Archive for the ‘Business Model’ Category

Heaven has its newest angel: Julia Claire Blixrud

November 2, 2014

In Memoriam

Julia Claire Blixrud 

1954 – 2014


The scholarly community has lost a great leader and friend. Julia Blixrud past away on Wednesday, morning October 29, 2014.

She was known to have a positive lasting effect on everyone she met. In the short time that I knew Julia, she had an enduring positive effect on me.

I first met Julia at the AAUP annual meeting luncheon. My very good friend Rush Miller introduced me to Julia. During the ninety-minute luncheon, we had the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics that affect every ARL’s business environment.   From the challenging library budgets to the effects of Open Access, this discussion forged a new relationship between us.

We exchanged business cards and promised to stay in touch, as she wanted to create a seminar for the new incoming ARL directors. Julia was very motivated to provide this new crop of library directors with tools, information and training to provide them with a foundation to ensure their success in their new role.

Over the next twelve months Julia and I engaged in several phone conversations that led to an awesome lunch meeting this past March at Ilili restaurant. During this lunch we got a chance to take a friendship to the next level. I learned more about her illustrious career and her deep love for her husband Keith, her family and her industry colleagues.

Our conversations continued over the next few months and then the bomb hit. I called Julia at her ARL office this summer to follow-up on our discussion and the attendant suggested that I could reach her on her cell phone. As always she answered the phone in her normal upbeat and positive way. She shared with me that she was undergoing some medical treatments as her cancer had resurfaced. I shared with Julia that my oldest sister has just undergone a bilateral mastectomy. She immediately offered her prayers and support. This was one of Julia’s many positive attributes. Julia was always there to be a supportive friend.

A couple of months later I checked in with Julia to see how she was doing and she left me with the impression that all was well. I mentioned to her that I was organizing a thought leader dinner for a client and wanted her to attend. She suggested that I forward the invitation to her and she would let me know if she or someone from ARL would attend.

Two weeks ago, I called Julia’s office in Washington, DC to follow-up on our last conversation about the invitation to the thought leader dinner. The receptionist politely suggested that I reach Julia on her cell phone. When I reached Julia, she immediately offered her apologies for not getting back to me. You see she was back in Kansas for her cancer treatment. I replied, “Julia no, you have my apology!” We chatted for a little bit and then I wished her well with her treatment. I got off the phone and thought, “Even as she is facing a reoccurrence of her cancer she it still thinking of others”!

This past Friday I called Rush Miller to catch up with him regarding his retirement and during our conversation he spoke about the number of ARL directors that are retiring this year. I mentioned my conversation with Julia about her goals for the new ARL librarians and then Rush hit me with the news that Julia had passed away Wednesday morning. Wow, what a punch to my gut! While I had only known Julia for 1-½ years she has made a significant impact on my life and me.

As the industry learns of Julia’s passing, we are going to learn so much more about the impact that she has made on the lives of her family, friends, co-workers and industry. As one of her newest friends I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts about the great person that she was and the legacy she leaves for all of us to follow.

Julia, thank you for your friendship, your counsel and your contributions to the scholarly community!


Darrell W. Gunter

Her obituary can be found at this link and her services are being held today Sunday, November 2, 2014. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Trinity Lutheran Church or Lawrence Memorial Hospital – Oncology Center and may be sent in care of the mortuary. Online remembrances can shared at


Advertising: Future significant source of revenue for the scholarly publishers?

April 8, 2013

Advertising has played a major role in the print subscription model for a number of publishers prior to the Internet.  Print advertising was and still is quite prominent for a number of publishers, specifically in medical and other specialty journals.  Outsell Inc., the information industry research house, estimates that advertising represents 7.5% ($2.2 B) of the industry’s  $29.8 B revenue.[i]  The number of publishers incorporating advertising into their revenue stream is quite small when you consider the 7,000+ publishers worldwide.

The scholarly publishing industry’s (SPI) user group has embraced the mobile device.  The research community is now using smart phones, tablets and second screens. estimates the global mobile device to be 5.9 billion devices with the USA approaching 1 billion devices[ii].  The scholarly publishing industry has been and will continue to be under tremendous pressure as a number of factors will continue to challenge the library budgets and the publisher’s business model and revenue streams.  These pressures coupled with the growth of the mobile device market and the changing needs of the researchers are presenting a challenge and opportunity to the scholarly publishing industry.    Could advertising be that new opportunity for scholarly publishers?

These are the early days and the jury is still out on this question of advertising and the role it will play in the current and future revenue streams of the scholarly publishing industry.  To help the scholarly publishing industry to better understand the origins of advertising and the potential opportunity it may present, PSP’s (Professional Scholarly Publishers)  Electronic Information Committee’s spring seminar series will focus on advertising.  This three-part series will focus on the history of advertising, the opportunities and the future of advertising as it relates to scholarly publishing.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I am the co-chair of the EIC committee along with John Purcell.

As the research community is consuming scientific peer-reviewed literature and other related information via a number of devices, it is presenting the scholarly publishing community with a great opportunity for a new revenue stream consisting of advertising.  The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) annual report provides a number of interesting facts about the growth of Internet advertising and the recent developments of mobile device usage.

According to IAB the 2012 numbers are not yet available, but in the first three-quarters of the year, Internet advertising revenues climbed to $26 billion (a high for the period) and up nearly 15 percent from the prior year. Full-year figures for 2011 showed our industry attracted more advertising dollars than cable television, magazines or newspapers. Digital media are now mainstream media.[iii]  The global mobile advertising market is valued at $5.3 billion in 2011[iv].

With the global mobile device market growing beyond 6 billion devices, we can safely assume that the advertising dollars will follow.  The mobile device manufacturers are selling mobile devices in all shapes and sizes.  The industry is working very steadfastly to better understand how to deliver advertisements to serve the needs of the reader in the most constructive manner.  The IAB, in partnership with 4A’s and ANA has embarked on a new advertisement measurement initiative called The Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative.  The goal is to help marketers and advertisers follow suit by evolving the way media is bought and sold to increase efficiency, value and understanding.  This initiative can be found on page 8 of IAB’s annual report.

If the scholarly publishing industry is going to better understand the internet advertising opportunity, it will be essential that it embraces the key associations, players, vendors, agencies, etc.  Developing a 360° degree view of the advertising industry is extremely important if the scholarly publishing industry will develop advertising from a minor role to a new major source of revenue.

As mobile usage continues to grow, the scholarly publishing community can take a look at the consumer trends to determine how they will behave in the scholarly publishing arena.  For example, 63 percent of digital video screening on mobile phones does not happen on the go, but rather at home[v].  What if this statistic holds true for scholarly researchers?  How will this affect how the researchers consume their daily scholarly information and what type of advertisements will work in their environment?

These questions and many others  will be asked and answered over the next few years as many will have much to say about this topic.  But one thing is for sure; the scholarly publishers who embrace the possibility of advertising becoming a significant revenue stream will open themselves to the opportunity.  For those scholarly publishers that shrug their shoulders at the idea of advertising generating significant revenue they will find themselves on the outside looking in asking the same question, “What is the business model?”

My answer: To be in business!

[iv] Source: global mobile Advertising market U.S. IAB, IAB Europe, and IHS Screen Digest

[v] Source: IAB mobile Phone video diaries Conducted by On Device Research for IAB

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