Thursday 31 October 2013

Roy Kaufman: Open Access Doesn't Necessarily Mean Free

Roy Kaufman, Managing Director of New Ventures at Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), writes here in a guest post about the real cost of open access.

"There is a popular opinion in the publishing market - that open access means free. However, the truth is far more complex and dependent on the licensing options a publishers offers. We recently produced a white paper to explain where exactly the costs of open access occur and their impact on scholarly and scientific publishing.

Publishers incur costs
Regardless of the open access model, there are still costs of publication. These include recruiting authors, maintaining the peer review system, print and/or digital production, sales, marketing, tagging and linking articles, as well as archiving and making the "version of record" available.

Some users may still need to pay to reuse content
Publishers use a variety of licenses for open access content. Often, they choose those designed by Creative Commons, which provides a range of nuanced licenses. For example, a CC BY-NC license allows derivative works to be made for non-commercial use without an additional license or fee. However, a permissions fee is required to use an article designated as CC BY-NC for commercial purposes. Ultimately, the terms of commercial reuse may be set by the publisher, the author, the author's institution or the funding agency.

Creative Commons licenses and the impact of funding agencies
Many publishers are currently using – or considering – a range of standard licenses provided by Creative Commons. There are several factors to consider when choosing the license type, including the author's goals, the policy of the publishing society or company, the academic institution and the funding organization. This can influence the terms of the license under which an article is published.

In any case, publishers need to recoup the costs of publication to maintain a going concern. In a traditional publishing paradigm, revenue often originates from subscriptions, single article sales, secondary licensing and more. For many Open Access articles, publishers offset costs by securing article processing charges from funding organizations, authors, and / or academic institutions.

What does this mean for publishers?
Clearly, open access presents new opportunities for publishers to serve their customers and authors, and creates an outlet for the publication of ever-increasing submissions. However, it also generates administrative and business burdens that challenge publishers' typical subscription-based business models. There are opportunities to generate revenue with open access such as license fees for commercial use when an article is covered by a CC BY-NC license, and opportunities to provide other services to authors as well.

When exploring licensing options, publishers should consider the following questions:
  • Who typically requests reuse permissions and for what purpose?
  • Under which open access model was the article published?
  • Are there special funder requirements for the author?
  • What are the various revenue components of a journal? How will each model of open access affect them?
  • What is the competitive landscape for the journal as compared with open access options offered by competing journals?
Open access policies present challenges and opportunities for publishers to better serve authors as well as consumers of open access content. A strong licensing framework, communicated clearly to authors and the community, is essential to ensure both quality and sustainability.

These thoughts 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 a special discount off the RightsLink suite of licensing tools. Review information about their open access solution on their website at

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.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

How do you make your publication stand out from the crowd? Julia Lampam reflects...

Julia Lampam: make your publication stand out
'How do you make your publication stand out from the crowd? What tools can you use to publicise a journal article? What can you do to harness the immense power of social media to increase awareness of your content?

These questions and more are raised by publicists, marketers, editors and authors alike as we strive to improve the discoverability of the rich academic content we publish. And why? Because we’re all aiming to increase the discoverability and visibility of an article through a number of metrics and citations, with the impact factor being the most widely used.

It's all about discoverability and visibility on an article level
During our forthcoming course, Getting the Most from Journal Publicity, Alexa Dugan and I will share our experience of maximising the promotional and marketing resources available to extend the reach and impact of the research in your publications.

Publicity by its very nature is unpredictable. 
But by asking yourselves a pertinent set of questions and armed with a handful of tools, you can develop and instigate a proactive media campaign to draw attention to the research. By taking advantage of social media and online networks, as well as traditional PR resources, article level publicity efforts can help you reach wider audiences, increasing web traffic to the content and thereby potentially improving the number of citations.

What works, and what doesn't?
The evaluation of such initiatives plays just as an important role as planning – knowing what works and what doesn’t will enable you to focus on which articles you can target your limited means. Publicity campaigns take time and resource, with some being more effective than others. In addition, there is an on-going debate about how to measure the return on investment on such activity. You can focus on the number of citations, journal impact factors, web traffic to an article, number of downloads but you should also think of other benefits such as attracting key authors, as well as developing and strengthening the relationships between publisher and their communities.

