I’m going at this rear-end on, so to speak, in that I’m inverting the order in which the pieces I’m talking about originally appeared. The Scholarly Kitchen features among its contributing staff a number of very savvy people who have been in the STM biz for a couple of centuries, when you lump their experience together. The Kitchen started with a long post on what the industry is doing wrong, and more on that later. That seemed a little unfair, so I waited until the companion piece, about what’s going right, appeared and figured I would launch that one out first. The cooks, as they call themselves (or maybe it’s chefs) came up with a goodly list of things that the industry is doing well. And there was a fair degree of overlap. One of the elements commented on quite frequently was the fact that STM publishing had switched to a digital ‘economy’ swiftly and well. A number of industries have not. Photography, the recording industry, newspaper and magazine publication are examples of industries that have not weathered the shift to digital production and distribution at all well. But, STM did,after some initial hesitation. Other factors include: the existence of standards, a certain enthusiasm and even dedication to the task of scholarly publication, flexibility in dealing with developing sciences, a well-educated work force and so on. One person commented that the best thing about STM publication is that it exists at all. “In a world” as the guy in the movie trailer voice overs used to say, where STM did not exist, how would the work of validating and disseminating scientific knowledge get done? OK, there is certainly room for improvement and no room for preening or complacency. But, the cooks want to ask the whole STM industry to “stand up now and take a bow”. As I was reading the contributions, I found myself nodding and saying ‘yes’. I hadn’t come up with much beyond the ‘standards’ part, which is the result of a couple centuries of people trying to figure out things: are there to be references? If yes, where should they go? What should they look like? Units of measure? Spelling? Language of submission(any? English? German?) None of this stuff is immediately obvious and a lot of it can be argued in more than one way. Today when you send your manuscript off to PNAS, you know that it will appear very nicely, with everything just so. We don’t even advert to this rather wonderful thing, so accustomed to it are we now. And the shift to a digital basis was a triumph. OK, OK, next week we’ll look at the other side.