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Academic publishing: is it really getting difficult by the day…?

The digital revolution has changed the way in which the reader today looks at the content; technical, educational, or otherwise. Academic publishing especially is experiencing “unprecedented challenges” that are fuelled by rise in digitally available content and in university tuition fees. The academic bookselling industry thus is experiencing an extremely uphill task in reaching the student market. It’s time now that publishers work hand-in-hand with booksellers to face the challenging times to meet the needs of the students and that of the academic market.

The challenge:

Availability of educational content digitally is perhaps the biggest challenge faced by academic publishers, but it is not the only one. Here’s a quick look at some of the other challenges they face these days:

Involvement of statutory bodies: Governments and statutory agencies decide the copyright norms, and define the enforcement guidelines too. This, many a times, outs the academic publishers in a precarious situation.

Emergence of altmetrics: The demand always drives what gets produced. The confusion and disagreement over what should be published, and how to measure the accuracy and authenticity of the content creates radical ambiguity in the minds of academic publishers. Limited growth opportunities: Business must generally grow or die, particularly when you are answerable to shareholders. With more and more content available digitally, publishing budgets are tight and getting tighter.

Amazon: Emergence of Amazon has made it easy for people to look for things online. Today, Amazon controls an increasing share of the commercial exchange in cultural information of all types. And, with more people venturing into online trade (of all kinds including e-books), academic publishers find it difficult to survive in this competitive market.

Limited capacity for reinvention: Can publishers really provide services and solutions beyond traditional books and journals? The answer to this is “no”. With the market getting thinner by the day, publishers have realized that centuries-long past carries with it a very heavy weight of inertia that is not easily thrown off.

“Outsourcing publishing can bring best-in-class service and collateral to your global audience. Considering this option can be the answer to your present day publishing challenges.”

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