows - particularly around completely new products. They coordinate implementation of changes to processes/workflows and work across departments. They have also established a Global Supplier Manager who handles the relationships with all their typesetting suppliers. Other specialist roles have focused on XML, system specialists/super users, peer review system (using fundref and crossref) and open access expertise (e.g. managing payment interface with finance dealing with licensing issues). They have also used staff to support the training of teams in the Delhi office, to build understanding of the processes that will enable them to work most efficiently.

Other areas that SAGE have successfully off-shored to Delhi include:

  • marketing data specialists now based in India with analysis undertaken in London
  • production and permissions clearance management for SAGE major works
  • journals peer review - SAGETRACK - out to Delhi
  • design, book covers and marketing materials 
  • IT development.

Fidczuk's final bit of advice? They have found that people find it a lot easier to change and adapt if there are real opportunities to develop and take on new roles.

Monday 10 June 2013

Monday 3 June 2013

Roy Kaufman on Five Considerations for Publishers Developing Open Access Business Models

Roy Kaufman is Managing Director, New Ventures at Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) where, since 2012, he has been responsible for expanding capabilities as the business develops new services for authors, publishers and other rights holders. Prior to CCC, Kaufman served as lead counsel for the Scientific, Technical, Medical and Scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., working in all areas of licensing, contracts, strategic alliances and online publishing.

Here, Roy highlights considerations publishers should take into account when developing open access models.

“CCC has been providing services around open access since 2006. Through our on-going work with publishers, authors, agents and institutions around OA, we know several things. Publishers are testing different business models to determine what will work best for their organizations. This means taking into account the needs of various stakeholders, effectively collecting fees from authors and funders, managing a whole range of licensing rules at article level, and measuring and testing. 

Five considerations for publishers to take into account when developing an open access business model include:

1. Open access doesn’t necessarily mean free
There are costs involved in publication, and these can be offset in a variety of ways including through collecting of article processing charges, licensing fees for commercial use and others.

2. There are diversified sources of revenue
Open access challenges publishers’ traditional subscription-based business models.

3. There is a new focus on both pre-publication and post-publication transactions
Streamlined transactions are required for authors at pre-publication, and clear communication of licensing options are required post-publication to ensure compliance with funder guidelines.

4. Increased role for intermediaries
The increased complexity of licensing and access requires better technology and scope for trusted, specialist industry partners to deliver an improved customer experience.

5. Measurement, measurement, measurement
As with all new or emerging business models, publishers need to measure and track the impact of pricing to help develop and improve usage and support clear reporting to authors and funding agents.

These five considerations are drawn from a white paper CCC developed earlier this year to help our publisher clients when considering open access. The full version can be downloaded here."

CCC offers ALPSP members 10% off the RightsLink suite of licensing tools. Review information about their open access solution on their website at