Digital technology has greatly impacted the publishing industry, leading
to consolidation of the production cycle, reduction of the publication
time period, use of newly available and open source publishing formats,
and changing revenue models. Self-publishing, open access, and new players
such as Amazon, Google, and Lulu have altered the previously defined roles
related to this practice. Writers need not necessarily leave it up to an
intermediary to publish a book but can now edit, print and distribute
their work (and the work of others) with greater ease.
Yet do-it-yourself quite often results in less than average outcomes – we
aren’t all born as those qualified editors, graphic designers and
marketeers who traditionally play important roles in publishing a work.
This research therefore focuses on publishers of academic, theoretical,
and design-oriented work in the Netherlands to see how they are
confronting these massive upheavals in their trade. It will trace each
step of the publishing process and examine choices on copyright and
licensing restrictions. Are publishers experimenting with alternative
modes of publishing and licenses? How do they feel towards levels of
openness (free downloadable pdfs and epubs, reusable content,
non-traditional legal licenses, even open source software)? Another
critical component is to decipher if and how these changes in digital
technologies and workflow are bringing about entirely new forms of
long-format scholarly, intellectual, and visual communication.
Our research methods will be conducted via online questionnaires and by
personal interviews with publishing house representatives. We aim to
document and report our findings as a publication of INC’s own publishing
Out of Ink: Future Publishing Industries is a project by the Institute of Network Cultures.
Supervision: Geert Lovink, Margreet Riphagen.
Research and interviews: Lily Antflick, Morgan Currie, Silvio Lorusso.