While we love our work in helping to transform global research, we also care deeply about our environment. That is why we are proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet, a global movement of over 1,000 companies who have committed to donate 1% of their sales to a network of nearly 3,000 environmental organizations worldwide. Even though we are still a startup, we believe that everyone can contribute and make a lasting impact, so we thank you for your support of DeepDyve and our mission.
|Happy New Year! We would like to thank you for helping us make 2011 a great year. We have had enormous success this past year in improving the breadth and depth of our service to make it easier and faster for you to get the content you want. Here are a few highlights in case you missed them.
In addition to our standard monthly subscriptions, DeepDyve now offers attractive and affordable Group Plans for organizations of all sizes, where employees can all share the benefits of our service. Our plans are very flexible and easy to implement, and best of all, you only pay for what you use. With our Group Plans, you no longer need to worry about getting approvals, printing invoices and getting expenses reimbursed. If you are interested in learning more about our Group Plans, please contact John Snedigar at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking ahead to 2012, we have many other exciting new developments on the horizon as well as some exciting new partners that we’ll be announcing later this quarter- so stay tuned!
We hope you love our service and help us spread the word. If you know a colleague or friend who might enjoy the service - please tell them to try us out. Let them know we are offering a promotional, no-risk 14 day free trial for new users at www.deepdyve.com/signup.
|Thanks for your support and Happy Dyving!
The DeepDyve Team
It has been just one year since we launched our rental program, often referred to as the “iTunes or Netflix for scholarly research articles.” Since then, dozens of publishers - representing hundreds of journals and over 2 million articles in the fields of science, medicine, information technology, social sciences and the humanities - have joined our service. As promised, we continue to expand and add premium content and most recently have added journals from:
- American Meteorological Society: Founded in 1913, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. AMS publishes 9 atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic journals such as Journal of Climate and Weather and Forecasting. To see their full collection of journals, visit: http://www.deepdyve.com/browse/publishers/american-meteorological-society
- American Physical Society: American Physical Society (APS) is a leading professional organization of physicists, representing more than 46,000 physicists in academia and industry in the United States and internationally, and counts nearly 60 Nobel Laureates among its members. Journals include Physical Review and Physics. To browse all journals from APS, please visit:
- Edinburgh University Press: Founded over 50 years ago, Edinburgh University Press is the premier scholarly publisher in Scotland of academic books and journals and one of the leading university presses in the UK. Journals include Archives of Natural History, Oxford Literary Review, and many others. To browse all journals from EUP, please go to:
- Pier Professional: Pier Professional publishes journals in healthcare, social care and allied fields. Each of its journals creates an arena where practitioners, researchers, academics and professionals in healthcare and social care can exchange and learn from evidence-based and practical material. Pier Professional aims to bridge the gap between research and practice and have a particular focus on highlighting good practice and implications for future practice. To learn more, please go to:
- Wiley-Blackwell: Wiley-Blackwell is one of the world’s foremost academic and professional publishers and the largest society publisher. Through DeepDyve, Wiley-Blackwell is offering a portfolio of biotechnology journals representing more than 75,000 articles. The program will feature 26 journals and content dating back to 1917, including Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, American Journal of Medical Genetics, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Cell Proliferation. To see all journals available, please visit:
With the addition of these new fantastic journals, DeepDyve is continuing to advance its mission of providing affordable and convenient access to scientific and scholarly research articles for the tens of millions of users who are unaffiliated with a large institution. These users may be engineers and scientists in small start-ups or mid-sized businesses; doctors, nurses and other practitioners; individual researchers or even consumers and patients who want to learn more about a particular condition.
Subscribe to thousands of journals – starting at just $9.99/month!
Now, these users, and many more, can easily discover and read important research articles, or even join a DeepDyve monthly plan to subscribe to their favorite journal and thousands more — all for just $9.99/month. DeepDyve offers the first article rental for free to allow users to experience the service at no risk, at http://www.deepdyve.com/signup
Thanks again for your support!
The DeepDyve Team
In an excellent post last December, Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s SVP of Product Management, provided his company’s definition of “open” which entailed “open technologies”, specifically those technologies that supported open source and open standards; and “open information” where any information about the user is transparent in how it is captured and used, and furthermore where the user has control over what they choose to share or not.
