Scholastica Announces New White Paper: How publishers can use Agile methodologies to respond to change more effectively

As the rate of evolution in the scholarly communication landscape continues to accelerate, how can journal publishers become more readily adaptive?

The answer to that question may start with changing the way they approach project management.

Iterate to Innovate: How scholarly publishers can use Agile methodologies to respond to change more effectively,” a new white paper from Scholastica, explores how implementing principles of Agile project management, which originated in software development, can help publishers react to change more efficiently and find ways to improve research access and sustainability in the process. The white paper covers:

  • An overview of the origins of Agile in software and its applications in other industries
  • Examples of publishers implementing Agile principles to pilot new journal initiatives, including the Electrochemical Society, Microbiology Society, MIT Press, and UC Press
  • Key takeaways for putting Agile project management principles into practice

Recent events like Plan S and the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed some publishers to implement aspects of the Agile methodology to respond to time-sensitive needs. The “Iterate to Innovate” white paper brings together case studies from publishers across disciplines that have begun applying more Agile organizational mindsets and project management principles to test out new journal initiatives and OA publishing models. Pulling from these examples, it explores how publishers can leverage the benefits of Agile project planning and development long term.

The white paper aims to provide useful background on what Agile is as well as what it is not. As a technology development framework, the authors acknowledge limitations in applying pure Agile methodologies to scholarly publishing. Using the terms “Agile mindset” and “Agile principles,” the paper homes in on the organizational aspects of Agile that various industries have proven able to leverage.

The “Iterate to Innovate” white paper is freely available under a CC BY 4.0 license for direct download here.