Be part of the conversation
The most successful campaigns enable research to embed itself into extended communities of interest and become part of the conversation. I recall working on a journal article publicity campaign about research into the best way to cook your vegetables … two weeks later I read about the research in the weekly musings from my veg box provider … the campaign had gone full circle! Of course this doesn’t happen every time, but when it does; you certainly get a buzz from instigating a successful media campaign.'

Julia Lampam is responsible for Wiley's corporate communications and book fairs within Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and co-chairs the company's global social media group. Previously she managed their publicity activities, instigating proactive PR strategies for academic journals and the For Dummies and Frommer's brands; as well as launching Wiley’s online newsroom.

Julia is co-tutor on Getting the Most from Journal Publicity with Alexa Dugan. Book your place now.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Reaching readers, and dealing with data: preparing for phase two of publishing’s digital transformation

Alastair Horne is Social Media and Communities Manager for ELT at Cambridge University Press. Here, in a guest post, he reflects on the changing skill set of the wider publishing sector, as Creative Skillset calls for final contributions to their industry panels

"Whisper it, but the publishing industry has – mostly – coped tolerably well with the first phase of its transition to digital. Ebook sales have risen to account for about a quarter of all trade revenues without destroying the industry’s financial model, while some non-trade publishers like Wiley are now reporting that more than half their income is coming from digital products.

In many respects, publishing was better prepared for digital than the hype would have had you believe, since industry workflows had already been predominantly digital for some time. For most employees, the change has primarily been a question of thinking digitally: being aware of the possibilities offered by digital products and adjusting their thinking accordingly. Where radically new skills were required – in, for instance, the building of digital products such as apps or learning platforms – publishers have mostly addressed the issue by buying in the skills they lacked: typically by hiring external developers, often offshore.

New roles have also grown up in the hinterland between publishers and developers. 

A need has arisen for people who can translate the sometimes vague aspirations of a commissioning editor into a document sufficiently precise that nothing is left for a developer with very different cultural assumptions to misinterpret – and then to translate the developers’ responses into terms non-technical editors will understand. People in such roles don't need to be able to code – if they could, they'd be working as coders and getting paid much more – but they do need to be able to understand what it's like to code, and what information a developer requires to do his or her job successfully.

Now, as we enter the second phase of publishing’s digital transformation – focusing on readers and data – we in the industry have an opportunity to ensure that our staff possess the skills that will be required. Creative Skillset – the licensed Sector Skills Council for publishing and other creative industries – is seeking vital feedback from employers and professionals in the publishing industry to identify skills needs and develop solutions to support those needs.

This second phase is likely to follow a similar pattern to the first. As publishers adjust their bifocals to switch from their near-sighted focus on booksellers to the longer-distance vision required to engage with readers, change may follow a similar pattern as before. There will be most likely be some changes to the everyday skills required by publishing employees, some of the more technical skills will be bought in from outside, and some new roles created in the space between the two.

Many of the new roles are already in place at more forward-thinking publishers.

Market research analysts, for instance, and social media and community managers (such as myself), responsible for nurturing relationships across third party owned platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and across publishers' own purpose-built platforms. The more technical roles – manipulating massive amounts of customer data – may once again be contracted out to companies better able to provide these specific skills.

The most wide-ranging change will be amongst those employees whose job titles won’t change.

Though their skill set will need to. From commissioning editor to marketer, the ability to put the reader at the heart of every aspect of the business, and to make better decisions informed by the data others are gathering and interpreting, will be vital."

Alastair Horne tweets as @pressfuturist, and blogs at
Creative Skillset is the Sector Skills Council for the Creative Industries.

Thursday 17 October 2013

Valuing Intellectual Property. Priorities for New Governments: Meeting Consumer and Business Expectations in the UK and Europe

Vince Cable addresses the audience
Valuing IP was the third annual intellectual property conference held by the Alliance for IP in London today. Delegates heard a number of high profile political figures - from Vince Cable to the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Michel Barnier - on the value for intellectual property and the latest policy directions.

Rick Nye, Director of research and strategy consultancy Populus, kicked off with a few key statistics. They interviewed 2,052 British adults online in September 2013 to explore public attitudes towards intellectual property rights. Some of the findings are striking, while some will come as no surprise. People born after 1980 are twice as likely to commit IP infringement than those born before. IP infringement is a massive issue for the creative industries. Interestingly, respondents were far more comfortable with the concept of goods and services IP infringement, but not so with personal data.

