[Published in 'Wired Campus' a blog from The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 11, 2013]
By Jennifer Howard – Washington — Scholarly publishers that want to flourish in the 21st century can’t just keep producing content and selling it to customers. They have to understand how those “end users” work and come up with solutions to help them do their work better.
That advice dominated the annual meeting of the Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, which concluded here on Friday. The meeting brings together commercial academic publishers, including Elsevier and John Wiley & Sons, some of the larger university presses, and scholarly associations with significant publishing programs, like the American Chemical Society and the American Psychological Association.
“If we’re going to sustain ourselves, we can’t just continue to take what our authors deliver to us and provide publishing services,” Steve Smith, Wiley’s president and chief executive officer, told the gathering. “We happily survived for 200 years not knowing who our end user was. We can’t do that anymore.” Publishers must “build out from our traditional business” and look for opportunities “to expand their presence across the whole value chain of higher education,” he said.