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The Future of Online (Academic) Publishing - Presentation to the ISMTE August 2009 



The presentation and audio from a presentation I made to the ISMTE (www.ismte.org) at their 2009 annual meeting in Baltimore. The topic of the talk was "What is the Future of Online Publishing" and I tried to keep it rather general (and vague!). The talk is directed at an audience of people who think about journals from the publishing side of the business , but it will be of interest to a wider audience as well.

 

 
 
Tags:  journals  academic publishing  STM  online publishing  PLoS  PLoS ONE  article level metrics 
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Published:  August 18, 2009
 
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Slide 1: Committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a public resource “What is the Future of Online Publishing” Peter Binfield, Managing Editor of PLoS ONE pbinfield@plos.org www.plos.org
Slide 2: Caveats! • This presentation is a personal view from someone in the trenches • I am not an expert, but I do run PLoS ONE – A ‘born digital’ publication – Online only, publishing daily in HTML, XML, PDF – Recognized as one of the most innovative journals on the web – 3 years old and now the third largest journal in the world – Growing rapidly! • I work in Open Access, and I will mention OA… – but this is not about Open Access (mostly!) – most of this applies to any business model • I am primarily talking about STM journals www.plos.org
Slide 3: How do you predict the future? • Short term: – The persistence method – Publishing for the next 5 years will still be recognizable to us today www.plos.org http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fcst/mth/prst.rxml
Slide 4: How do you predict the future? • Longer term: – Butterfly wings do have an effect… – Publishing in the next 5-10 years will show significant and potentially unpredictable differences from today www.plos.org
Slide 5: How do you predict the future? • And when you’re feeling lucky? – Make it up as you go along, express it vaguely enough, and hope you are out of there before anyone notices! www.plos.org
Slide 6: (so you don’t have to predict my talk) 1. The future is (already) online – The majority of journals will be ‘online only’ in 5 years time Spoilers! 2. Publishing will move closer to the communities it serves – Cultivating communities will become increasingly important 3. New evaluation methods will evolve – Impact Factor will no longer be the only game in town www.plos.org
Slide 7: (so you don’t have to predict my talk) 4. Publishers will provide new ‘bells and whistles’ – New toys, lots of experiments, few standards – The concept of ‘version of record’ will be under threat Spoilers! 5. Data will become increasingly important and may start to supplant primary publications – Although the article will remain, publishing data may replace publishing articles in some fields – Open data / Open science / Open linking will become key 6. New tools will affect us in unknown ways – – – – Google Wave? E-ink? Ubiquitous wireless internet? Mendeley / Zotero? www.plos.org
Slide 8: 1. Online Only is already happening – Most newly launched titles are already ‘born digital’ and are online only – Some major publishers (e.g. ACS) are already deemphasizing print – Some major publishers (e.g. SAGE) have now made some titles online-only – Vast numbers of titles are now being digitized back to Iss 1, Vol 1 • In 5 years time, most titles will be onlineonly (or as near as makes no difference) – Perhaps a handful of archival hard copies will be produced – Print may only remain for ‘high volume’, individual circulation titles. – Increasingly, publishers will provide HTML and XML in addition to PDF – PDF will remain important but will start to fade in www.plos.org importance
Slide 9: 2. Connecting with, and building, Communities • In the past: –Publishers didn’t care so much about academics – they just supplied the papers. –The real attention was focused on the librarians they paid for the content. –Many journals struggle for content –Many journals struggle for reviewers –Individuals are increasingly taking control of their own content –Individuals possess powerful soapboxes • Today: • Therefore, publishers will start to care about their academic communities a lot more. –Publishers will compete for ‘hearts and minds’ –We will see more efforts to build, and tie, www.plos.org communities to journals
Slide 10: 2. Connecting with, and building, Communities Audience Poll - how many of your titles: –Run a Blog? –Tweet? –Have a Facebook page? –Are active in discussion forums? • Your readers, reviewers, authors and customers are doing all of this. – If you want to reach these people, and build their loyalty you will need to engage with them in their own space – We will see less ‘marketing’ oriented communication and more genuine engagement – Science publishing is all about communication – new tools and attitudes are going to empower us differently www.plos.org
Slide 11: Building Communities www.plos.org
Slide 12: Building Communities www.plos.org
Slide 13: Building Communities www.plos.org
Slide 14: Building Communities www.plos.org
