These Times Are a Changing?

I am at the Society for Scholarly Publishing 2009 Annual Meeting.  It is very interesting and exciting to see the changes in the view of publishers.  Several years ago I sat in a keynote session where a publisher was explaining their incredibly high first copy costs and justifying them based on the value they provided to scholars (primarily access in a scarce universe).  This year’s meeting has a wonderfully diverse agenda, including the following sessions this afternoon:

  • Building Social Collaboration Tools: A Practical Guide for Scholarly Publishers
  • Brave Adventure: New Publishing Models for the “Now” World
  • Scholarship 2.0: Creating an Online Community

Several of the people here were also at the Open Repository conference last week at Georgia Tech. Both were Tweeted (#SSP09 and #OR09), but the tone is clearly different.  Last week, there was an undercurrent of creativity and imagination.  Several presentations outlined cool new things to do and the audience was scribbling notes and asking questions about what they needed to do to try them.  The group appeared willing to experiment to try to find better solutions.  So far, SSP has a few similar themes, but there is a definite wait and see approach.  I think the blinders have come off most of the publishers, but they appear to be waiting for the new age to be proven before they actually change.  I guess born digital and gone digital are still two completely different things.