OPINES VIKAS GUPTA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WILEY INDIA, IN CONVERSATION WITH VARSHA VERMA AND SHWETA KHURANA OF ABP.
All STM global players acquire authors and books in India, which are developed locally but published as a global edition. Printing may or may not happen in India. But the acquisition of books and authors is a robust business in itself in the areas of S&T (Science and Technology) and Social Sciences. But, medical publishing from India is not global. India publishes books on Health Sciences for third world countries like Africa, parts of Middle East, South East Asia, etc, where there are similar standards and acceptance.
Even a British textbook in Health Sciences does not sell in America, but it has big market in Commonwealth countries. American books in medicine are globally accepted,” tells Vikas Gupta, managing director, Wiley India, the Indian subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons Inc, a leading global publisher.
Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons Inc has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfil their aspirations. Wiley India offers a gamut of books and digital products ranging from IT and business books to local reprints of bestselling higher education textbooks at Indian prices. Talking about STMS publishing, Vikas informed that journal publishing in India is a growing field. “Most of these researches are in collaboration with foreign authors. The total articles published from India are dramatically increasing but they are not cited much. So, they do not have a big impact factor. China has a better impact, volume and value,” he adds.
Print vs online sales…
“Majority of research books in universities are going online. But a core textbook is predominantly printed one,” tells Vikas.
“One of the biggest challenges is the quality of writing as lot of people do new research but their papers get rejected in international journals because they are not properly written. So, publishers like Wiley are conducting seminars on how to write good research papers. Then, the authors need to be aware of the copyright issue and plagiarism. Another challenge is to find new topics. Besides, since there is no local recognition in India for research, so most of the researchers go abroad, which is not good for India. Another challenge is that many Indian publishers have good books but the quality standards are not up to the mark,” he shares.
Another important point he shares is that many Indian libraries do not understand the difference between remainder and new books. They buy books which are of no use to the researchers. “For libraries, volume is more important than value and price is a big issue for them. Certain publishers even repackage the old books to show that they have come up with new editions for the books,” he shares. ISBN authorities need to be fully functional.
“Besides, government is not giving enough funds for libraries. So, they have low budgets, which need to be checked,” he adds. “Looking at research as a commodity is a challenge for publishers and saddens thousands of societies we represent as publishers. Globally, research and academia work together but in India they are separate verticals and there is no co-relation between them,” he adds further.
What makes a good library?
“A good library is one which is a hybrid of print and digital. They should have a good indexing system so that there is a single place access for all information. Discoverability is very important and they should have the latest books and other resources,” shares Vikas.
Wiley’s STMS business…
Wiley's Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly (STMS) business serves the world's research and scholarly communities, and is the largest publisher for professional and scholarly societies. Wiley's programs encompass journals, books, major reference works, databases, and laboratory manuals, offered in print and electronically. “Through Wiley Online Library, we provide online access to a broad range of STMS content: over four million articles from 1,500 journals, 9,000+ books, and many reference works and databases. Access to abstracts and searching is free, full content is accessible through licensing agreements, and large portions of the content are provided free or at nominal cost to nations in the developing world through partnerships with organisations such as HINARI, AGO Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace. “And this is our USP. The majority of Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry are Wiley authors,” he says. “Wiley’s Indian business is Rs 100 crore in prints and Rs 150 crore online. We publish about 3,000 books globally, of which 300 titles are published from India,” shares Vikas.
“India is a market where print will remain but STMS publishing would become 100 percent digital. Focus would shift from books to subject databases. It will become a service-centric business. Open access publishing will co-exist with traditional publishing.
Publishers will offer newer services to researchers and scholars to help them write better and get them published. Plagiarism would be tackled where article published would have links to data used for the same. Discoverability of content would increase. But, there would be a new set of competitors, who will not be publishers,” concludes Vikas.
The first ever, Wiley Library Awards were held on January 30, 2016 at New Delhi. With a celebrated history of over 200 years in publishing the work of over 460 nobel laureates and more than 800 societies across the globe, Wiley initiated the awards with a vision to felicitate and bring together the community of distinguished individuals from the field of library information sciences.
The Wiley Library Awards recognise the excellence of these individuals and organisations, encourage innovation and digital transformation efforts, and pay tribute to the community that helps spearhead knowledge dissemination in society.
Nominations were solicited in three categories- Digital Transformed Academic Library, Digitally Transformed Research Library and Aspiring Young Academic Library. Wiley received an overwhelming response, with total of 136 nominations from all regions of India.
In a glittering ceremony which was attended by librarians, senior academicians and industry leaders, the awards (a trophy & cash prize of Rs 25,000)were distributed by Reed Elfenbein EVP International Development & GR Sales Wiley, and Vikas Gupta, managing, director, Wiley India.
The awards ceremony was followed by panel discussion on “Challenges in Research Funding: Effect on Research Output and its Publication” by senior members of the industry & an eye opening session on copyright issues.
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