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, stated his long standing interest in IP and copyright. There is wide recognition within the UK government of how important the creative industries are to the UK economy. What creates economic growth? Research suggests 40% comes from innovation of various kinds, which is underpinned by IP and copyright. He believes that Britain is particularly good at the fusion of creative and science, technical and engineering, but there is a challenge around building skills and balancing across science, technical, arts and engineering, to ensure we have the best workforce to adapt and innovate. The work of the Creative Industries Council and Creative Skillset are central to this aim.

There have been positive steps forward in the last few years with the launch of the Copyright Hub and a lot of progress for developing common standards for data standards. It is important for the UK to be the European centre for content licensing. Other initiatives include IP attaches around the world, small claims track in county court, and - reflecting the balance to strike in each area between protection and access - small changes in copyright to allow acceptable consumer behaviour (e.g. transferring across devices).

Cable believes there is an important role for government to play with educating on the importance of IP. While abuse of IP seems to be declining and more people are paying for their music, there still remains a hardcore: 10% of infringers are responsible for three quarters of infringement. The IPO will launch the 'Music Ink' download game designed to reach over 1 million young people, which will communicate the basic idea of damage done by illegal downloading.

The audience had the opportunity to take part in regular live polls. When asked 'Has the government been supportive of those who rely on IP?' 16.7% chose 'not supportive', 69% 'quite supportive', and 14.3% 'very supportive'. Panellists Mike Weatherley MP, the Prime Minister's Advisor on IP, Martin Spence, Assistant General Secretary at BECTU and Bill Bush, Director of Policy at the Premier League were in general agreement with this spread of sentiment.

Arlene McCarthy in conversation with Lord Clement-Jones
Lord Clement-Jones, 'in conversation' with Arlene McCarthy MEP, stated his belief that the Copyright Hub is the best thing to come out of the Hargreaves report and we need to ensure the UK perspective is represented fully in Europe. McCarthy provided a rude awakening on Britain's standing in the EU. While we have a pretty good track record of pushing through necessary IP protections. (e.g. trade marks, customs regulations, orphan works, etc) the UK's influence in Europe is not good, as we have failed to engage. We are not a popular member state because of the way we negotiate. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is an example of this. Many felt it was a good thing, but it went down in a blaze of fire.

Opposition from those who don't like copyright can be strong. Often votes are won only by narrow margins. When people really want something they are highly motivated (e.g. UKIP, Pirate Party, etc) We have to be ahead of and stealthier than them. Industry has to be fit to adapt and tackle the challenge of the internet, but that doesn't mean changing copyright legislation if it's fit for purpose. McCarthy's sentiments echoed those of Eric Merkel-Sobotta, who urged publishers at the recent ALPSP conference to find out who their MEP is and to write, write, write to them to ensure our voice is heard.

She believes that UK industry always has an open door. The move away from Hargreaves has improved our standing in the EU. The ecommerce directive does actually work quite well - fast and quick. A separate notice and take down directive will potentially add more barriers. France and Italy have a big stake in this and are likely to support us. Germany is more ambivalent as their manufacturing is so strong, the creative industries are not as crucial, and they believe that content should be more freely available. For the UK, the creative industries are the only ones holding their own in the financial crisis. We need to support them.

There is a huge opportunity: the internet is there to use in different ways. In the end, the internet needs content - it is its life blood. The creative industries should be more robust about their position. In return for that content, the internet companies should work with us to support us. McCarthy believes there is room for both free and professional content on the internet. And it is not unreasonable that professional content should be paid for. After all, she wouldn't expect a plumber to come and fix her boiler and then not pay him.

The conference closed with a key note speech from Michel Barnier, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market. IP is the backbone to the market with €4.7 trillion generated by IP each year and more than a third of all jobs are directly or indirectly from IP intensive roles.

There is a balance between this and ensuring IP legislation is fit for purpose in the 21st century. IP is not just about jobs and economic value, it's part of life for everyone: not just about how we consume content, but also about rights, access to information and diversity. Copyright must not be a block to content creation. The EU published a road map on developing copyright last December. Reform is long overdue and the aim is to catch-up now. The full transcription of Barnier's talk is available online.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Pixel imperfect: Serving an online audience with responsive content

Michael Cairns, COO at Publishing Technology
Michael Cairns, COO at Publishing Technology, kicked off the Pixel Imperfect session at Frankfurt Book Fair's Contec conference. He asked what is responsive web design?

In 2010 Ethan Marcotte coined the term in a landmark article on A List Apart. It is not a new idea, but made possible by recent technologies. Responsive web design is about designing systems, and not websites. It forces us to think bigger and put users and how they use content at the centre of the design process.

