Michael Jensen in 2006
courtesy jay mallin photos
Michael Jensen in 2022
courtesy of time.
Michael Jon Jensen's digital scholarly publishing career followed the devopment of the Internet -- first via the ARPANET trunk line that ran through the University of Nebraska, via a Telnet client (with Pine, and Usenet, and then the Cleveland Free-net, and then Gopher...), then onto online publishing, leading important enterprises like Project Muse, and the online publishing of the National Academies Press. Jensen was at the leading/bleeding interface between digital technologies and scholarly/academic publishing from the late 1980s through the 2000s. (He is writing this in past-tense third person not because he's dead, but because it's a prerequisite for search engine optimization, especially with a popular name like Michael Jensen.)

In August of 2022, Michael Jensen "retired," and has been able to work exclusively on the public interest projects that have been bubbling like a rich stew for sometimes decades. He is CEO of mwmwm, inc., the umbrella corporate entity for these projects. First among them is the "Rural Carpool" project, designed to address some of the unique transit challenges of rural communities. The online platform enables rural folks to self-organize regionally to share their occasional but predictable trips to nearby large towns -- to save $$$ and CO2, and to strengthen their broader community. If you're interested, contact Michael. Fun choose-your-own-persona working demo available at RuralCarpool.com.

From late 2015 until August 2022, Michael Jensen was Director of Technology at Westchester Publishing Services, the premier US-based, employee-owned provider of composition, editorial, and other services to book publishers. He led the development of a company-wide digital production system that provides clients an unprecendented view into schedules and processes, provides staff in three continents with highly effective production management tools, and provides managers with detailed reports on production matters.

From 1998 - 2007, Michael Jensen was the Director of Publishing Technologies for the National Academies Press, leading their groundbreaking online publishing program which made more than 4,000 reports of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council fully browsable and searchable online for free (www.nap.edu). The NAP site received more than 1.5 million visitors per month on average, and boasted of some of the most advanced search and discovery tools available on any publisher's site, most of which were initially developed by Mr. Jensen, and many of which remain in use today. The National Academies Press, to Michael's delight, has continued to grow access to the reports of the National Academies, and open access is considered a natural part of nonprofit publishing business models. In 2001, he received the National Academies' "President's Award," its highest staff honor.

In 2007 Michael Jensen was appointed Director of Strategic Web Communications for the Office of Communications of the National Academies as well as the National Academies Press.

In 2012 he left the Academies to start a sustainable organic farm in Nova Scotia with his wife, while still consulting in the field, teaching courses in digital publishing for the Master's in Publishing program at George Washington University, as well as leading occasional multi-day seminars internationally.

Previously, Michael Jensen was Electronic Publisher at the Johns Hopkins University Press, and Electronic Media Manager at the University of Nebraska Press. He has been involved in publishing on the Internet since 1989 and is a frequent speaker and consultant on electronic publishing issues. He has directed or guided such projects as the first searchable online publisher's catalog, a dozen major CD-ROM products, the Gallery of the Open Frontier, the online publication of several large reference works for Johns Hopkins University Press, The Johns Hopkins Online Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism (winner of the Association of American Publisher's 1997 "Best Electronic Product – Internet – Social Sciences/Humanities" award), and Walker's Mammals of the World Online, as well as the pioneering online journals project of the Johns Hopkins University Press, Project Muse, which made more than 5,000 articles from 42 journals available for institutional online subscription in HTML format. To Michael's continuing delight, Project Muse continues to grow, and is now among the most important scholarly resources in the world.

Mr. Jensen invented content-clustering "find more like this" systems via semantic extraction and valuation tools, invented and published PalindromXS, and was coeditor of the comedy doomsday site ApocaDocs from 2009 to 2016. It still limps on, providing a summary of "this day in ecocide" from that period, back when it was obvious there were problems, we could have fixed things lots easier, but hardly anybody wanted to hear, or listen, much less act.

Some of Michael Jon Jensen's Publications and Presentations:
  • Interviewed by David Weinberger on the National Academies Press.
  • Ethics, Publishing, and Planning for the Future: Framing Choices with Eyes Open, presented at GWU's capstone "Ethics and Publishing" conference, for their Master's in Publishing program, June 2013.
  • Scholarly Publishing in the New Era of Scarcity, Plenary presentation at the Association of American University Presses, Philadelphia, 6/2009 (includes video of presentation)
  • Keynote Address for JSTOR's 2008 Participating Publisher Conference, New York, 5/2008
  • Publishing 2012: Current and Future Publishing Issues one-hour presentation to Washington Book Publishers, Washington, 4/2007
  • University Presses in the Ecosystem of 2020, The Journal of Electronic Publishing, Volume 13, Issue 2, Fall 2010 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0013.209
  • The New Metrics of Scholarly Authority The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, cover story, Volume 53, Issue 41, June 15, 2007, by Michael Jensen
  • The Deep Niche, Journal of Electronic Publishing, Volume 10, No. 2, Spring 2007, by Michael Jensen
  • Publishing 2012: Current and Future Publishing Issues one-hour presentation to Washington Book Publishers, Washington, 4/2007
  • Publishing 2012, Preparing for the Future: Digital Strategies for Publishers 10 hours over three days, in partnership with World Bank Publishing and George Washington University, Mexico City, 2/2007
  • Authority 2.0 and 3.0 (PDF) originally presented at 50th anniversary celebration of Hong Kong University Press, 11/2006
  • Cover story in Book Business Magazine, 12/2006
  • Radio Interview on RTHK's "Naked Lunch" (Hong Kong), 24 minutes, RealAudio, 11/29/2006.
  • Evolution, Intelligent Designers, Climate Change, and the Scholarly Publishing Ecosystem, Keynote speech for the Association of American University Presses' Electronic Publishing Workshop, New Orleans, June 15, 2006.
  • Evolution, Intelligent Design, Climate Change, and the Scholarly Ecosystem, Keynote speech for the Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries (IACRL) Biannual Meeting, March 30, 2006.
  • Presses Have Little to Fear From Google, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Point of View, Volume 51, Issue 44, back page, July 7, 2005, by Michael Jensen
  • Selected Readings on Open Source, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Section: Information Technology, Volume 51, Issue 5, Page B23, Sept. 21, 2004, by Michael Jensen
  • Invited chapter in A Companion to Digital Humanities (2005), John Unsworth, Susan Schreibman, and Ray Siemens, editors. Local copy of Michael Jensen's "Intermediation and its Malcontents: Validating professionalism in the age of raw dissemination," by Michael Jensen
  • Discovery, Exploration, Distillation: Implicit Connections, Extractive Power, presentation to the Army's publishing arm by Michael Jensen
  • Applications of Digitization at The National Academies Press, Newberry Library, May, 2004, Michael Jensen
  • Beyond Google/Beyond Words, presentation by Michael Jensen at the 2/2003 Science Writers Association meeting, Denver.
  • Free Access and Increased Sales: The Online Paradox of The National Academies Press, invited presentation by Michael Jensen to the Swedish Library Association's Ebok 2002 in Stockholm, Sweden, November 2002