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Back to Basics: When in Doubt, Get Fundamental

High-quality content is the true “killer app”

As our community considers the possibility and promise of a new year ahead, and reflects on the raucous 2019 just gone by, many of us are taking stock of assets and updating roadmaps to prepare for 2020 opportunities. We are juggling heavy demand on digital and platform strategies, where priorities can be unclear in the face of changing research practices and disrupted access models. When it comes to ensuring content discovery and reader engagement, we are weighing the relative value of investing in blockchain or artificial intelligence, participating in GetFTR, working with ResearchGate or something else entirely.

In the face of these trying decisions, when it comes to publishing technologies in 2020, I would strongly urge a return to some fundamental facts. While the needs of specific disciplines and communities will vary across content and technology providers, there are some essential principles we cannot avoid. As new whizzy technologies come and go, getting back to basics is a reminder that we are all about service to scholars and learners, a reminder that the “killer app” is high-quality content, composed in accordance with established standards for discoverability and accessibility.

In my work with publishers and suppliers, product development strategies must strike a balance between addressing current-day demands and securing long-term prosperity, and we are easily muddled in fear and loathing of an uncertain future. It’s not unlike other infrastructural decisions — do we modernize with splashy first-to-market transformations, or tend to the foundation of our enterprise? Can we maintain current engines while reinventing the wheel? Can we anticipate the needs of researchers and libraries of the future, while also meeting immediate stakeholder expectations?

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Scholarly Kitchen.

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