The Boston Globe site is a good example of responsive design - resize your browser to see how the content reflows. It's worth bearing in mind that Google has a preference for accessible websites with one set of content and one URL.

Gartner reported that enterprise tablet adoption is growing by 50% per year. Mobile is increasingly important. Now is the time to think about what your responsive web design strategy is going to be. Don't forget that libraries subscribe to a huge amount of content

But it is a confusing landscape: not just Apple, but Android, and for now, Blackberry. When you see stats such as the IBM/Tealeaf report that 85% of users expect that a mobile website should be at least as good as the desktop, you have to move forward with responsive design.

Some considerations:
  • Do you want or need to be in the App store?
  • Do you rely on or make use of device-specific functionality like the camera?
  • Do you have a specific functional focus?

Do you have a content focused approach which requires broad device support? Are there frequent content changes and do you need better discoverability via a third party such as Google? Plan with several things in mind: the audience, content and functionality (Cairns stresses the importance of content strategy), capability, and cost process. Context is very important. With the device, what device is typically used? With the location, where is it used? With time or circumstance, what's the experience (e.g. physicians on the ward)?

It's complicated. Apple iOS has 6 different size/resolution combinations. HTC has 12. Even within these platforms there is significant deviation. And it is getting more complicated with the introduction of Microsoft and Asus tablets.

Cairn's advice on how to do RWD right starts with understanding your users and how they access and use your content. Prioritise your content based on the above, then build a site architecture that answers to these priorities. Design a site that provides content for users across device-types and contexts, with grids and typography and images that adapt.

What is responsive web design? It is where you maintain one website that services all devices and screen sizes. It provides complete support for all web pages and features, regardless of the device or screen size. And it enables you to implement changes across all devices.

Michael Kowalski from Contentment, with a cloud
Michael Kowalski, Founder at content editorial start-up Contentment, observed that online increasingly means on a tablet, device or a phone: it's not just about the web any more. There are two new channels, ebook and apps, that are of interest to publishers (as you can make money out of them).

Crucially, there's no standardisation with apps. Kowalski took the last ABC audit figures on the PPA website and crunched the data. He found that in magazines and business media, print is seeing a 10% year on year decline while there is 108% growth on digital.

There's a lot of room for growth in magazines and business media. As a sector, they initially tried a number of techniques to get their content onto devices. First of all they did nothing, taking content, putting it into PDF and then on to the app store. But replicas on phones are rubbish. Then they stuck with the familiar and replicated magazine layout. Now they are going with CSS (and similar) media queries honed on the web that can be used to do responsive content. There are a number of tools that can be used for hybrid apps (native apps with HTML5 inside) including PhoneGapTrigger.IO and pugpig.

Kowalski believes web publishing killed content design. He asked what happened to creative freedom? What happened to designing around our content? Did we struggle in vain? Can't we have those nice things? Developers think template first, squirt content through it later, separate content from presentation. Designers think that a template is a starting point.

Kowalski believes that you can turn one big problem into many small problems. How do you deal with fixed aspect ratio? You could crop, but do you have rights to do that? You can tag an image as portrait, landscape or squarish, using captions. You can use templates with manual override to adapt to different images or use disclosure (+ sign to open up text).  If you use tables you can convert each row to a mini table on small screens, add paging or disclosure to avoid long scrolling experience. Fonts can be painfully expensive so open source fonts are well worth investigating.

Solve each of these issues one by one, but what about bigger problems? A little bit of print content can go a long way in digital. There are various ways you can pack more content into the same real estate without it becoming too noisy. But content fitting is a hard habit to kick. Responsive design is a big, hard change for print designers. Web designers are your friends. Kowalski closed by urging the room to think more like digital product designers.

What does the user want to do? How can we make it easy for them?

Big Data / Little Data: The practical capture, analysis and integration of data for publishers

Laura Dawson, from Bowker, leans in.
Laura Dawson from Bowker provided the ultimate 'Data 101' for publishers at the Big Data/Little Data session at Frankfurt Book Fair's Contec conference.

She cautioned that data doesn't stop with getting something on Amazon. They have tracked the explosion in the amount of books. In the United States there were 900,000 books in print in 1999. This grew to 28 million in 2013. Information is on a massive scale. We are swimming in it.

There is a problem and opportunity in this abundance. The problem is with fluidity - all this information is out of the container. Abundance, persistance and fluidity lead to issues with discovery.