In looking at the history scientific research, it started out as a relatively “closed” industry not by virtue of any organizational practices but by the norms of the scientists themselves. As many of you are familiar, well-known scientists such as Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton routinely kept their discoveries secret, drip releasing them in cryptic anagrams to preserve their priority, or keeping them locked in drawers until they could announce their full discovery years later.
Scientific and scholarly publishing in many respects emerged as the “platform”, or open technology as Google might call it, that enabled scientific discoveries to accelerate at unprecedented levels. Scientific publishing established the standards and requirements that experiments be repeatable, references cited, and research peer-reviewed. Scientific publishing also created the means by which this information could be disseminated and incorporated seals of approval, namely the publishing brands, to convey the quality and credibility of the research. This open platform worked extremely well as publishers could “broadly” distribute printed journals to the population of scholars and researchers (I say “broadly” because this market was predominantly Western Europe and the U.S., i.e. those who were trained to read and produce this research, and who also could afford to read and produce this research).
And for many centuries, all was good in the land. And then came the Internet. But wait – before the Web, there was in fact another key trend that laid the foundation for the Internet’s disruptive force: education. In 1930, 25% of the 122M Americans lived on farms. And it’s estimated that only 3.9% of that population had a college degree. Fast forward to 2006 where just 2% of Americans lived on farms, the U.S. population has nearly tripled, and 17% of Americans held a bachelor’s degree and nearly 10% held a graduate degree. This emphasis on advanced education is now happening outside the U.S. as well – for example, China is now the world’s largest producer of engineering graduates with over 600,000 newly trained professionals every year, and India is not far behind. In comparison, the U.S. produces just 70,000 graduates per year, and all of Europe accounts for just 100,000.
What these trends suggest is that there is a huge, well-educated, new audience for scholarly research, particularly STM, that is growing at unprecedented levels. And this global trend happens to coincide with the emergence of the Web. In other words, this centuries-old, stable industry known as scholarly research is experiencing two major, inter-related shifts where information can suddenly be distributed at near zero marginal cost, and where there is a sudden, massive audience for this information that could not have been easily (and affordably) reached just a few decades ago with mere ink on paper. And because this audience is not passive, they are taking the bull by the horns and actively searching for this heretofore inaccessible information such that they now often comprise over half of the traffic to any publisher’s site.
The question for scholarly publishers therefore is what to do with these new potential users who are knocking on your doors? In the 21st century, will scholarly publishing respond to this changing landscape in a manner that reflects its early, “open” roots? Will it examine all possible alternatives for making this information accessible and affordable for the advancement of society? Or will it become more “closed” and try to lock-in its customers with high switching costs, thereby limiting choice and competition? Will it only explore those options that protect its current business models Depending on the answers to these questions, I believe this generation - our generation - will determine the future of scholarly and scientific publishing for many years to come.
DeepDyve announced today that the following publishers have agreed to make their articles available via the company’s online rental service for research articles: American Institute of Physics, Association for Computing Machinery, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, MIT Press, Radiological Society of North America, and the University of California Press.
These publishers will be adding over 700 important journals in the areas of information technology, social sciences and the humanities to DeepDyve’s already strong collection of life sciences and medical publications. To see the full release, go to:
DeepDyve and De Gruyter announced today that De Gruyter is making more than 160,000 of its scholarly and professional journal articles available via DeepDyve’s online rental service for scientific research articles. Through DeepDyve, users will be able to rent the full-text of any article from De Gruyter’s vast collection of humanities and natural sciences journals. De Gruyter is renowned for its extensive collection of high-profile publications, including journals back to 1826 in the studies of philosophy, linguistics, theology, history and classical studies, as well as mathematics, physics, biology and chemistry. De Gruyter represents the latest prestigious publisher to join the DeepDyve service which now includes over 30M articles spanning thousands of journals.
To read the full press release, please visit: http://www.deepdyve.com/corp/about/press/20100114a.
DeepDyve and CiteULike announced today that the companies are collaborating to deliver a superior way to easily and affordably share and read scholarly information on the Internet. CiteULike’s web-based service is widely used in academic and professional circles as a way to store, organize and share scholarly papers. Through its partnership with DeepDyve, CiteULike now offers its users a simple way to rent and read the journal articles they discover for as little as $0.99.
