December is always a good time to take a moment to reflect and look ahead. Having said that, it sometimes seems to me that our sector is constantly busy discussing the larger industry developments and the impact on publishing business (and budget). In this blog, which you can read in just 2 minutes, I’m looking back at my first year representing Peerwith Publisher Solutions, and I offer my personal opinion on opportunities for publishers.
Earlier this year I very consciously chose to join Peerwith, who provide this smart publisher-neutral platform for peer-to-peer researcher services, encouraging human collaboration, under a fair deal for the academic community. A great proposition, excellent team and technology, visionary ideas for the future (see Ivo’s blog here), and a modern way to fund it all via the ‘crowd’. And above all, an impressive list of partners and customer satisfaction scores.
As this is so clearly an end user proposition, why engage as a publisher? Exactly for that reason!
My opinion is, that if there is one thing certain in these turbulent times in scholarly communication, it is the importance of the relationship with your author, and transparency and excellence of your service as a publisher to them. And secondly, that you, as a publisher, can be in control of your own development roadmap, and provide your own unique author experience by applying modular and interoperable services (partial solutions, from multiple suppliers). And in doing so, become less dependent on others.
I’ve been reading a lot this year about digital transformation, especially in different sectors than ours. In one of the books – Digital Transformation at Scale (by Andrew Greenway et al, London Publishing Partnership, 2018) – I read some great lines about sense of urgency that could easily apply to our research and publishing world: “The future is already there – it’s just not evenly distributed”. And: “If you don’t change… someone else will take over… and in ways which are not always predictable”. They conclude: “Being forced into a response to digital disruption is a riskier strategy than anticipating and planning for it”.
In the spirit of year- end, remember an organization’s vision is sometimes referred to as ‘guiding star’. It is not what we do today, but what we want to become. With this in mind, please consider Peerwith’ inspirational vision:
We push the frontiers of science communication, by providing the most innovative, smart, secure, transparent, integrate-able technology solutions, combined with human interaction, allowing every researcher to collaborate with experts to improve the quality of their academic work and advance science and the world.
I wish you all the very best for 2019.
Yvonne Campfens, Peerwith Business Development Publisher Solutions