There are four different types of metadata:

  1. Bibliographic: basic book information, the classic understanding of metadata.
  2. Commercial: tax codes, proprietary fields.
  3. Transactional: inventory, locations, order and billings, royalties, etc.
  4. Merchandising: descriptive content, marketing copy, consumer oriented content.

Part of the challenge of managing metadata are the many different sources. There are publisher prepared files, publisher requests (typically email), data aggregators (e.g. Bowker), social reading sites, online and offline retailers and libraries (remember them?).

Other complicating factors for digital metadata include differential timing (physical books require 6 months prior, digital upon publication). There are different attributes and more frequent price changes. Conversions are often outsourced and, in relative terms, this is a whole new process.

Current metadata practices tend to include creation in 4 primary departments (editorial/managing editorial, marketing, production and creative services). Management responsibility varies by sender. Most publishers treat publication as end date for updates (although this is changing). Complete does not mean accurate, inspection is limited. And prepping metadata is somewhat ad hoc. But it's not all bad news. Many publishing houses are now looking at metadata as a functional map. They are examining the process and putting all data into a metadata repository.

Best practice in organising metadata is emerging. You need a hub - a single source of truth for your data able to deal with multiple contributors and multiple recipients. Design defined roles and provide a single source. Identifiers are much more efficient to search engines than thesauri. Text matching doesn't work across character sets or even languages that use the same characters.

There are a number of codified representations of a concept that should be used as they are helpful to search engines as they are short cuts:

Machine language is key. Codes are easier to process than text, faster and less complex. Codes are unambiguous. Natural language evolves and is more unstable. You can use linking data sets using ISNI. Content's new vocabulary is based upon:

  • structured content
  • linked data/linked open data
  • the semantic web
  • ontology
  • Good Relations - an ontology devised specifically for describing products for sale
  • RDF - Resource Description Framework
  • and data visualisation.

Steve Smith, President and CEO at Wiley: Persevering in the Middle

Steve Smith, President & CEO of Wiley
Steve Smith, President and CEO of Wiley, opened the Contec conference at Frankfurt Book Fair with a call for publishers to expand along the value chain of their customers.

Wiley traditionally focused its offering in pedagogical support and active teaching evaluation. Through their acquisition of Deltak, they now offer a total turn-key solution for the provision of higher education.

Transformation in the business has to go beyond digital. Go deep: it is no longer enough to be a provider of information. You must build a relationship with your community. Solutions are found through deep knowledge of customer workflows to find ways to solve their pain points and go beyond their needs. You must focus on outcomes, for example, in research recognise the key driver to publish articles is reputation, develop proven outcomes that will support that. 

He reflected that it has to be digital. Their scholarly journals business is now 85% digital. They produce highly discoverable, enriched content using enrichment and semantic tagging. However, they still continue to depend on library budgets. And it's a fact these budgets are not growing to keep pace with spending of research and development.

There are some major challenges in the digital marketplace. In some segments of the business, substitution is an issue. Consumers find they can get access that is good enough to solve their needs, free to use and paid for by advertising. There is a change in the balance of power between device manufacturers and content distributors on one hand and content creators on the other. You have empowered and demanding consumers. As we have seen with ebook pricing, digital business models are often weaker than traditional, legacy models.

Wiley have responded by looking at pain points for customers and developing solutions through their value chain. They looked at the research cycle to see where they could provide business solutions to help the community. Smith broke this down into a cycle with four stages:
  1. Ideation: they provide competitive intelligence, insight and decision support, literature interaction and data review.
  2. Planning: opportunities to help with grant-writing, compliance and research planning.
  3. Experimentation: solutions around protocols, data management, data analysis and resource management.
  4. Dissemination: assistance with data sharing, IP protection, publication and networking.
On the professional side, they have shifted their focus to the 'Wiley Career Arc'. Again, it is through looking at the pain points in career development - from leaving university with the qualifications, but not necessarily the skills, to securing the necessary professional practice qualifications - their focus shifts from educational practice to being all about people and jobs.

You must leverage strengths and assets. How do you cope with the challenge of how to develop new business solutions at the same time as enhancing and protecting your core, legacy business? Focus on your content strengths and build on your deep knowledge of the communities you serve. Expand along the value chain of the customer and build/partner/acquire to deliver this (as they did with Deltak). 

Innovation that isn't customer led is not going to be successful.