To read the full press release, click here or visit: http://www.deepdyve.com/corp/about/press/20100114b.
The publishing world is continuing to evolve and transform rapidly with 2 recent announcements in the WSJ:
One is about Apple buying Lala. I referenced Lala in an earlier blog discussing how the emergence of companies like Lala, and the interest they are garnering from large corporations and more importantly, from end users, speaks to the accelerating evolution of content accessibility and pricing. In this case, Lala lets you ‘rent’ a song for as little as $0.10 (i.e. you can stream the song but can’t actually have it downloaded on your device/PC), a concept that for many users just a few years ago would have seemed unpalatable.
Separately, News Corp and other publishers have announced a consortium to create a digital store to sell their content. This initiative was certainly motivated in part by the publishers trying to take control of their business from “access” providers such as Google. But I believe that this offering will reveal a more interesting insight: will users prefer having Google serve as their primary hub by which to access all the spokes? Or will they be willing to add another ‘hub’ to their list of key destination sites?
And, similar to the above trend in music, the book industry is also experimenting with innovative forms of pricing and access. For example, with Barnes & Noble’s new eBook reader, Nook, users can lend eBooks to friends. There are also Netflix type services for books, such as Bookswim, where customers can rent physical books on a monthly subscription service. It doesn’t take a genius to imagine a much more elegant and convenient eBook rental service that combines these two offerings.
In the case of books, users certainly prefer having Amazon as an additional hub, as opposed to using Google to hunt across a variety of small, niche book stores (or the publisher sites themselves). As opposed to a consortium which is often limited or skewed to just the content from the players, the one-stop-shop focuses more on the end user and democratically serves up everything from the most popular to the most arcane tip of the long-tail. This concept is now emerging in the world of scientific and scholarly publishing. In a recent blog post on Scholarly Kitchen, Joseph Esposito proposes the notion of a…consortium (take that, Rupert Murdoch!) where users such as Joe can access content conveniently and easily. (Note: we should also point out in full disclosure that Joe is a friend and advisor to DeepDyve ).
Consortiums are tricky structures to make work as you have some of the steeliest competitors suddenly holding hands around a board room table. It has been accomplished successfully on occasion (Hulu for online videos; Orbitz for airline tickets) although there were certain common elements, such as having independent financiers to provide the capital. But as important as the money, the financiers contributed a voice that reminded each party of their fiduciary responsibility to serve the needs of the consortium’s shareholders above those of their ‘parent’ company’s.
So, could scientific publishers create a consortium like video and travel? Setting aside the obvious risk of politics and bureaucracy crushing any successful effort, there are other factors. For one, travel is not a long-tail market. There are only a handful of airlines that matter whereas with scientific publishing, the long-tail is vital for completeness of research. In addition, unlike the user-generated long-tail of video, the long-tail of scientific publishing can actually be monetized so once again, it proves to be a valuable and necessary component in the service offering - much like with books. Finally, the video and airline companies had more “b-to-c” experience having directly served the end-user customer, whereas scientific publishers are more akin to “b-to-b” businesses that serve other (institutional) business customers. By the way, the same arguments could be said for other ‘premium’ content industries such as business, financial and legal research.
So how will scientific publishing evolve? Will it look like newspapers and magazines that suffer years of declining readership as users depend on Google as their hub to find “good enough” or pirated content? Or will it resemble books, and to a lesser degree travel and video, where the aggregators moved rapidly and gained critical mass to become the hubs?
While the structure of the aggregator model may be up for debate, what appears most critical is the need for decisive action. Change is happening, the question is whether our industry will shape it or be shaped by it.
There have been 2 intriguing developments in the field of ‘premium’ content.
In a recent article in the WSJ, it was reported that “Google will soon let consumers buy and listen to music from its search results page”. What was of particular interest was further down the article where it reported that “the Google page will let users listen to a song once free of charge. In addition to offering a free streaming link, the new arrangement will offer options to pay 10 cents for an online-only version or about $1 to download an MP3″.
The WSJ also reported that its parent (holding) company, Dow Jones, was launching an online venture called the Wall Street Journal Professional Edition that combined the WSJ website with a slimmed down version of the Factiva business-to-business database. It was targeting “individuals and businesses who need more specialized information…but aren’t the large companies targeted for costlier services by Dow Jones Newswires or Bloomberg…The new service is one of the company’s first efforts to blend these products, which have largely been aimed at different audiences”.
