Annual Meeting Report

I Am Sorry, Who Are You Now? Navigating Mergers and Acquisitions in the Vendor Space

Abstract

MODERATOR: Angela Cochran American Society of Civil Engineers Reston, Virginia SPEAKER: Michael Di Natale BioOne Arlington, Massachusetts Alison O’Connell CoKo Foundation South Hampton, New Hampshire REPORTER: Alaina Wangsgaard Western North American Naturalist Provo, Utah In the current climate of mergers and acquisitions, it can be difficult for smaller publishing houses and scientific societies to maintain their identities. This session aimed to offer viable alternatives to mergers and acquisitions, as well as to assuage the fears associated with them. To start off the presentation, the moderator, Angela Cochran of the American Society of Civil Engineers, said a few words. She described a variety of drawbacks, both perceived and real, that come with mergers, such as a loss of influence with vendors, a shift in the size of the pond, a change in the company’s mission, and the idea of paying competitors. All of these are tough pills to swallow, but Cochran also took care to describe some of the positive elements that come from mergers. For instance, a merger makes it easier for a smaller company to join a group with a more consistent roadmap, and a bigger fish can now push development in the field. Although mergers are difficult, Cochran explained, they can be used as collaborative efforts to improve scholarly publishing as a whole. Cochran also gave a brief overview of the options available to companies that don’t want to consider a merger, such as moving to another commercial platform, partnering with other societies, and exploring open-source tools. The […]

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