Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The mission of the STM publisher: scholarship - or profit?

According to the Brussells Declaration on STM Publishing issued today, it is self-evident that The mission of publishers is to maximise the dissemination of knowledge through economically self-sustaining business models.


Among the signatories to this declaration are highly profitable commercial enterprises.

Here is the Strategy and Vision for one of the signatories from the Reed Elsevier website, Feb. 13, 2007 (emphasis added):

Our strategy and vision

Reed Elsevier’s corporate goal is to be the indispensable information provider for our target customers in selected professional markets. Since 2000, we have set ourselves a goal of achieving higher levels of revenues and earnings growth in each of our four operating businesses than the average growth achieved by peers within their sectors. Each year we have achieved that goal by applying a carefully thought through approach to the way in which we manage and develop our business.

This is followed by a set of Key Strategies. First on the list: Maintain a balanced portfolio in growth markets. Where is dissemination of knowledge - never mind maximum dissemination of knowledge? - Not on the list!

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News for the alert.

Please note: this is not a complete critique of the 10 self-evident principles - I haven't got to the second one yet!

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