News and Opinion

August 2016: Forthcoming conference attendance

This is what our conference attendance for the foreseeable future looks like:

  • ALPSP, September 2016, Simon Inger (speaker) and Julie Neason

  • Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2016, Simon Inger

  • Charleston Conference, November 2016, Simon Inger (speaker)

  • Crossref LIVE16, November 2016, Tracy Gardner

  • STM Digital Publishing, December 2016, Simon Inger (keynote speaker)

  • London Book Fair, March 2017, Simon Inger, Tracy Gardner and Julie Neason

  • UKSG, April 2017, Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger

We hope to see you at one of these forthcoming events, so please do let us know if you are coming along and would like to set a meeting time to discuss industry developments and current projects.


May 2016: Problems with IP Addresses and Usage Statistics

When we released our work on discovery in March, a number of people questioned why we needed to do it, when "publisher web logs could tell you all you needed to know". We explained why the research was necessary in our editorial for UKSG E-news a couple of weeks ago, but in brief, one thing we concluded was that using IPs as a method for identifying institutions is currently flawed.

With this in mind, we attended an interesting session at UKSG jointly run by Andrew Pitts from Publisher Solutions International (PSI) on IP security along with Charlie White from SAGE and Keith Abbott from Wiley. Between them they reported some alarming statistics.

An audit of publishers' IP addresses they hold for libraries showed that 58% of them required investigation because of inaccuracies in their data.

Errors occur because of mistyped IP addresses, either by the library administrator who manually enters them into the library administration area of a publisher website, or by the customer service operator at the publisher. Some of the inaccuracies are also caused by fraud - it is very easy to insert false IP addresses into a publisher system as there are no checks on the data that is being entered.

IP addresses themselves are not a perfect solution to authentication, for example 12 separate institutions in Germany share an IP range, for example 111.222.*.*. Entering that single IP address will authenticate everyone in those 12 institutions whether they have paid for the content or not. It will also attribute a download to each organisation the publisher does have a deal with - thereby incorrect usage statistics are recorded. Wiley has been working with PSI for 11 years to rectify the problems incorrect IP data brings.

PSI believes the industry needs a practical, economically viable and effective solution for managing IP addresses and that is what they are working on with The IP Registry.


April 2016: Simon Inger takes on part-time position with ACCUCOMS

Simon Inger has taken on a role of Chief Innovation Officer at ACCUCOMS as announced today (see http://www.accucoms.com/news-press-releases/).

Whilst taking on this role with ACCUCOMS, which will account for half of Simon’s time, Simon will continue with his successful consultancy business as usual, working on a wide range of projects for societies, publishers, and industry intermediaries in North America and Europe. Simon Inger Consulting now has four consultants working in the business, and subject specialists working on content development projects. The team works closely together on a wide variety of projects for publishers across the world.

Simon's work with ACCUCOMS is complementary to the work of SIC and creates no conflict of interest with any current or prospective projects.


March 2016: Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger publish results of largest ever study into How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications

The open access report, which is the culmination of a 12-month research project and has the backing of leading publishers and intermediaries within STEM, Humanities and Social Science, compares changing reader behaviour between 2005 and 2015.

Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner announced today the publication of their second major report into discoverability of online content. Published under a CC-BY NC licence the report can be downloaded from their website at http://sic.pub/discover

This report is the output of a large-scale survey focussing on journal and book content discovery conducted between September-December 2015. Over 40,000 researchers; students; teachers; lecturers; professors; journalists; managers; clinicians; medics; librarians; government officials; and engineers working across all sectors and in all regions responded to the survey, which was supported by Annual Reviews, American Theological Library Association (ATLA), The Bone & Joint Journal, Brill, Cambridge University Press, The IET, ingentaconnect, The JAMA Network/American Medical Association (AMA), OECD, SAGE, and Wiley.

Tracy Gardner commented "This report is essential reading for everyone in the scholarly publishing community. The differences in discovery behaviour across regions, sectors, subject areas and job roles are significant and need to be understood by publishers, discovery resource providers and technology vendors. This research would not have been possible without the help of all of our supporters."

A selection of headlines from the research include:

  • More than half of all journal content delivery appears to be from free incarnations of articles. PubMedCentral is popular in the medical sector and social media sites appear to be a significant source of free articles in lower income countries.
  • A&Is are in decline, but remain the most important starting point for search
  • Academic researchers in high income countries rate library discovery as highly as A&Is, and rate academic search engines as the most important discovery resource when searching
  • Online book discovery varies significantly by sector
  • Publisher web sites have become more popular as a search resource
  • Google Scholar is used more than Google in the academia, but less than Google in all other sectors.
  • Access to scholarly content by mobile phone accounts for only about 10% of the use.

