Future of Scholarly Communications Roundtable

Various authors, JISC Research Communications Strategy / YouTube, Jun 01, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I listened this afternoon to this interesting discussion (8 parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) on the future of open access to academic literature. Good, educated discussion considering new models for scientific publication, including (from part 2) for example the idea of articles being published in a post-journal model. "In a sense journals are dead technology... what's interesting about them is the title, the brand, but nothing else about them is interesting." There's the usual discussion about the rigor of the review meaning something, and the desire of authors and departments to obtain 'prestige' publications. Starting in part three we move into a discussion of economic models, green and gold open access. Part five looks at the possibility of radical change in the field, as for example, when journal brand no longer confers prestige on an article, and we see things like Faculty of 1000 or Mendelay come to the fore. Finally, part eight wraps up looking at the differences between the sciences and the humanities and philosophy, where there may be more scope for leveraging social media. And of course there's the ubiquitous defense of serendipity - as though you could only get serendipity in a journal (and not, say, things like this newsletter).
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