The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Prisoner A Stays Mum (Cooperate) Prisoner A Squeals (Defect) Prisoner B Stays Mum (Cooperate) 6 months each Prisoner B Squeals (Defect) 10 Prisoner A: years Prisonereach 3 years B: Scotfree

Prisoner A: Scotfree Prisoner B: 10 years Optimal results depend on number of games and strategies adopted. In 1984, political scientist David Axelrod computer-tested several strategies for an indefinite number of games and found that a tit-for-tat strategy optimized results, often resulting in prisoners ultimately deciding to stay silent together.

The University Press’ Dilemma
University Press B Publishes (Cooperate) University Press A Publishes (Cooperate) Both University A & B have less cash on hand but can publish faculty work University A more profitable University Press B publishes University A faculty, but at loss University Press B Evaporates (Defect) University B more profitable University Press A publishes University B faculty, but at loss University A & B have more cash on hand but neither has a press to publish faculty work

University Press A Evaporates (Defect)

In the “Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma,” the rational solution over time suggests cooperation Press B Publishes University University Press B Evaporates
University Press A Publishes (Cooperate) (Cooperate) University A & B cash Publishing opportunities (Defect) University B cash University B publishing opportunities University A cash University A publishing opportunities University A & B cash Publishing opportunities

University Press A Evaporates (Defect)

University A cash University A publishing opportunities University B cash University B publishing

University Presses (UPs) are seen as businesses not services UPs have weak internal constituencies
Students Faculty Alumni Interns Advisory/Editorial Boards None

UPs appear as subventions of other faculty

Each UP eliminated from picture potentially reduces number of notfor-profit publishing venues Each UP eliminated leaves private publishers the field with their troubling dynamic UPs can offer indirect benefits
Student training and work/study opportunities Faculty gain editorial/advisory board

Publishing decision shaped by profit obligations
Total Revenue (“top line”) Operating Income (“bottom line”)

All units must deliver on revenue & OI goals
Corporation Book/Journal Division Imprint

Private publishers adopt strategies to serve top-line and bottom-line objectives
Twigging: creation of new subspecialty

More titles, fewer publishers Decline of the specialized scholarly monograph Increased cost of scholarly journals
Similar production costs, fewer potential subscribers or buyers

Market flooding: more journals, series, and books
Buyer spreading: fewer buyers per journal/book
Recent Positive Trends Reduction in production costs (PPB & shipping) from digital platforms Recent Negative Trends •Reduced subscribers/buyers o Working paper sites o Institutional repositories •Increased submission


Twigging more journals Bundling/Aggregating content: Project Muse, JSTOR, Caliber Textbooks: Yale UP (World Language Textbooks), Cambridge UP Reference: Oxford UP, Harvard UP, Princeton UP Series: Columbia UP, Cornell UP Working Papers: CIAO

Open Access

Grant funded: PhilPapers, The Modernism Lab, MITOpenCourseWare Volunteer: RePEc

“Yet if the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its successes, "tradition" should positively be discouraged.”
--T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” 1922

This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in. . . .
--Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, 1975

Creative Destruction Forma
Complainer Scholar Scholar/ Journal Editor Library Library Publisher t Article Article

Crisis in Scholarly Communicatio Complaint Perpetrator ns Backlog; insufficient peer
review Oversubmission University Publisher/ Faculty Publisher University

Journal editor

Journal Price inflation; Consolidation; s Overproduction Journal Increased APC for OA journals s Journal Devaluation of digital-only s publications

Creative Destruction
Complainer Format Scholar Publisher Library Student Publisher Publisher Monograp h Monograp h Reference Textbook Textbook Databases

Crisis in Scholarly Communicatio Complaint Perpetrator ns Dilution and
generalization Not enough buyers Market flooding Costs too high; overrevision Used book attrition Price containment Publisher Library/STM Publishers Publisher Publisher Students/Bookst ore Consortia

Crisis in Scholarly Complaint Communicatio Format Backlogs ns Oversubmission Articles
Insufficient Peer Review Consolidation Price Inflation APC Inflation Generalization Rerence Market Flooding Excessive revision Journals Journals Journals Monograph Reference Textbooks

Problems seeking Solving solutions
Response to publish or perish directives Economies of scale for a tightening market Reduction in number of subscribers/Twigging Rescaling of true journal publishing cost Broader sales for publishers Broader sales for publishers Used book sales attrition

Scholarly communication is experiencing an evolutionary dynamic in publisher finances, workload management, government funding limits and expectations, etc. “It’s publish or perish, and he hasn’t published.” None of these --New Yorker, 1966 changes are new…

“Academic libraries make accessible…those records that have contributed in the past and are contributing in the present to the advancement of knowledge. They are not institutions whose purpose is to preserve the output of printing presses.”
--Margit Kraft, Library Quarterly, July 1967

“Like so many papers given and half listened to at the annual convention, PMLA’s contents, with rare exceptions, have become mere signs of a certain kind of competency, opening the way to a job, a raise, a promotion, tenure. To publish in PMLA is to gain prestige, a huge potential audience, and a tiny actual one.”
--Richard Chadbourne, Rocky Mountain MLA, Dec. 1967

Why the push for publication?... For many, however, a more immediate objective is to establish credit—often in the form of a long list of publications. A thick “vita” helps in the continual struggle to secure government grants and win academic promotion.”
--William Broad, BioScience, Sept. 1982

University presses and scholarly communication have always featured a changing dynamic that remains centered on the distribution of scholarly work. Publishing, digital or otherwise, is an evolutionary phenomenon and therefore not only changing, but layered.

Digital revolution has altered how scholarly information is gathered, reviewed, and disseminated. Digital information distribution is still built on cognitive models through which we process information, such as classification and embedding. In a digital environment, the UPs role in scholarly communication shifts from availability (“publication”) to visibility, a.k.a.,

Democratization of communication has shifted Scholarly balance from…

Communicati on

Scholarly communication is no longer just conferences and print distribution to libraries

It is also…
Listservs Softwareenabled presentations E-books E-journals E-review sites Electronic reserves Working paper/ Prepress sites Wikis Blogs Webinars Course management software


Digital catalogs E-newsletters Publisher blogs E-mail alerts & blasts Vlogs & podcasts Site links (e.g., author sites)

Talk E-vites Search engine optimization Reader reviews Related title pointers Press wikis









What the role of a university press is in scholarly communication… Evaluation
Solicitation, peer review, editorial development & refinement

What the role of a university press is not in scholarly communication… Inventor of new technologies Simulation lab Prediction market Data collection operation Research center Library

Mark-up, composition, design, deployment into print and digital environments

Publicity, marketing, sales distribution, backfiling,