As leaders in digital innovation, we’re constantly considering and testing the impact of new technology and fresh approaches to hone best practise, enhance user experience and grow revenues. These are some of our latest thoughts and findings:
Two library events this summer – plus librarian interviews – have provided an updated perspective on what’s happening at the intersection of library, technology, research and publishing. There are a lot of moving parts in the research ecosystem, and librarians are acting as consultants on changing research tools and services. In this role libraries are closer than ever to the researchers and their research process themselves – those creating new knowledge.
A pair of articles bookended the summer with bibliometric data that tells us something about the correlation of writing style and citation counts:
Shorter-title articles have more citations.(1)
Longer-abstract articles have more citations (2)
At first these seemed contradictory to me. Surely either less is more, or more is more? I read the longer-abstracts piece (not an article, but an editorial that includes analysis) early in the summer and imagined a logical progression:
Recently, I was introduced to something called Domain Driven Design (DDD). There’s a great book on the subject by Abel Avram and Floyd Marinescu available for free at infoq.com. One of the more intriguing concepts from DDD I found described in the book is the ‘ubiquitous language’.
There are few topics in digital publishing that cause so much debate as that of research impact. A lot of this debate – within the publishing world, at least – has tended to focus on ways of improving (or improving on) existing mechanisms. How can we make Impact Factor work better? Should we put less emphasis on the journal and more on the article – or on the author?
Funders, meanwhile, seem to be in a different galaxy.
If you write article titles, be clear, not cute.
Every journal that I work with has declared the “online version is the journal of record.” But some still seem to write for print, not for online, when they write article titles that work in print, but don’t work in the nearly-context-free online places that headlines appear.
August is the “hinge month” in the academic calendar, a time just before we walk through the doorway to the next academic year. This might be a good time to take a look at what kinds of things have been surprising in our “industry” over the past years, before we have a new year of surprises!
I’m thinking about things that are surprising because
Can you answer these questions?
- Do you reject quality content in one journal that you could use to start a new journal? Are the articles you published this year higher impact than last year’s?
- Are you anxious about the impact of the new journal you just launched?
- Has your tighter acceptance rate helped your competitors get better articles?
- Are you rejecting some very high impact articles?
- What topics that you publish are “trending”?
A new platform build represents a substantial investment for a publisher. Getting to pay-back quickly, and ensuring that this new development fulfills all the bright hopes that the business held for it, ought to be a guiding priority. But the language we use to talk about web development, and the habits of mind it gives rise to, often obscure the importance of ROI, and lead us to believe that the development team’s job is all done and dusted the moment a new site gets launched. A website isn’t a house – and here’s why.
We were pleased to see Mandy Hill of Cambridge University Press standing up for the importance of profitability and innovation in a recent interview by The Bookseller. For her, it seems, the two are closely linked.
Like many other university presses, CUP has charitable status, and strictly speaking doesn’t report a profit at all, but what is known as a ‘surplus’. However, this surplus is highly necessary to fund investments in innovation. ‘… Increasingly, as we need to innovate and develop the business, we need the money to do that. We need the profitability.’
User Experience (UX) is an increasingly significant discipline within the mix of skillsets that goes into building publisher platforms. However it can seem like a dark art. Even those who get it sometimes wonder whether they fully understand what it is (or should be).
For instance, what would you say is the job of a UX designer? To design a user experience, surely? Wrong.
To control user behaviour then? Double wrong.