Monday, March 23, 2009

Changes Coming in Scholarly Publishing

Inside Higher Ed is reporting today the University of Michigan Press decision to move its "traditional print operation to one that is primarily digital." It is no secret that university presses have been struggling for some time. The article points to the University of Missouri Press and the State University of New York Press, which have had to lay off staff recently, and to the Utah State University Press which may lose all university support. Michigan's move is meant to be proactive and to reflect "a belief that it's time to stop trying to make the old economics of scholarly publishing work." Officials believe that because online publishing is so much cheaper than traditional publishing, Michigan will be able to publish works that would have been rejected under the current model because of limited potential sales. It will be interesting to see the license arrangements Michigan sets up. Currently the plan is to develop site licenses which would make all the press's books available for an annual flat rate. I would prefer the ability to license only what my library needs, but this is still in flux.

1 comment:

Betsy McKenzie said...

I was just getting ready to post on this topic featuring an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which readers can access at

Great minds think alike, but Maries' mind works quicker than mine, I guess!