Six Trends that are Redefining Scientific Publishing Landscape

Many technologies have disrupted the publishing industry and they are proving to be extremely useful. Trends like open access and changing user behaviour patterns are changing the traditional approach and revenue models of the publishing industry. We are witnessing a major shift from a content-based publisher to a service-based publishing organisation.

These trends may look like challenges but they surely open up a wide array of opportunities for the publishers to rethink their business models. The technologies are not only changing the front-end user-based application systems but also the backend internal workflow systems which were often neglected and given fewer priorities.

Gone are the days when the Technology head or CTO would decide what technology or systems are required in the organisation. These days everyone is so familiar with using technologies that most of the technology requirements come from the ground staff who want to simplify their work. However, the digital transformation all boils down to the company’s strategy and vision. We recommend the publishers think over the following key trends before taking a strategic approach towards technology.

User-centred Digital solutions – Knowing your end-user or content consumer in this digital age is more than a necessity. The more you read their minds and predict their behaviour, the easier it is to develop solutions that cater to and fulfill their needs. This is much simpler for your internal systems as the requirements are crystal clear.

The Machine is the New Researcher, Reader /Writer and Editor – Technology has seeped into our lives and taking up our activities of mundane processes or repetitive tasks. We already have Artificial Intelligence conducting the research for us, writing news and stories and editing them. This is a great opportunity for publishers to reduce time on tedious activities and strategically focus more on introducing new and innovative services and solutions.

Copyright infringement – This is directly impacting the primary source of revenue generation for most of the publishers. In today’s world of Sci-hub, publishers need more secure systems to protect their own content.

Data Privacy – Increase use of digitisation has exponentially increased the large volumes of content, which we term Big Data. The content is interlinked and consumed via various channels and services, which has led to many security and privacy violations. There is a pressing need to invest and build systems considering this aspect as reputation and identity management has increasingly become important.

Big Data meets Artificial Intelligence (AI) – What happens when both are interwoven in a system? It simply creates a magic that accelerates the delivery of business solutions and provides a foundation for many more innovative solutions. Big data technologies help publishers to smartly interlink and intelligently use vast data and information. AI can be effectively used for discoverability, collaboration, content enrichment, user behaviour, security and risk assessment, and to predict and organise relevant content. When both Big Data and AI are combined, it can lessen the burden and manual activities of the publishers.

In-house tech teams v/s Outsourcing – How do you decide on this? There is no right or wrong approach to it. As simple as it sounds, if you have in-house technology capabilities, it would be ideal to have an in-house technology team. If not, choose the right partner who not only has the capability to deliver your technology needs but understand your business requirements. The other alternative is to augment your in house team with support from the right vendor; this helps the publishers to have total control over the project and the confidence to deliver it. Often, we see publishers confused when selecting a ready-to-use product or develop their own customised software. The same principle applies, if the product provides a solution to all your requirements, it would be best to choose it. However, do not compromise on your requirements, if you do, it would only cost you double or even triple in the long run.

NEC Software Solutions India has been providing technology consultation and solutions to publishers for over a decade. Our aim is to help publishers in their journey to embracing digital and new technologies. Through our various discussion forums and the Annual Publishing conference, we provide a platform for all the publishers to come together, discuss their challenges, and learn and network with their peers. To know more, visit our website – and register for our 5th Annual Publishing Conference on 2nd October 2017 in London, UK