What are the primary challenges and concerns of leaders for a scholarly publishing organization in the current era? This roundtable discussion gathers some of our industry’s leaders to discuss how they are grappling with these issues. Read the recap below, then explore the full recording and transcripts in our Platform Strategies 2023 Archive.

Stable but unsustainable graphic poster board

Graphic recording of major themes captured live during the session

Speakers: Will Schweitzer (CEO, Silverchair), Tanya Laplante (Head of Product Platforms, Oxford University Press), Lauren Kane (CEO, BioOne)

The "Stable but Unsustainable: Leadership Roundtable" focused on the challenges, concerns, and strategies of leaders in scholarly publishing organizations. The speakers shared their perspectives on managing the increasing complexity of the ecosystem.

The speakers discussed the state of their businesses as being stable but unsustainable. This concept refers to the stability of their businesses in the short term (18 to 24 months) but the uncertainty of economic conditions, generational change, open access, and the need to create new products in the long term (3+ years).

Kane shared her experiences leading BioOne, a non-profit collaborative and publisher with over 350 titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences. She emphasized the need to plan for future pivots and innovations while the business is still doing well. Despite BioOne's current success, Kane acknowledged the need to prepare for new models, products, and services that will be dominant in the future.

Laplante, on the other hand, discussed her role overseeing the strategic development of Oxford University Press's research publishing platforms. She highlighted the challenge of communicating the value of their business model amid a changing funder landscape. Laplante also revealed their strategy of working with Sensus Impact on data to educate funders about their critical role in the research ecosystem.

One of the critical topics discussed was artificial intelligence (AI). Both Kane and Laplante agreed on the need to optimize the benefits of AI while minimizing the risks. They stressed the importance of setting organizational policies and guidelines to address the unique challenges and opportunities in various areas of the business.

The speakers also discussed the theme of disintermediation, which involves driving users to the version of record on the publishing platform and dealing with customers seeking permission to locally host content. They emphasized the importance of illustrating the benefits of platform expertise and the significant investment made in publishing platforms to maximize user experience and discoverability of content.

Lastly, the speakers talked about stakeholder management and the importance of transparency, continual sharing of knowledge, and aligning objectives and goals with their partners. They emphasized the need for data-driven decision-making and the importance of prioritization to ensure the allocation of resources and attention where it will have the most impact.

The roundtable discussion provided valuable insights into the challenges and strategies of leaders in scholarly publishing organizations. It highlighted the need for future planning, embracing AI, managing stakeholders, and the importance of collaboration and community building in the face of uncertainty and change.

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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