Wiley chief calls for community to end academic ‘crisis’

Wiley chief calls for community to end academic ‘crisis’

John Wiley president and c.e.o. Mark Allin called on the trade to tackle the “acute crisis” in the research community and the recruiting and retention of staff.

In a keynote speech at yesterday’s “The Markets” conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Allin told delegates that Wiley was changing its focus and “moving closer to customers” than ever before. “As publishers we used to get obsessed with content, with making a product and seeing if we could sell it. But we have changed…we are moving to an ongoing partnership with our customers,” he said, claiming the shift had “digital at its heart”.

Allin highlighted Wiley’s shift from providing products for academics to working with companies and investing in platforms that focus on professional development and training. “Talent is a big concern: finding it, retaining it, training it. Most employers realise that those leaving university today need to be prepared to train, in future, for jobs we have not yet created, with technology not yet invented.”

Allin also claimed that, on average, researchers spend less than half of their time at work researching, and are instead occupied by time-consuming tasks such as admin. “This is a catastrophe,” he said.

“It is why we have launched [management tools] programmes like Wiley Author Services.”