The rise of digital technology and the increasing demand for open access publications has transformed the scholarly publishing industry, creating new opportunities for publishers to reach wider audiences and facilitate greater collaboration between researchers. 

In Hum and Silverchair's 2023 Publishing Tech Trends Report, we asked a team of publishing industry veterans to share the themes for technologies, resources, or partnerships they see growing in importance for scholarly publishers in the year ahead, and here's what they had to say:

XML-First and XML-Early Workflows

XML-first and XML-early publishing workflows have been discussed for many years, but in 2023, they’re becoming even more critical. Publishers must partner with tools and service providers that can help them generate XML immediately after peer review or when uploading pre-prints to a repository. This will ensure that the content is machine-readable, making it easier to disseminate and reuse.

I find it kind of crazy that I've been speaking about XML-first and XML-early publishing workflows for most of my career. BUT I think we are really, really there. In 2023, I think it's extremely important to partner with tools and service providers and other partners who can support publishers with generating XML immediately after peer review or in the case of pre-prints, an automated transform when uploaded to a repository. —Marianne Calilhanna, Data Conversion Laboratory

Artificial Intelligence

Many industries are rapidly adopting artificial intelligence tools into their day-to-day practices as capabilities rapidly expand in 2023, and publishing is no different. As generative tools like ChatGPT blow up, publishers are racing to understand how these tools stand to influence research, digital publishing, and competition for attention online - but some publishers have been implementing other AI solutions to tag content, automate time-consuming processes, and save time. 

Anything around metadata generation, abstract and summary creation, digital research assistants (to deal with information overload), AI for identifying reviewers, level of copyright needed, extraction of key components, repository partnerships (for OSTP compliance), anything that helps them get their data in order. —Heather Staines, Delta Think

Merging societies, AI and automation, working with third parties on paper mill and manuscript submission processes, publishers buying tech companies. Scale, velocity and volume, research integrity, data-led BI.—Rebecca Moakes, Maverick Publishing Specialists

Tools for Collaboration and Partnership

In 2023, publishers will need to embrace collaboration and partnership more than ever. Jessica Lawrence-Hurt notes that the industry needs to move away from a go-it-alone mentality and work more closely with like-minded partners. This will help publishers overcome challenges that are not their specialty and promote innovation in the industry.

Less go-it-alone mentality and more openness to collaborating with like-minded partners on areas that are not a specialty. —Jessica Lawrence-Hurt

Partnerships to expand outside of our core competencies will be on the rise. Outsourcing to build on resources, both technical and professional. And overall stronger engagement technologies that create automation to assist in small staff with limited resources. —Stacey Burke, APS

User-Friendly Data Tools and Experimentation

The importance of user intel, dashboarding for society partners and institutions, and more seamless and complete integrations across platforms and systems has only grown as publishing has gone primarily digital. Publishers need to focus on providing user-friendly tools that do not require specialized knowledge to operate or glean information from.

User intel; dashboarding for society partners and institutions; more seamless and complete integrations across platforms and systems so that all data can be centralized; user-friendly tools that do not require specialized knowledge to operate or glean information from.—Tanya Laplante, OUP

I'm impressed by the experiments being tried by publishers as they try to learn what will work here. And not all are technological, by any means. New content formats. Innovative business models (like Subscribe to Open). Syndication arrangements (which, depending on what data is being shared, may be good or bad). Industry-wide collaboration on technical solutions to common (and often wicked) industry challenges. —John Challice, Hum

There’s plenty of change to come for the scholarly publishing industry as 2023 rolls on. Publishers must embrace new technologies, collaborate with like-minded partners, and focus on research integrity and data-led BI to stay ahead of the curve. As Hum’s own John Challice notes, there are rapidly emerging technologies that will help publishers do more, reach more, and make sure content is found by those who should see it.

Get the full list of 2023 expert insights when you download a copy of the 2023 Publishing Tech Trends Report.