In our second annual Publishing Technology Trends report (created in collaboration with our friends at Hum), Silverchair's President, Will Schweitzer, offered some of his predictions for what 2023 holds for scholarly publishing. Below, we've gathered those predictions for a look at what we're seeing among our clients, our colleagues, and in adjacent industries.


What do you see as the number one opportunity for publishers to drive more revenue in 2023?

1) Collections. 2) Continuing to invest in open access programs and launching new open access titles. 3) Monetizing underutilized content like that from digital meetings. 4) Reconsidering third-party content, licensing, and aggregation models.


What do you see as the #1 challenge for digital content publications in 2023?

That we’re still talking about metadata and persistent identifiers. A lot of publishers are now willing to sign transformative deals or into open access pilot schemes and are finding that their institutional identifiers don’t match up across systems or that they don’t have accurate or highly structured funder or grant data in their XML. All of this information is critically important to understanding how open access may change your publications.


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

We’re headed into a year of financial and market uncertainty. In times like these, conservative organizations (publishers included) want to retrench and cut back R&D investment; I think they should do the exact opposite. I think that uncertain times are the ideal time to adapt and innovate, and try out things because it’ll leave you in a better position when the market recovers.


In what ways will we see publishers monetize content in 2023?

I think we’re going to see more creative one-time rather than subscription sales. The backflow model has been really successful for publishers for far longer than any of us thought, and libraries or institutional customers continue to have one-time money to spend. Very few publishers have launched successful B2C product extensions or offers but I hope publishers continue to experiment with these.


What challenges do you see around growing & engaging your audience in 2023?

A lot of publishers have Google Analytics; a lot of publishers have straightforward advertising alerts and email marketing tools; but very few have a sophisticated understanding of the users, purchasers, their journeys or personas to pull together a robust digital strategy. Accordingly the biggest challenges of scaling, and having staff with the knowledge and leeway to implement new processes to experiment with tools and systems, and to try things out. There are very few experts in our industry, but there’s certainly are capable people. 


And one more:

I think we’ll be talking about content and user data security a lot more. Publishers and vendors will continue to build and refine their knowledge and practices around privacy laws and will move from the space of designing features and processes for compliance to ones focused on the user and presenting them with options, educating them, allowing them to make sensible choices in a straightforward and easy way. 


For predictions from other industry leaders, download the full free report here.

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