IOS Press jumps over the Great Wall
Q: What are the current challenges and opportunities for IOS Press as a STM publisher?
Popke Huizinga: IOS Press is an STM Publisher with a journal collection of appr. 100 titles and a book list of 2500 titles, about 100 new book titles are added annually. For journals the shift from print to online took place about 12 years ago. For books this happened only recently. Mainly through the introduction of the IPad. Publishers and librarians are in the mid of this change now and discuss how to adept their business models. Paper will exist in future but it will not be the only source for disseminating information. Paper and digital books have their pros and cons. Challenge is to supply the reader with the version he/she wants on the most effective and efficient way.
Q: Can you please tell the positioning of IOS Press and how it grows its business facing the current challenges?
Popke Huizinga: Due to budgets cuts at universities we have seen the book business come to a standstill, in some countries even a decrease. The increase of the digital book sales does not compensate the loss of paper income. Within the company we are now in a discussion how to adept our business models, internal procedures etc to keep the book business economically sustainable. Discussions are held with all stakeholders like representatives, sales, printers, warehouse, authors etc. Based on the outcome we will set our policy for the coming years.
Q: How is the business development of IOS Press in China? Any highlighted achievements?
Popke Huizinga: The business development in China did not decrease. Actually it grows. But selling digital books is a problem. We need to fine tune what would be the best pricing of the publications. Digital books has the benefit many users can read the content for minimal costs per download. Furthermore: breach of copyright of digital books is an issue in China. The site license deal with NSTL consortium for our e-journals is renewed from 2012 which has given IOS Press an enormous opportunity to keep the access to our journal content alive for the Chinese researcher.
Q: What do you think of the development of R&D in China and how IOS Press can support as well as benefit from this development?
Popke Huizinga: We see and read a significant increase of need for science in China. Next to physical science (like engineering/chemistry) health related publications (like ageing/Neurology) gets increasingly more important in China. The rate of welfare in China generally increased during the last 15 years, people get older etc. The coming years China has to invest funds to face this problem. Because IOS Press publishes some key journal and book titles (like Alzheimer and Parkinson, ageing) but also about Health informatics we think this will educate the researcher and will give solutions for future problems.
Q: What is your experience with Chinese librarians?
Popke Huizinga: Unfortunately direct contact with Chinese librarians is very limited due to language barrier. The communication goes through agents and representatives. But I expect the Chinese librarians face the same problem as worldwide.
Q: What’s your expectation for China business in the coming five years for IOS Press?
Popke Huizinga: We think the business will certainly increase this coming period. As said: the digital book will find its way in China too which will give the user and us tremendous opportunities to read and access the content.
Q: What you like to do most in China besides your work and business trip there?
Popke Huizinga: The Chinese kitchen has such a great variety of food. So having a good diner with our business friends while doing/ watching some entertainment is always a highlight when I visit China.
About IOS Press
IOS Press (co-)publishes over 100 international journals and approximately 120 book titles a year, ranging from computer sciences and mathematics to medicine and the natural sciences. Commencing its publishing activities in 1987, IOS Press serves a variety of scientific and medical communities in all parts of the world. IOS Press is a rapidly-growing publishing company that embraces new technologies for the dissemination of information. All journals are available online and in print and an ebook platform was launched in the first half of 2006. Following its founding, IOS Press established several co-publishing initiatives. Its most recent expansion is the acquisition of MillPress Science Publishers in 2008. IOS Press celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Read more
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