Have you ever played that game about brands? Who owns whom? We live in an age of corporate consolidation. Big companies continue to acquire or merge with smaller firms at a rapid pace. All the biggest product brands in the world are owned by a handful of corporations. This interesting information came to us from The Scholarly Kitchen in their article, “Naiveté Scene — Open Source vs. Scale in Scholarly Publishing.”

Is this true for the world of scholarly publishing as well? The scholarly publishing business is quite consolidated. Ten companies control more than 75% of the market. One of the obstacles preventing more diversity in the publishing market is open source.

In general, companies are relying on open source solutions more often. However, when it comes to open source, scale poses a problem. There are very few successful open source offerings in the world of academic publishing. Some open source library management systems have attempted to defy the many sources of gravity in software development using an open source approach, only to be brought down by the fact that developers’ time is scarce, and there isn’t enough of it to go around.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.