Simon Inger said "Content discovery remains a highly competitive space with no clear winner – people use a wide range of discovery methods and tactics for perfectly good and logical reasons. There is no single ‘right’ answer."

The report can be downloaded from the SIC website at http://sic.pub/discover. The full data set and analytical tool containing 60,000 responses from 2012 and 2015 is also available for purchase. Detailed segmented reports can also be commissioned from the authors.


March 2016: Meet us at UKSG or the London Bookfair

SIC will be attending both the UKSG Annual Conference in Bournemouth and the London Bookfair in April.

Simon, Tracy, Julie and Sam will be available to discuss our activities over the past year and to show you the output of our very large scale survey of researcher behaviour, published at the end of March.

If you think we might be able to assist you in any forthcoming projects, or would like to know more about what we do, please get in touch. During the past year we have undertaken projects including:

  • Helping societies to assess their publishing partnership arrangements and in many cases to re-tender them
  • Working with self-publishing societies on strategy, business models, scope and marketing to help maintain their competitive position
  • Provided detailed input to guide publishers on platform selection, development and implementation
  • Performed detailed analyses of best-in-practice publication web sites to help guide publisher web site development
  • Cemented our position as the world’s premier consultancy in journal discovery by performing a very large scale reader discovery-behaviour survey

SIC has expanded during 2015, and is now a team of five consultants with a wide range of skills and expertise in scholarly publishing.


March 2016: Understanding E-Journal Technology

There are still a few spaces left on Understanding E-Journal Course run in conjunction with ALPSP on the 22nd March in London. Booking information can be found on the ALPSP website.

Tracy Gardner discusses why the business technology side of eJournals is so complex and outlines the value of attending the course on the ALPSP blog

The course will include up-to-date graphs and insights from the soon-to-be-published "How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications". This report is the culmination of months of work and aims to understand the research behavior of people working across sectors, job roles and regions and contains the responses from over 60,000 people over 10 years.


December 2015: How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications - survey closes

Thanks to all of our supporters, listed below, we have more than doubled the number of responses received in 2012 with a whopping 40,443 people taking the survey. Responses are nicely spread across the world with roughly 25% of the responses from each of North America, Europe, Asia. Likewise the subject coverage is looking good, with all STM and HSS disciplines covered in good numbers.

This much-anticipated research is a continuation of the work carried out in 2005, 2008 and 2012 and will allow in-depth reporting on the discovery behaviour of people working and studying in HSS and STM.

The survey itself has been very well received, with hundreds of comments left supporting this research. The results should be ready and published in February 2016, and a detailed report will be made freely available to everyone, thanks to the generous support of:

  • American Theological Library Association (ATLA)
  • Annual Reviews
  • The Bone & Joint Journal
  • Brill
  • Cambridge University Press
  • The IET
  • The JAMA Network/American Medical Association (AMA)
  • OECD
  • Publishing Technology
  • SAGE
  • Wiley

December 2015: Sam Burrell joins SIC

SIC is delighted to announce that Sam Burrell will be joining the organisation and will be taking an active and leading role in a number of projects in the New Year. Sam brings a wealth of experience in product development, platform definition, design, implementation and product management which will add to the substantial experience of Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger in this area, and allow SIC to meet the increasing demand for projects relating to platform tenders and migrations. 2016 looks set to be a busy and exciting year!


November 2015: How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications

The survey is live and off to a great start! Thanks again to all of our supporters! ... reveal this news item

The survey is live and off to a great start! Thanks again to all of our supporters!

This much-anticipated research is a continuation of the work carried out in 2005, 2008 and 2012 and will allow in-depth reporting on the discovery behaviour of people working and studying in HSS and STM. The 2012 survey garnered over 19,000 responses from all sectors, right across the world, and allowed for detailed analysis of the regional and sectoral discovery behaviours of researchers, students, and information professionals around the world.

The results are expected to be published in February 2016, and a detailed report will be made freely available to everyone, thanks to the generous support of:

  • American Theological Library Association (ATLA)
  • Annual Reviews
  • The Bone & Joint Journal
  • Brill
  • Cambridge University Press
  • The IET
  • The JAMA Network/American Medical Association (AMA)
  • OECD
  • Publishing Technology
  • SAGE
  • Wiley
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September 2015: How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications

We are delighted to announce the final list of supporters for our 2015 research into How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications.

