Selling Research Papers

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And by unbundling the paper from the journal, as had let music fans unbundle songs from albums, they felt like they were kicking a brick out of the outmoded publishing infrastructure.

Hoyt, however, found that his efforts to strengthen this tool increasingly revealed its limits.

The Direct Selling Education Foundation, through its association with accomplished academics, promotes the development of scholarly work about the direct selling channel.

Through a combination of data compilation, professional connections and funding, the DSEF is committed to the production of research which illuminates the realities of direct selling as a method of distribution.

Removing Elsevier’s papers destroyed “a huge percentage of what we had,” Hoyt said.

For Hoyt, this rollback clarified that “things were closing off.”Regardless, by the end of that summer, Mendeley had over a million users who had uploaded over sixty million papers—the world’s single biggest repository of academic papers—and were sharing many of them.

No one has that kind of data at the scale of Mendeley.

Mendeley had been selling access to segments of that data to publishers and other institutions, including Elsevier, as part of its business model. But if it wants users to continue generating streams of data, the company will have to play nice, which leaves it with something like the Facebook model: create software and a huge social network in which people share information that it can profitably harvest, and be just conciliatory enough about privacy, anyway, to repel fewer people than it attracts.

As users became happier, publishers grew grumpier and investors less patient.

The company was generating lots of value, but had not yet collected on it.


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