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From the 2020 update report


What does the landscape, and path to action, look like one year after our initial analysis?

2 mins read

In early 2019, SPARC released its Landscape Analysis, an in-depth look at how academic and scholarly publishing are changing, how the leading publishers are responding to these changes, and the implications for the academic community. Later last year, the Landscape Analysis was followed by a Roadmap for Action outlining steps that the academic community might take to manage the issues that surfaced in the earlier document.

What does the landscape look like one year later? This document reviews the events of the past year and provides updates on both the academic publishing market landscape and the suggested actions for the community to consider, particularly in light of the global COVID health and economic crisis. The document also contains an appendix that reviews in more detail the market and financial performance of some key commercial publishers in 2019 and 2020, as well as their response to changes in the respective marketplaces.

The production of this updated analysis was led by Claudio Aspesi, a respected market analyst with more than a decade of experience covering the academic publishing market for international investors. Over the past two years, Claudio has collaborated closely with SPARC on this work and consulted with more than a dozen university presidents and provosts on addressing important questions of control of the future of research infrastructure.

Before working with SPARC, Aspesi was the Senior Research Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein covering European Media Stocks from 2004 to 2016. The academic publishing market – and Reed Elsevier and Pearson in specific – was a key area focus for him during his tenure. Previously he was Global Senior Vice President of Strategy at EMI Music and was responsible for defining EMI’s business model as the music industry entered the digital age. Before joining EMI in 2002, Claudio was a member of the executive team at Airclic, an Internet infrastructure company and, prior to that, a partner at McKinsey and Co., working with many leading media and entertainment companies.

Aspesi also served as lead author for the original SPARC Landscape Analysis and Roadmap for Action, produced in close collaboration with the SPARC team and after conducting interviews with dozens of key stakeholders including provosts, CIO’s, library leaders, students, and higher education administrators in a wide variety of North American institutions, as well as publishers, and other market experts.

Report Authors

Claudio Aspesi (Lead Author)
Nicole Allen
Raym Crow
Heather Joseph
Joseph McArthur
Nick Shockey

About the authors

Portrait of Claudio Aspesi

Claudio Aspesi

A respected market analyst with over a decade of experience covering the academic publishing market, and leadership roles at Sanford C. Bernstein, and McKinsey.

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

SPARC is a non-profit advocacy organization that supports systems for research and education that are open by default and equitable by design.