This much-anticipated research is a continuation of the work carried out in 2005, 2008 and 2012 and will allow in-depth reporting on the discovery behaviour of people working and studying in HSS and STM. The 2012 survey garnered over 19,000 responses from all sectors, right across the world, and allowed for detailed analysis of the regional and sectoral discovery behaviours of researchers, students, and information professionals around the world.

The results are expected to be published in February 2016, and a detailed report will be made freely available to everyone, thanks to the generous support of:

  • American Theological Library Association (ATLA)
  • Annual Reviews
  • The Bone & Joint Journal
  • Brill
  • Cambridge University Press
  • The IET
  • The JAMA Network/American Medical Association (AMA)
  • OECD
  • Publishing Technology
  • SAGE
  • Wiley

We are currently in the process of securing a number of engagements to present the results at leading conferences throughout 2016, and we will be announcing the first of these very shortly.


September 2015: Training dates agreed for 2016

We are pleased to announce that our successful course, Understanding E-Journal Technology, now in its tenth year, once again forms part of the ALPSP training program for 2016, on 22nd March and 12th October, venues to be announced.


September 2015: Meetings at Frankfurt

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Simon Inger still has a few appointment slots available at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair. There have been a number of recurring themes this year, but a lot of our time has been spent on working with publishers on platform requirements definition including competitor web site analyses, vendor selection, and implementation. This seems to be a growing area as publishers seek more control over the future of their platform development, and are planning for the longer term. Simon would welcome a discussion with you about this or any other consultation opportunity you may have. Contact us. ... hide this news item


July 2015: Forthcoming conference attendance

This is what our conference attendance for the foreseeable future looks like:

  • ALPSP, September 2015, Tracy Gardner and Julie Neason

  • Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2015, Simon Inger

  • UKSG, April 2016, Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger

  • London Book Fair, April 2016, Simon Inger and Julie Neason

We hope to see you at one of these forthcoming events, so please do let us know if you are coming along and would like to set a meeting time to discuss industry developments and current projects.


May 2015: How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications

We are currently in the final recruiting stages ... reveal this news item

We are currently in the final recruiting stages of supporters for the much-anticipated re-run of our resource discovery survey. We will shortly announce the line-up of supporters, and we are excited that once again we look set to make this a survey representing STM and HSS in every continent in the world. This time the survey will also look at e-book discovery, and for the first time get a handle on how much discovery is being undertaken in Mendeley, ResearchGate, ReadCube, Browzine, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Facebook. The survey is set to be executed between October and December, with results being published early in 2016. ... hide this news item


March 2015: Excellent Feedback for Mid-East Training

We are delighted to announce that our recent training course to librarians from throughout the Middle-East has received the very best feedback. On 14th and 15th March, Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner ran a course entitled Understanding E-Resources over two days as a pre-conference for the GSLA meeting in Abu Dhabi, in conjunction with our partners there, KnowledgeE. The course is a combination of our ERTU course run in conjunction for UKSG for libraries, and also our courses on Understanding the Journal Industry and Understanding E-Book Technology. Day one concentrated on the business environment and drivers for journals development, impact factors, editorial, marketing, and business models, before turning to books and looking at their transition into a complex set of possible business models for e-books. Day two moved on into e-journal and e-book delivery, discoverability, authentication and access, with special attention to understanding researcher and student needs and workflows.

The feedback from the course was excellent. 100% of the attendees said they would recommend the course to colleagues, and 100% of the attendees rated the course as either Good or Excellent.

Testimonials:

"Fantastic! I have learned a lot and it was a wonderful experience!"

"I highly recommend this training to my colleagues!"

Additional information on the event, which included other courses from other organisations, including some photos from the course are available on the KnowledgeE web site. See also our training page for more information on forthcoming courses.


January 2015: Training dates for 2015 announced

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Renew Training, our training organisation, is delighted to be undertaking training courses on behalf of ALPSP and UKSG again in 2015. Course dates have now been announced as follows:

  • April 30th, London: Understanding E-Journal Technology, run in conjunction with ALPSP, is a course aimed mainly at publishers and intermediaries, and covers many of the aspects of journal delivery

  • June 25th, York, E-Resources Technology Update, run in conjunction with UKSG, is a course aimed mainly at libraries and intermediaries, and covers many of the challenges in organising access to e-resources

  • November 12th, London: Understanding E-Journal Technology, run in conjunction with ALPSP

  • November 25th, London, E-Resources Technology Update, run in conjunction with UKSG

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January 2015: Simon Inger to speak at J-Stage Seminar in Tokyo (February 24th)

