A little food for thought for academic publishers

The ALPSP 2011 International Conference videos are now live on River Valley TV. Several members of the SAGE team were involved in the conference this year, including Global Publishing Director, Ziyad Marar, and Digital Lead, Katie Sayers.

We asked some of the SAGE attendees for their feedback on what they gleaned from the sessions this year:

Caroline Lane, Production Managing Editor told us that Plenary 2: All four corners: worldwide scholarly publishing included some interesting views from South America, Korea and Qatar on online publishing services putting researchers at the centre and working with local institutions. “I especially enjoyed Arend Kuster’s talk on QScience.com, set up from scratch to serve a new research community in Qatar,” she said.

Gavin Lythe, Head of Journals Sales, described Richard Charkin’s contribution: an interesting presentation outlining for the academic publishing delegates the issues that have, and continue to present challenges for the trade side of the industry. Charkin talked about the challenges of trade publishing: transparency; discounting; royalty demands of agents and authors; rights; marketing overheads, and more. Charkin shared that ebook sales continue to grow significantly for trade publishers also. He noted that as new devices come on line, there are obvious peaks in ebook sales as these are launched. “Interestingly we found out that the Nook outsells the Kindle in certain weeks, something I wasn’t aware of,” said Gavin. He added, “A little food for thought for academic publishers, but in other ways many of these challenges are not our challenges. However it was really interesting to get a view of the trade ebook world from someone at the centre of many changes and innovations in the trade world over the years. We left the room with the phrase ‘digital is cool, paper is school’ ringing in our ears.”

Caroline also mentioned some key take aways from Parallel 1(c): Industry Updates. These included: Microsoft’s Academic Search – a site for and by researchers, completely free, and one to watch; DataCite from the British Library, improving accessibility of research data; the further progress of Project Transfer, well known to SAGE; and the Chicago Collaborative.

Were you there? Tell us about your key take-aways from this year’s conference

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