Publish Or Perish? Now It’s Publish, Share, Track Or Perish

Roger Tagholm | Publishing Perspectives | March 27, 2014

The publishing industry, in common with many other content-based industries such as music and news, faces a challenge of “user engagement and technology disruption,” says Jan Reichelt, co-founder and president of Mendeley, the platform for managing and sharing research papers. “The questions publishers should ask themselves for the future are how to create continuous engagement with their customers and consumers of their content; how to learn more about them in order to serve them better; and how to leverage technology to develop solutions and to build a relationship with their end-users, so customers don’t go away and get what they need somewhere else.

He believes that content, in combination with technology, can create tremendous user engagement, and deliver outstanding value. “Traditional publishing houses usually didn’t have a strong technology capability, but in the last few years some forward-thinking publishing companies have invested heavily in technology infrastructure and employee skills to become media and technology businesses.”

He cites Elsevier among these, as well he might. The Dutch giant bought Mendeley for an estimated £45 million in April last year. To paraphrase Kipling, “the road to Mendeley” has been quite a journey. Founded in 2007 by three German PHD students, with backing from the people behind Skype and Last FM, the platform takes its name from a combination of the surnames of two of the giants of science: Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev (alternatively spelled Mendeleev), who developed the periodic table of elements, and Gregor Mendel, often called the “father of modern genetics.”..,