Publishers fulfill a wide variety of needs (which is part of what makes this Scholarly Kitchen article listing the 100+ things publishers do an evergreen reference point), but ultimately, scholarly publishing is in the content business. We wrap, deliver, access, store, promote, and analyze this content in a variety of ways, but it’s at the heart of what we do as an industry.

In the 2024 Publishing Tech Trends report from Silverchair and Hum, industry leaders weighed in on how approaches to that content might change over the course of 2024. Read their answers below, then check out the full report here.

In what ways will we likely see publishers' content priorities shift in the year ahead?

  • “They will shift more toward real-world application.” —Dave Oakley, VP, Licensing, MEI Global
  • “Increased acceptance of AI-supported writing by authors and attempts by publishers to amplify and synthesize content using AI.” —Neil Christensen, Sales Director, Morressier
  • “Technically, making content more machine readable. Commercially, I anticipate a continuation of the drive for content market share.” —Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Executive Director, COUNTER
  • “A continued shift in OA and the emergence of new OA models. An expansion into 'grey' literature and multimedia” —Phoebe McMellon, CEO, GeoScienceWorld
  • “Librarians are looking more and more at content that will support teaching and learning. Mapping current offerings to curricula and identifying new areas in which to focus publishing are two ways to demonstrate value to university programs. This will raise the profile of ebooks and etextbook offerings. More universities are looking at cost to students, so more OA offerings will be crucial.” —Heather Staines, Senior Consultant, Delta Think
  • “I've already noticed a shift in making content easier to read and more discoverable. I think AI will help distill content so organizations can easily repurpose it for different audiences at a low cost.” —Ann Link, Principal, Linked Strategies
  • “I think we'll see a focus on the value-add that publishers actually create, trust & validation of content and sources.” —Christian Kohl, Director Technology & Engineering, PLOS
  • “Less traditional publications and more alternative and creative scientific outputs.” —Avi Staiman, CEO, Academic Language Experts & SciWriterAI
  • “Our editors will continue to strive to publish the very best science in the fields our journals cover. What will shift will be content for post-publication promotion supplemented by AI, with an emphasis on personalization.” —Rory Williams, Director of Communications and Marketing, Rockefeller University Press
  • Video content is ever increasing in popularity, whether perpetual, subscription, or open access. We historically have such a huge focus on journal publishing, so other content types can really struggle to get a look in, or be prioritized. Times are changing. With the increasing shift to open access, organizations are looking for better and new ways to generate revenue. When segmenting audiences into different segments, we know that younger generations prefer video content. Content is just content, and if it is tagged correctly and has the right metadata, the opportunities are endless. Why should it only be PDF and HTML?” —Lou Peck, CEO, The International Bunch
Access the full 2024 Publishing Tech Trends report here.

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