Sage & the Age of Discovery


Sage executives John Shaw, Director, Publishing Technologies (left) and James Pawley, Journal Sales Manager, (UK & Ireland), gave me sage advice about trends in journal publishing

My quest for an update on the status of research journals began today at the stand of Sage, the publisher of more than 500 journals, including those of 245 learned and professional societies. Probably best known for its offerings in the humanities and social sciences and widely used in academic and research libraries, Sage has, of late, also branched out into the fields of science, technology and medicine, in order to extend its appeal to enterprise research settings, as well.

Representatives of the company John Shaw and James Pawley bent my ear for a good half-hour on trends and issues in journal publishing.

We spoke about Open Access, which Sage supports at least in the area of medicine, where journal article deposit in open archives has been mandated in many cases by funding organizations, including the National Institutes of Health in the States and Wellcome Trust in the UK. 

The recent announcement that pioneer Open Access publisher BioMedCentral would be acquired by Springer indicates, said Shaw, that there is a business model to support Open Access journal publishing.  Sage itself last year concluded an agreement with Egyptian publisher Hindawi, who now operates entirely on an  Open Access model.

Thumbing through the Sage promotional literature, I was taken by the generous licensing terms that Sage provides to libraries with its Sage Premier package of 500+ online journals.  The terms include unlimited access via IP recognition, access rights for walk-in users, perpetual access to paid content, and the right to download articles and make copies for course packs and e-reserve collections.  (Looks like someone has been listening to librarians!)

But where I got the most excitement from the two gentlemen I was interviewing was when I asked if there had been any interest expressed in data mining?  It was here the topic shifted to "discovery."

"Discovery is a huge issue," John said, "People have bought a lot of content but no one can discover the particular piece they want."

"Users want to drill all the way down from the journal level and into the components of the document," James quickly added.

Sage is working with ERM providers, including ExLibris and Serials Solutions, on interoperability, and will be forming other partnerships, including one with Deepdyve, a service aimed at pharmaceutical companies that may provide deep article searching capabilities.

Pretty exciting stuff!

Dick Kaser

ITI VP,Content

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