For the past several years, I have been writing about the turn to research workflow tools. These tools reach deeply into the laboratory and are increasingly important to scientists and other scholars, and they impact the university research office and scholarly communications programs. Scholars need seamless end-to-end research solutions. Major publishers are making substantial investments in this area as they seek to pivot their businesses beyond content licensing.

The strategic choices that universities make today will determine whether they are able to realize the economic & technical advantages in shared infrastructure that scales across institutional boundaries — or whether they will find themselves locked in to outsourced solutions no less pernicious than so many libraries have come to find the Big Deal. My latest issue brief addresses this topic from the perspective of academia and how universities can organize themselves to ensure that they provide research workflow tools in ways that benefit the values and interests of scientists and the university itself.

Additional readings from Ithaka S+R

Big Deal: Should Universities Outsource More Core Research Infrastructure?

What is Researcher Workflow?

Workflows and the Highly Collaborative Public Health Scholar

The Center for Open Science, Alternative to Elsevier, Announces New Preprint Services Today

Reflections on “Elsevier Acquires bepress”

The Strategic Investments of Content Providers

Meeting Researchers Where They Start

Additional readings from The Scholarly Kitchen

Workflow Lock-in: A Taxonomy

Workflow Strategy for Those Left Behind: Strategic Options

Workflow Strategy for Those Left Behind: Strategic Context

Strategy & Integration Among Workflow Providers

Who Owns Digital Science?