Acquisitions, consolidations, partnerships — all are increasingly common in the information community, and all can create consternation for individuals and organizations alike. Why is bigger always assumed to be better? What does it really mean to improve the scalability of a business entity? Attendees will hear from a variety of professionals and consultants active in the information industry, benefiting from their experiences of and insights into the opportunities as well as the risks associated with these sorts of major changes.
Confirmed speakers include: Andrew Albanese, Senior Writer and Features Editor, Publishers Weekly; Lori Carlin, Chief Commercial Officer, Delta Think; Patrick Hargitt, Senior Director of Product Management, Atypon; and Judy Russell, Dean of University Libraries, University of Florida.
Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of NISO, will moderate the discussion.
The discussion by participants touched on the following:
What are some of the most interesting partnerships/collaborations in our community right now from your perspective? What is interesting about them?
What are the drivers that are motivating organizations to move into the direction of greater collaboration, partnerships and acquisitions?
When choosing to join a partnership, how can an organization maintain what is essential to their differentiation? When an organization joins a collective effort, how does it maintain its independence and distinctiveness from the others participating in the collaboration?
Looking at this from a benefits perspective, what are some of the benefits an organization might gain from these partnerships? For example, what can publishers gain from partnering with an organization like Wiley Partners, or another perspective, how can libraries pool resources in collective collections activities?
We often think of collaborations and consolidation as taking place in the corporate environment, but there has been a long history of collaborative efforts in the library world as well, such as Consortia and Preservation networks. What is on the horizon in terms of collective collections work, or shared print collections? How might these impact our community?
While there is an increasing movement in the direction of collaborations, mergers and partnerships, there is also the fine line between legal partnerships and antitrust and the government is playing a more active role in policing this space. For example, we’ve seen recently increased scrutiny of mergers in the publishing community, most recently in the lawsuit that blocked the deal between PRH and S&S. Are there lessons to be learned from this particular blocked merger, or particularly as the scholarly marketplace becomes similarly concentrated, do we expect that mergers in this community will be more scrutinized?
There are also challenges presented by the consolidation of different markets. Can we talk a bit about some of the challenges the scholarly community faces when it comes to increasing consolidation? What are the risks of these consolidation scenarios?
Are there lessons to be learned from how organizations have pursued collaborative efforts that have not succeeded?
We are increasingly buffeted by outside forces, such as from Silicon Valley, which controls the market for search or at least users’ expectations of a search experience. Are there ways in which consolidation can help strengthen our place in those larger communities and discussions?
There are other forces that are impacting user expectations, such as through resource sharing hubs (some might call them pirate sites) such as SciHub, can collective action play a role in addressing those outlets?
As we talk about product differentiation, are there ways that standards and best practices can help support collective activity?
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