Challenges facing scholarly publishing [Charlie Rapple Interview]

Ahead of this Thursday’s event in Oxford, Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon, we interview Charlie Rapple about changes facing scholarly publishing. Charlie is Sales & Marketing Director and Co-founder of Kudos, a web-based service that helps researchers and their institutions and funders maximise the visibility and impact of their published articles. 

1. Tell us a bit about your role and company

I’m one of the co-founders of Kudos – which turns 5 this month! We’re trying to help researchers manage the impact of their work more effectively. We have a free toolkit for researchers and related services to help publishers and institutions support, amplify and learn from researchers’ communications around their work. We have 170,000 researchers signed up, and a recently published study showed that use of the Kudos tools is linked to 23% higher growth in publication downloads.

2. What’s the biggest change in scholarly communications that has affected your organisation in the past few years?

We’re at the intersection of a number of changes: the growth in less formal forms of communication (e.g. social media), the trend towards more granular levels of measurement (e.g. article-level metrics), the constrained funding environment and the pressure for impact. The one I think is most pivotal for us is the trend that has seen researchers taking a more proactive approach to managing their reputation.

3. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing scholarly publishing in the immediate future?

The very real possibility of the entire enterprise of publishing being displaced by other ways of communicating research – from small start-ups that are rethinking workflow elements to make DIY dissemination a real possibility, to huge content repositories such as ResearchGate.

4. What are you looking forward to hearing about on 7 September?

I’ll be really curious to hear from the people attending about how innovative they think their organizations are managing to be, and how long a future they think their companies in their current guises have got. That could spark off some interesting discussions about the pace and direction of change in our sector!

Join Charlie at Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon at The Jam Factory in Oxford, from 6.30pm this Thursday. For tickets click here.

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