So what does a Google music service and a Dow Jones database service have in common? Both represent innovative case studies of how content is segmented to meet the needs of “niche” users. In the case of music, the user prefers renting (streaming) certain songs for 10 cents vs. owning (downloading) them for $1. In the case of business information, the user prefers having just the basics of WSJ and Factiva for an affordable price versus paying big bucks for the advanced bells and whistles. In both cases, it’s an example of tailoring the features and availability of certain content to meet the limited needs and budgets of the end user.
Why offer this? Because you can. Because for virtually zero marginal cost, digital content can sliced, diced and distributed to a specific user segment and even a specific user. The balance that must be struck is to not offer so many nuanced choices that the user is confused or overwhelmed by the choices. Apple has demonstrated this approach perfectly - first by convincing the music labels to sell songs individually, to let the consumer decide what they wanted. But a key selling point was to make the pricing simple: $0.99. So the decision for the consumer became not whether to buy, but what to buy. Nearly eight years after the launch of the iTunes store, after $0.99 had been adequately burned into our brain as a no-brainer, Apple this spring introduced another level of segmentation by offering songs for $0.69, $0.99 and $1.29.
What does this mean for scientific and scholarly publishers? To paraphrase Mark Twain, history may not repeat itself but it certainly does rhyme. What happens in music, news and information may serve as a strong indicator for the future of scientific publishing. If users feel under-served by the lack of a suitable offering for their specific needs, they can and will will look elsewhere be it a “free” copy or a “good enough” alternative. As members of the scientific community, should we, of all industries, not be leading by example, or in this case by experimentation?
There is a new opportunity opening up for the publishers of research material, and that is in reaching interested users and customers who do not have an affiliation with an academic institution. At this time, when academic libraries are cutting budgets for materials, this new opportunity presents a good offset to difficult economic times, and for many publishers, a bona fide growth initiative. This opportunity is entirely a creature of Web technology, for without the low-cost transactions enabled by digital tools and the Internet in particular, seeking out individual users would simply be too expensive.
Since the launch of our rental service for research articles on October 27, DeepDyve has been well covered by the press. Our offering, which allows users to “rent” (view-only) the full-text of a premium article for $0.99, has generated strong and mixed reactions among both subscription-based publishers and open access publishers – a rare feat which suggests that perhaps we’re doing something meaningful. In leading up to our launch, DeepDyve met with many in the publishing community and presented the below analysis to make the case for this new opportunity:
Who is the DeepDyve audience? DeepDyve is targeting the non-institutional “knowledge worker”. Based on the 2006 U.S. Census Bureau report, DeepDyve estimates there are approximately 50 million knowledge workers in the U.S. According to a 2007 IDC report, over 70% of these knowledge workers turn to the web first to conduct research and in turn spend approximately 25 hours per month gathering information for both personal and professional projects. Of these 50MM knowledge workers, there are approximately 10-15MM institutional readers (Mabe MA (2009): Scholarly Publishing. European Review 17(1): 3-22), or put another way, there are 35-40MM non-institutional knowledge workers.
Geoff Bilder of CrossRef helps make the case for the potential in addressing this new audience by noting the number of users to publisher sites who are NOT recognized as either a subscriber or prior customer to any of the journals found there. In talking with our publishers, we have found pretty much the same thing. I often begin by asking them, “what is the annual traffic to your site”. The majority of publishers do not know, although they can tell me immediately the number of downloads. When they provide me with this traffic information, I also ask that they estimate the number of visitors that are non-institutional visitors, a subset of their non-subscriber traffic. The numbers have ranged from 30% to 65%, meaning that a significant portion of the traffic to any publisher’s site is non-institutional users. Now these figures are estimates provided to DeepDyve, but our partners generally agree that the figures are reasonable for the purposes of quantitative modeling. Lastly we ask if the publisher will share with us the size of their pay-per-view (PPV) business and their average article price. Here is our analysis for a sample publisher:
• Traffic per year: 40MM visitors
• % of traffic that is non-institutional: 50%
• Non-institutional traffic per year: 20MM
• PPV sales per year: $1MM
• Average article price: $25
• # PPV transactions: 40,000
• PPV conversion rate of non-institutional traffic: 0.2% (40,000 transactions / 20MM visitors)
DeepDyve’s new rental service allows users to rent articles a la carte ($0.99), or via a monthly plan ($9.99 and $19.99). To calculate a total addressable market, there are several approaches which may lead to a reasonable range. Assuming there are 40MM non-institutional knowledge workers:
• If they rent 1 article per month, the total addressable market = $480M
• If they sign up for a monthly plan of $20/mo., the total addressable market = $9.6B
Undoubtedly some users will rent a la carte, others will sign up for the plan, and still others will do nothing. In quantifying new, adjacent markets such as this, a rule of thumb in business forecasting is to start with the existing ‘core’ market and assume the new market is 25-50% the size of the original. In this case, the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers recent report (”The STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing”) estimates that annual revenues generated from English-language STM journal publishing were $8 billion in 2008. Thus the size of the non-institutional market is approximately $2-4 billion dollars.
