Workflow Strategy for Those Left Behind

Roger C. Schonfeld, The Scholarly Kitchen, Dec 19, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a two part article (part one, part two) describing how the 'big two' (Elsevier and Digital Science) are in a race to create "an entirely new class of products, those that support research workflow for the sciences" and how this could "marginalize other publishers large and small." The case is well made. "With the SSRN and Digital Commons preprint services that Elsevier has been purchasing, there is ample potential for connections with article submission and review." But what should the other publishgers do? Here's where the article falters. It likens the situation to the challenge faced by Google from Apple when it launched its iPhone; Google's response was to build a phone of its own and to open-source (but not really open) the Android operating system. But the response to centralization is not more centralization, it's to offer a distributed alternative, and that's what Google did, allowing multiple providers to work together to respond to Apple.

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