Briefly explain Maney Publishing’s evolution from a specialist typesetting and printing company to one of the leading academic publishers of recent times?
The printing and typesetting business was established by Walter Stanley Maney in 1900. The Company began to head towards publishing in the 1950s and 60s as it took on more and more work from the increasing number of society journals setting up at the time. The business was eventually sold to a private investor who was keen to establish a Maney imprint. When I entered the company in 1997 it was obvious to me that Maney’s strengths were in its long-standing relationships with learned societies and reputation for publishing services. With my background in medical publishing, I was keen to use Maney’s reputation in humanities as a springboard for new acquisitions and partnerships, which now sees us with a list of over 70 journals in humanities, healthcare, and materials science.
Another milestone in Maney’s publishing history was in 1963 when the Modern Humanities Research Association placed its six journals and two monograph series with Maney, and since then this relationship has flourished. It has given us the opportunity to work with some of the most highly-respected scholars in the field of modern European languages and literature to develop such titles as the Legenda book series, which now includes more than 150 titles by scholars from around the world.
Since 2001, Maney has published the entire programme, 15 journals and an extensive book list, of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. We were keen to work with existing IoM staff and, to this end, placed staff in the Institute premises in London to enable us to work closely with its members and officers. Our move into materials science is an important focus now with the launch of new titles Energy Materials in 2006 and Tribology to be published later this year. We feel that, whilst we have grown as a company almost beyond recognition since the early printing days, this growth stems directly from the meticulous and enthusiastic service on which our reputation is based. Our versatile and growing team is supported by a widening international circle of consultants, freelance colleagues and technology partners.
Maney provides publishing services to several societies. As a publishing partner, what value proposition does the company offer to societies that until now were in-house publishing units?
When we publish for a society, the society retains intellectual control over their journal. Our job is to take on time-consuming administrative and production tasks and provide international marketing, online publishing and enhanced production standards. To date every journal contract we have signed has improved the financial return to the copyright owner, often beyond all expectations. We support and encourage editorial diversity through the publication of review articles, thematic issues and commissioned editorials. I also think one of the most important things we offer is flexibility. As a relatively small company we are able to provide tailored services rather than the one-size-fits-all attitude you may experience with a larger company. Each journal is considered individually in order to maximize potential subscribers and contributors, whilst benefiting from the broader exposure given to the subject areas through things like the MORE collections and subject Spotlights.
What are the key differentiating factors that set Maney Publishing apart from its competitors? Can you please elaborate on your core competence in global marketing?
Each of our journals has its own specialised readership and we therefore think it is very important to market the journals individually where possible. We produce marketing material for each journal and use it for highly targeted campaigns that recognize where, geographically speaking, that journal has a potential readership. This is established by working closely with editors to recognize areas where important research is going on, or where new interest in a field is emerging. It is a tailor-made marketing strategy in contrast to some larger companies who may rely solely on a catalogue covering a broad subject area to market all its journals in that field.
We promote titles by international marketing campaigns which involve conferences and meeting with libraries, targeted mail campaigns to research institutes, private companies and libraries, and emerging research ‘hotspots’. In particular, we have developed a strong programme of marketing and support to libraries. All of this has increased not only subscriptions and sales, but also submissions, by making potential contributors more aware of our services, thus feeding back into citations and impact factors.
You recently announced an agreement with SIMID. How do you think SIMID can help the company increase its market share in Europe? Also, please explain how will this agreement benefit your customers?
By placing our healthcare journal contents on the SIMID database we are making this content more easily accessible to a wider audience. Information can be very difficult to come across as e-content is accessed in so many different ways and via so many different websites and databases. SIMID is a central database for the medical profession, containing content from publishers such as Nature Publishing Group and Elsevier, thus a first port of call for researchers and scientists.
Please elaborate on Maney’s Online Research E-journals initiative. What are your new product development or content development ideas, especially for online products?
We launched the MORE journal collections in 2005 to provide libraries and consortia with a value-for-money opportunity to access more content than they currently subscribed too. Going on feedback from libraries we have spoken to, the content from journals which they didn’t originally subscribe to has had far more usage than anticipated. For a relatively small price increase they can secure access to our full collections in history and humanities, materials science and healthcare.
In June 2006 we signed an agreement with Eduserv Chest to offer our MORE collections to UK libraries, which has resulted in a significant increase in uptake. Maney journals are also sublicensed to full-text aggregators like EBSCOHost, and contributed to projects such as HINARI that deliver journal content free of charge to academic institutions in the countries with the lowest per capita incomes. Our presence in China is continually expanding with the success of Maney’s Chinese-language website and agreement with the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information in Beijing to license our entire backfile of technical and medical journals.
The majority of our technical and biomedical titles now use the Editorial ManagerTM online manuscript submission, tracking and peer review system. We have seen this significantly reduce the time between submission and first decision on papers.
In 2007 we are working hard to increase awareness of the MORE collections and online content in general. We are currently extending E-marketing campaigns offering free trial access to online articles from particular journals. We expect this to improve online usage and raise awareness of our online presence to all our subscribers.
The industry is increasingly moving towards E-publishing, and we are keen to make the most of the opportunities it affords in reaching a wider readership. However, for Maney this will never entirely replace the print format which remains vital to many of our journals and societies, and to which we are deeply committed. Going forward, we expect to be deeply involved in E-books, digitization of our journal backfiles, and some innovative ‘virtual’ journal projects in the foreseeable future.
Please comment on Maney’s performance for the year 2006. What will be the key opportunities and challenges for your company for 2007/08?
The end of 2006 and beginning of 2007 saw a quick succession of nine journal acquisitions. This year we look forward to producing the first issues of titles such as The Hardy Review, Exemplaria, Comparative American Studies and Materials Research Innovations under the Maney imprint.
In recent years our activity in the North American market has significantly expanded with a number of acquisitions and proposals submitted, and this year we are extending further into this market. At events such as the American Libraries Association meetings we have met with terrific enthusiasm for individual titles and the MORE collections. Our journals are enjoying widespread recognition within their fields in America and have strong American editorial input. Recent activity has demonstrated a keen interest amongst American societies in the services a proactive and focused publisher like Maney can provide.
We also see the Far East as a major growth area, whilst India is one of our fastest-growing market, to serve which we have just retained Informatics as our agent for E-sales.
The challenges are to manage growth in an increasingly competitive market, whilst maintaining the levels of service for which Maney is, I hope, known. This includes service to our ‘downstream’ customers – those who buy or license our content – and those ‘upstream’ – the editors, authors and societies for whom we work. 2007 is the 10th year of publishing journals under the Maney imprint: we have come a long way quickly and I see no reason why we cannot expand further.