New ALPSP boss: academic publishing 'could return to non-profit'

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Academic publishing could be about to return to a not-for-profit enterprise.

That is the view of Wayne Sime, new chief executive of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), who was interviewed in Research Information this month.

Sime was previously director of library services for the Royal Society of Medicine, and has also worked in the NHS and financial sector. He has been a chartered librarian since 2001 and became a fellow of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals) in 2009.

When asked what he believes will change in the industry over the next 10 years, Sime predicted an expectation that all scholarly communications will be freely distributed, and that search engines and social communities will be primary sources of useful information.

He continued: 'We will need to adjust our practice and business model to reflect this new reality. The best way, I believe, to see the future is to expect a rapid drop in all kinds of government backing from the economy and to figure out a publication system that will adapt. 

'We must remember that when we look back at the history of publishing, it has only been a recent development (mid-20th century onwards) that academic publishing become a profit-making enterprise. History may be about to repeat itself!'

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Read the full interview here