Dr Frances Pinter (Bloomsbury Academic) discusses the ways in which academic publishing needs to transform itself to respond to the opportunities and challenges of the digital age, at a seminar recorded at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
The digital era has created untold opportunities to broaden and deepen academic communications. It has also brought into stark relief questions of public versus private goods as new pressures are put on both for and not for profit publishing operations to be sustainable. The role of academic publishers is being challenged, as the often publicly funded research ends up being funnelled through the channels of the private sector. At the same time the Internet makes it possible to simply bypass conventional publishers altogether, though some lament the loss of the added value brought by professional publishing. Within this context it is clear that new business models need to be constructed.