This panel discussion showcased both established and emerging collaboratives and engages in a conversation about the challenges faced by independents, the consequences to the scholarly ecosystem if these audiences are lost, and the influence & importance of scale. Read the recap below, then explore the full recording and transcripts in our Platform Strategies 2023 Archive.

coopetition graphic recording poster

Graphic recording of major themes captured live during the session

Speakers: Veronica Showers (VP, Customer Success, Silverchair), Allison Belan (Director, Strategic Innovation, Duke University Press), Wendy Queen (Director, Project MUSE), Phoebe McMellon (CEO, GeoScienceWorld)

This discussion focused on the challenges faced by small and mid-sized organizations in the industry due to industry consolidation, infrastructure complexity, ever-changing research policies, and technological advancements. Increasingly, many of these businesses are creating their own paths forward through transformational partnership models. Independents are teaming up with other independents to leverage smaller economies of scale reduce operational efficiencies, manage risk, find sustainable paths towards OA, and more.

McMellon explained that GeoScienceWorld was founded to help geoscience publishers face the challenges of shifting from print to digital. The organization has now grown to include 35 publishers, offering 50 journals and 2500 books, serving over a quarter of a million geoscientists worldwide.

Showers emphasized the importance of supporting small and mid-sized publishers, who find it increasingly difficult to remain independent due to ever-changing publishing policies and fast-changing technology. She also highlighted how collaborative discussions will help to address these issues.

Belan shared that Duke University Press hosts two collaborations, Project Euclid and the Scholarly Publishing Collective. Project Euclid, a math and stats hosting service, has about a hundred publications from all over the world, 80% of which is open access. The Scholarly Publishing Collective, founded in 2021, offers managed journal hosting, sales, marketing, and customer support.

Wendy Queen explained that Project MUSE is a unique aggregation as part of Johns Hopkins University Press. It serves to support publishers, researchers, and libraries while keeping costs low to libraries and returning high royalties to publishers.

The panelists agreed that technology plays a crucial role in their models. They emphasized the need for technology to enable their services and the importance of making strategic technology decisions that align with their missions.

The panelists also discussed the concept of "coopetition", a blend of cooperation and competition. They acknowledged the complexity of maintaining a collective of societies while growing their individual platforms. They concluded that while technology and collaborations are essential, it's equally important to balance competition and cooperation to ensure the sustainability and growth of their organizations.

View the recording below. To read the full transcript of this session and view the recordings of other sessions, visit the Platform Strategies 2023 Archive.

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