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Simon Inger will be speaking at the J-Stage Seminar at the Japan Science and Technology Agency on 24th February, as part of a trip that also includes working with a leading Japanese scientific society on its open access program. The talk is aimed to give an overview of the changes in STM journal publishing from a European perspective. One of the key challenges that many national societies face is how to grow or even maintain their publishing programs in an increasingly globalised publishing industry, and how to expand their brand presence beyond their national boundaries to achieve this. This will be one of the key areas of discussion for the day. ... hide this news item


January 2015: Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner running training course in Abu Dhabi (March 14th-15th)

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We are delighted to be running a training course at this year's SLA (Gulf Chapter) Pre-Conference in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with KnowledgeE. This year we will be running a two day workshop on Understanding E-Resources under the banner of our training organisation Renew Training. The course is a hybrid of our courses covering both business and technical aspects of journals, e-books and e-resource management for libraries. Simon Inger comments: "Running training courses for librarians around the world helps us enormously with our publisher work. We have encountered such a wide variety of access, licence and political issues all of which affect what libraries purchase and how they organise access to it. Our experiences in the Middle East feed directly back into our training courses through ALPSP and UKSG." ... hide this news item


January 2015: SIC to exhibit at London Book Fair (April 14th -16th) for the first time

Due to the huge success of last year's London Book Fair, ... reveal this news item

"Due to the huge success of last year's London Book Fair, this year we have decided to take an exhibitor space in the ALPSP-organised area, stand number 7A19. We'll be there for all three days - Simon Inger on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Tracy Gardner on Wednesday and Thursday. We'd be delighted to make an appointment to see you to discuss any area of our consultancy, from strategic reviews to training, financial analyses to platform migration. Julie Neason will also be there to talk specifically to societies wishing to re-tender their journals publishing arrangements. Please email any of us to make an appointment. We also hope to see you at the planned ALPSP reception, held on-stand on the Tuesday evening of the fair." ... hide this news item


January 2015: UKSG Annual Conference in Glasgow (March 30th - April 1st)

We are delighted to be at this year's UKSG once again. ... reveal this news item

We are delighted to be at this year's UKSG once again. This will be Simon's 29th UKSG meeting! Over the past 28 years, we've seen some monumental changes in journals business models, the rise of online delivery, open access publishing, social media applications and endless other innovations which today's publisher needs to keep abreast of to remain competitive. As consultants over the page twelve years, we have helped many publishers to reset their strategy, realign their businesses, develop and enhance their content delivery and business terms, and so much more. Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger would be delighted to schedule a meeting with you at UKSG or just to catch up at one of the many networking and social events. See you there! ... hide this news item


November 2014: Funding agencies' increasing interest in their own open access initiatives

Like many consultants, over the past few years Simon Inger Consulting has engaged in a growing number of projects involving strategic planning for open access journals, at first from established publishers both for profit and not-for-profit, then societies who have outsourced publishing programs but wishing to reconsider their options regarding this new publishing model. Perhaps following the lead of major funding agencies kick-starting PLoS and eLife, this year we have seen a number of other funders starting to explore the possibilities of sometimes quite disruptive interventions in the fabric of publishing. It looks like we are close to getting one such project off the ground shortly, so watch this space for further announcements!


November 2014: Kudos

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"Simon Inger Consulting is currently engaged in a project to help with discoverability of articles enriched by authors using the Kudos service. Through this project, Kudos will leverage SIC's understanding of scholarly content discovery and workflows to further enhance the effect of article enrichment on discoverability and downloads. Simon will be working with a range of library technology organisations, abstracting & indexing organisations, major search engines, and social media platforms to enhance the use of the additional article metadata being created." ... hide this news item


November 2014: Conference Attendance for the rest of 2014

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Simon Inger will be attending the following events in November and December 2014. Please let us know if you are going to be at any of these and would like to meet up:

  • CrossRef Annual Meeting, 12th November, London

  • UKSG Forum, 21st November, London

  • Atypon Engage Europe 2014, 2nd December, London

... hide this news item


October 2014: Simon Inger will attend HighWire Publisher's Meeting, DC

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Simon Inger will be attending the HighWire Publisher's Meeting in Washington, DC, 28th - 30th October. It's always a great networking meeting and this year we are hoping to gain support for the forthcoming re-run of our successful survey series: How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals. Please contact Simon if you are going to be there. ... hide this news item


September 2014: Rejected Articles Analysis - a new service from SIC

Having conducted rejected article analyses for a number of clients, as part of wider projects, SIC has decided to launch the Rejected Article Analysis as a new stand-alone service.

