Tuesday 8 August 2023

The Fall’s Big Topics in Publishing & Technology

By Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen, Silverchair

Silver sponsor of the ALPSP Annual Conference and Awards 2023.

As we hope you’ve heard, Silverchair is bringing back the in-person version of our popular industry event, Platform Strategies (27 September in Washington, DC). Preparing for this industry-wide event means surfacing the larger themes in scholarly publishing and technology more broadly, to ensure we create a program that engages our best minds on the stickiest challenges and biggest opportunities.

Here are the themes that rose to the top for us:

  1. AI: Of course. Though funny enough now, when we were planning the agenda back in February, we did wonder whether all the then-ChatGPT-sparked hype would have faded by the Fall. We gambled that it wasn’t going anywhere, and we were right. Artificial intelligence and large language models are sure to disrupt every aspect of scholarly publishing (and the world at large), from how infrastructure and platforms are developed to how content is discovered, used, and licensed. As our keynote speaker, Nita Farahany, puts it: “How do we avoid the dangers of lost privacy and rights while taking advantage of the unprecedented opportunities? With the rapid advance of wearable neurotech and generative AI, we face important ethical questions about privacy, human rights, equity—and even what it means to be human.”

  2. Coopetition: Partnership models for independent businesses: Industry consolidation, infrastructure complexity, the challenges of keeping up with new and ever-changing research policies and publishing models, and technological advancements and innovations, has left smaller and mid-sized organizations looking for options. Our industry contains both established and emerging collaboratives responding to these challenges, who are giving voice to the consequences for the scholarly ecosystem if these audiences are lost.

  3. Digital to Data: Open access policies, industry mergers, and data privacy policies have drastically changed the landscape for marketers in publishing and beyond. Today's marketers have had to nimbly pivot from B2B to B2C, from siloed to unified, and from highly produced to highly personalized. Further, AI-powered tools rely on clean and comprehensive data to be most effective, shifting the focus of marketers and scholarly organizations at large.

  4. Syndication: Platforms as a hub, not a destination: We’re seeing a number of pilots, models, and approaches for finding readers off-platform and bringing data, usage, and community efforts back to the version of record.

  5. Integrating digital event workflows, assets, and strategy: With publishers looking to increase member engagement and grow revenue, they’re examining how digital event content is being leveraged: what's working, what's not, and what's coming up next. 

  6. Ethics in Publishing: Research integrity, trust in science, transparency in data usage: As seen in the themes and sessions in industry meetings like SSP and ALPSP this year, research integrity and ethics more broadly are a big focus for publishing organizations. Fortunately, new tools and policies are helping to light a path forward.
What trends would you add to this list? How will this list change in 2024 and beyond? Let us know what you think! (We’ll also be gathering your insights for the 2024 iteration of our Publishing Tech Trends report.) Or, join us at the ALPSP conference or for Platform Strategies in DC and discuss it live! 

Silverchair is a proud Silver sponsor of the ALPSP Annual Conference and Awards 2023.

About the author

Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen is VP of Marketing at Silverchair. She has worked in the publishing industry for over 15 years, including at the University of Virginia Press and Clarivate Analytics.

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