October 23, 2013 Last Updated 2:57 pm

Wiley Publishing continues delivering new apps to readers hungry for academic journals in digital formats

With well over 100 apps inside the Apple App Store, Wiley Publishing is undoubtedly one of the most frequent launchers of new digital editions. But what Wiley publishes is not always very visible, aimed generally at a very select and exclusive audience. While the publisher has launched digital editions for some of their “Dummies” titles, it has hardly taken a very consumer approach to digital editions.

Wiley-new-releases-lgMicrosoft Excel 2010 for Dummies, for instance, is priced at $14.99. Not surprisingly, there are no ratings or reviews to be found as I’m sure the app sank like a stone.

It is a generally accepted rule that when pricing eBooks and journals that lower is better.

But Wiley is not exactly known for pricing low. Many of is titles are targeted to a few select audience that covets the information, and is often willing to pay top dollar for it.

Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry or Neurogastroenterology & Motility are not exactly the kind of titles travelers pick up at the airport bookstore for pleasure reading on a flight. But as a former B2B publisher (Industrial Paint & Powder and Intelligent Transportation Systems are two of the titles that once listed me a publisher or group publisher) I can tell you with certainty that there are loyal audiences for titles such as these.

So Wiley continues to launch new apps, and frequently they are appearing in the Newsstand. Evolution Journal, Biotechnology and Bioengineering and European Journal of Organic Chemistry are the three newest to appear.

Wiley now has 57 different titles inside Apple’s Newsstand after previously specializing in stand-alone apps for many of its book titles.

Wiley-iPad-frameThe Newsstand apps are all universal and similarly designed. These are not native tablet editions that will use animation and video to wow readers. Instead, they look more like news apps, delivering their content in straight forward layouts that can work as well on an iPhone as they do on an iPad.

This is certainly the right approach when trying to simply deliver the print magazine’s content to readers that want to use their tablet or smartphone as the reading device. But ultimately new editors will demand the ability to create HTML5 animations and infographics. Whether the skill set exists at Wiley now to almost instantly translate complex data into graphics that more clearly explain the data and information is something I do not know. But if it doesn’t exist now it will in the future as younger editors feel comfortable with the new communication technology.

The price tag on some of Wiley’s journals will be an eyeopener for the uninitiated. European Journal of Organic Chemistry, for instance, costs $899.99 per year to subscribe to the weekly digital edition. Evolution Journal is $299.99 for a year’s worth of monthly issues. The good news is that current subscribers can “pair” their device with their subscription. I think that seems only fair, right?

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