Cascading isn't new. Papers rejected by one journal usually find a home somewhere else, and historically, that "somewhere else" has meant another publisher's journal. Many publishers are experimenting with an inclusive open access journal as a target for papers that would otherwise be rejected by the publisher's flagship journals. It is now more important than ever that publishers understand not only where their rejected articles end up, but also how many citations those articles have attracted. Undertaking a simple search to track down these articles is insufficient because authors rewrite articles, abstracts or just the title as part of a resubmission. To solve this problem, we employ subject experts to properly track down rejected articles.

The output of these studies not only sheds light on which titles are considered by authors to be your nearest competitors, but also allow you to understand the likely citations that a journal of your otherwise rejected articles might attract, and hence a theoretical impact factor of the new journal can be calculated. In past studies we have seen that rejected articles can even find a home in higher impact factor journals, or, with minimal changes, get resubmitted to the same journal and get accepted.


August 2014: Understanding E-Journal Technology courses confirmed for 2015

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ALPSP and Renew Training, the publisher and library training organisation launched by Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner, have agreed dates for the highly successful Understanding E-Journal Technology course for 2015, in April and November.

But you don't have to wait that long! There's still one public course available in 2014, on 11th November in Oxford. Please see the ALPSP website for booking details. In addition, this training course is available to be run in-house, and a number of major publishers and intermediaries arrange for us to run these courses for sales, marketing, customer service and technical staff." ... hide this news item


August 2014: SIC now seeking partners for 2015 survey on How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals

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In 2015 we will be repeating our work into How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals and we are now embarking on discussions with publishers and intermediaries to support us in this project.

The work, which will be the fourth in a series since 2005, will answer the key question of which tools researchers use to discover research material, and so help publishers and libraries focus their efforts on the most important discovery partners.

Key stats about the 2012 edition:

  • Free, summary edition, downloaded over 17,500 times

  • Survey completed by over 19,000 researchers, students, lecturers, spread evenly across the world

  • Extensive STM and HSS coverage

  • Publishers' analytical tool provides over 2.2 trillion charting combinations, using over 60 demographic breakdowns

  • Results presented at 10 major industry events and conferences to a wide audience of librarians and publishers

Our supporters are asked to contribute $3400 (£2000) to the project and to email the survey invitation extensively, but to a subject and geographical demographic agreed with us. (This is to ensure we get optimal subject and geographical representation in the results). Full brand recognition is given to our supporters in the report and conference presentations. Our supporters also receive the full analytical tool and the entire data set.

Alternatively, for those wishing to support this important research, but who cannot commit to undertaking a suitable mailing, the same offer is available for $6800 (or £4000).

Both Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger will be discussing this important project with publishers at the forthcoming ALPSP and Frankfurt Book Fair events, so please contact us if you are interested in participating. 

UPDATE: Download our discovery survey proposal for publishers and intermediaries ... hide this news item


July 2014: SIC making appointments for ALPSP and Frankfurt Book Fair

... reveal this news item

This year SIC will be represented by Tracy Gardner at the ALPSP annual conference being held at a venue by Heathrow airport from 10th-12th September. Tracy will be available to discuss a wide variety of SIC projects, including:

  • Library Licence Health Check - a new service being launched late summer 2014 to help publishers with their library licences

  • In 2015 we will be repeating our work into How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals and will be talking to publishers and intermediaries about supporting this important research project

  • Improving your content discoverability

  • Publications strategic reviews and the work of Renew Consulting for Societies

  • Open Access strategy

Simon Inger will be present at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. Simon will be focussing on:

  • Open Access strategy

  • Repeating our 2012 work into How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals and talking to publishers and intermediaries about supporting this important research project

  • Improving your content discoverability

  • General discussions on industry trends and concerns

To make an appointment to meet with us, please use the links above to contact us by email or phone. ... hide this news item


June 2014: SIC Publishes White Paper - Workflow Implications of Open Access Publishing

As many publishers start to launch gold open access journals, they are discovering a number of significant implications for their editorial and production workflows. This brief white paper spotlights a number of these areas which publishers will need to address over the coming months and years. Download Workflow Implications of Open Access Publishing


March 2013: Renew Training in the Middle East - news story in UKSG e-News

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At the end of 2012, Simon Inger and David Sommer (working under the banner of Renew Training) took part of the range of Renew Training's courses to run before audiences of librarians in the Middle East. There is a write up in UKSG e-News.

Simon Inger additionally comments "Running training courses for librarians around the world helps us enormously with our publisher work. We have encountered such a wide variety of access, licence and political issues all of which affect what they purchase and how they organise access to it. Our experiences in the Middle East feed directly back into our publisher-facing training courses through ALPSP." ... hide this news item