I have just uploaded a preprint of a new article, “Choosing a publishing partner: advice for societies and associations” (pdf), which is due to be published in Learned Publishing in its January 2008 issue.
For societies and associations seeking a publishing partner, the healthy competition between publishers means that the deals on offer have never been better. The problem for the society is distinguishing a good short-term deal (say, an attractive financial offer) from the partnership that will actually be in the better long-term interests of the journal. This article, based on the author’s experience as a publisher-turned-consultant advising societies, offers a framework for selecting a partner based on a careful analysis of what the society needs from its publisher in the long term. We conclude that underlying the performance of the best publisher partners are a good understanding of the needs of societies and their journals; a strong service orientation; and an ability to plan strategically for each journal on the basis of facts and data.