Slide 15: Building Communities www.plos.org
Slide 16: 3. ‘Impact’ will start to be measured in new ways – Today: Impact Factor; Citations; h-Index; Faculty 1000; and the journal brand – Tomorrow: all of the above plus usage; blogs; social bookmarks; reputation metrics; discussion forum activity; behavioral mining etc etc – Recommended reading: “The New Metrics of Scholarly Authority” by Michael Jensen. • Providing Usage Data at the article level will become commonplace and will quickly gain in importance. • In 5-10 years, will the Impact Factor still exist? • And will articles be more important than the journal they are published in? www.plos.org
Slide 17: Cu r re nt Vie w www.plos.org
Slide 18: Av aila ble soo (Au n g ‘0 9) www.plos.org
Slide 19: Frontiers in Neuroscience www.plos.org
Slide 20: Journal of Vision www.plos.org
Slide 21: 4. Publishers will provide new ‘bells & whistles’ – – – – Interactivity Multimedia elements Semantically enhanced articles Lots of experimentation and little standardization • This will cause a debate as to the ‘version of record’ of these enhanced versions, as well as how to archive them. – Which will not be solved in the foreseeable future!... www.plos.org
Slide 22: Interactivity / Multimedia
Slide 23: Interactivity / Multimedia The Possible Future at Elsevier • http://beta.cell.com/hochstim/
Slide 24: Semantically enhanced articles • Article published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases http://www.plosntds.org/doi/pntd.0000228 • Creative reuse Semantically Enhanced Version http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000228.x 001 • Review published in PLoS Computational Biology Adventures in Semantic Publishing: Semantic Enhancements of a Research Article http://www.ploscompbiol.org/doi/pcbi.1000361
Slide 25: Semantically enhanced articles • Tables convert to Excel Along with the standard format for viewing tables online, this enhanced article also offers the raw data to download tables directly into Excel, for further research and re-use.
Slide 26: Semantically enhanced articles • Interactive map An interactive version of the original figure, permitting individual panels to be dragged and superimposed on one another. • Location map on Google • Overlay map on Google
Slide 27: Semantically enhanced articles • Semantic Views Click on a button to view the corresponding highlighted text. • Links To references and external sites
Slide 28: Semantically enhanced articles
Slide 29: Semantically enhanced articles
Slide 30: Semantically enhanced articles
Slide 31: A willingness to publicly experiment
Slide 32: A willingness to publicly experiment
Slide 33: A willingness to publicly experiment
Slide 34: A willingness to publicly experiment
Slide 35: 5. A shift from the Journal to the data? • Increasingly heard: “The Data is the publication” • Some fields are already moving beyond the concept of the article, and are starting to treat data as more important than the article itself • At the very least we will see data much more closely integrated with publications • Publishers do not need to ‘go it alone’ – they just need to facilitate it. www.plos.org
Slide 37: www.plos.org
Slide 38: www.plos.org
Slide 39: www.plos.org
Slide 40: www.plos.org
Slide 41: www.plos.org
Slide 42: www.plos.org
Slide 43: Document What we already have is… a network of literature www.plos.org
Slide 44: Document Database But we will work towards… a network of literature and data www.plos.org
Slide 45: Linking Open Data www.plos.org http://esw.w3.org/topic/SweoIG/TaskForces/CommunityProjects/LinkingOpenData
Slide 46: 6. New Tools and Technologies Will Affect Us In New Ways • We will see new display technologies, – Kindles / e Books – Flexible e-ink displays – Higher resolution, larger sized screens • new delivery technologies, – Much higher speed internet – Ubiquitous wireless access – Internet on a wide variety of devices • and new communication and publishing technologies being widely adopted. – Mendeley / Zotero – Google Wave – An opening up of databases via APIs www.plos.org
Slide 47: Crystal Ball (10 years+) • The journal may no longer exist as an indicator of brand or quality, or even as a container of articles • Standards will finally evolve for multimedia and interactive functionality in articles • Semantic enrichment and data mining will have demonstrated genuine benefits for readers and researchers, resulting in new discoveries • PDFs that simply replicate print will be a long distant memory • We will not solve the archiving problem www.plos.org
Slide 48: How do you predict the future? • In reality, some things change slower than expected while other things come out of nowhere at high speed! • Even though academic publishing was an early adopter of internet publishing, it has tended to move more slowly than many people had hoped for, or expected • Despite this, it feels to me like we’re on the verge of some exciting changes! • At the very least, we live in interesting times… www.plos.org
Slide 49: This is just me observing the butterfly. We don’t know what the weather will look like yet! Peter Binfield, Managing Editor, PLoS ONE pbinfield@plos.org www.plos.org http://www.flickr.com/photos/nightmare/536789887/

   
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