With a conversion rate of just 0.2%, it’s fair to say that this potential $2+B non-institutional market is quite literally untapped. Why? According to a recent report from the Publishing Research Consortium, for small-medium enterprise users (many of whom are non-institutional), PPV has several shortcomings:
• “perceived high prices, compounded by the need to review the full text of irrelevant articles in order to identify relevant ones”
• “uninformative or misleading abstracts requiring users to purchase blind”
This feedback relates to the experiences at the publishers’ site and does not include the challenges users face in finding this information on the web in the first place. For example, users who go first to PubMed or Google, must then go back and forth to each publisher site, each of which has different, often complex interfaces, requiring different search techniques and different e-commerce processes. It is an environment that is friction-heavy and requires many clicks, giving users multiple opportunities to abandon their transaction.
Finally, what does this mean for the Publisher who is likely to ask, “Won’t this cannibalize my PPV”? Using the sample metrics above, imagine placing a DeepDyve rental link alongside the PPV link on the publisher’s site. Knowing that users likely come to the site via a Google search and are therefore qualified and motivated, we can assume that 4% of these 20MM visitors will rent the article. That would equate to $800,000 of rental sales which DeepDyve would split with the publisher. In DeepDyve’s focus groups, respondents viewed the rental option as a way to ‘sample’ an article, or as Marydee Ojala describes it, as a “rent to own” option which is in-line with the PRC report above that users are unwilling to purchase based solely on an abstract. If say 5% of these renters later owned, i.e. 5% of the aforementioned 4%, then 0.2% would conduct a PPV transaction, possibly doubling the publisher’s current PPV sales or at the very least, offsetting any possible cannibalization.
That being said, we do not believe rental will cannibalize PPV sales. Of course, in some respects, with a 0.2% conversion rate, cannibalization, or more accurately ‘piracy’, is already afoot as users “borrow” PDF’s from colleagues or request a free copy directly from the author. As iTunes has proven, $0.99 is a price which makes it morally convenient for users to purchase, not pirate, due to the affordability to impulsively sample and discover material. And “borrowing” takes time, something in short supply for the typical knowledge worker. iTunes has combined the $0.99 point with a simple one-stop shopping experience that no single publisher can easily replicate. Finally, those 0.2% users who are purchasing articles for $25 are clearly very motivated and in our estimation will very likely buy the article anyway, even in the face of a rental option.
In summary, we believe there is a significant, new market opportunity that is literally beating a path to the publisher’s sites, but leaving empty-handed. We believe that publishers have optimized their sites to serve their core institutional audience who is comfortable with their sophisticated interfaces, but consequently have overlooked non-institutional users who’s requirements (affordability; ease of use; one-stop-shopping; full text read-only) are beyond the scope of any single publisher. We believe this non-institutional user base is an attractive, untapped audience that has considerable growth potential in an otherwise challenging economy. The size of this market, how quickly it grows, the affects it has – either positively or adversely – on a publisher’s other businesses –-we really can’t know all the answers to these questions until the service is live in the marketplace and studied. But what we can be certain of is this opportunity will most definitely not materialize if we wait to have all the answers. In that case, I again refer to Geoff Bilder’s ominous iPub analogy where we run the risk that a less-than-friendly outsider emerges and “turns the industry upside down”.