- Technology has changed higher education dramatically in the last 20 years, and one of the most dramatic impacts has been felt in the university press, according to a recent article in Nature.
- University presses with hundreds of years of experience in producing academic volumes have laid off workers and are transitioning to more contemporary options for publishing research, particularly in emerging areas like artificial intelligence, climate change and genetics.
- Books remain a critical part of the academic enterprise, but many presses are experimenting with open source technology and alternative distribution models.
For many colleges and universities, even the wealthier institutions around the world, the question of utilizing outdated methods for any kind of business or service provision eventually leads to the question of "Why should we continue to waste money if it unnecessary to do so?"
And if these kinds of conversations can take place about auxiliary operations in the academic enterprise, what happens with conversations about the enterprises itself, particularly within the applied sciences? As more faculty with expertise in AI and other high-caliber research depart for the private sector, it will be up to higher education to reinvent its research and service delivery to potentially match the desire of professionals and industry at large, not as a matter of productivity but of retention.