Futures for scholarly journals: a researchers' perspective


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Presentation by RIN's Director, Michael Jubb, at the Association of Subscription Agents' annual conference in February 2010. http://www.subscription-agents.org/conferences/asa-conference-2010

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Futures for scholarly journals: a researchers' perspective

  1. 1. Futures for scholarly journals: a researcher perspective Michael Jubb Research Information Network ASA Conference London, 23 February 2010
  2. 2. Information in the research process: some verbs in the lifecycle <ul><li>gather </li></ul><ul><li>evaluate </li></ul><ul><li>create </li></ul><ul><li>analyse </li></ul><ul><li>manage </li></ul><ul><li>transform </li></ul><ul><li>present </li></ul><ul><li>communicate </li></ul><ul><li>disseminate </li></ul>
  3. 3. Researchers as consumers
  4. 4. What do researchers want to find and use?
  5. 5. Patterns of usage vary……….. <ul><li>between disciplines </li></ul>between institutions
  6. 6. ……… and journals are but one part of a rich pattern of information use
  7. 7. The research process: animal genetics
  8. 8. research process: transgenesis & embryology
  9. 9. research process: epidemiology
  10. 10. research process: neuroscience
  11. 11. the research process <ul><li>differs even in apparently similar areas of work, and also between teams……… </li></ul><ul><li>big science and small science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ primary research engagements tend to be local” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>divisions of expertise, labour and information exchange </li></ul><ul><ul><li>principal investigator/leader, senior researchers/lecturers, associates, computational specialists, postdocs, PhDs, technicians……… </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Different roles and activities: who or where is your information coming from?
  13. 13. Discovery and access : some generalisations <ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of concern about limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>range of other sites and databases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>limited awareness of what is available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited time and “learning costs” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>find a service you like, and stay with it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>importance of (very) domain-specific and (highly) specialist services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ informal discussion” a key source of information and advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relatively little use of blogs, wikis etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>barriers to access to full text are still a concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>resistance to requirement to pay </li></ul></ul><ul><li>multiple platforms an inhibiter to take-up and use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>even Grid users want to work simply on the desktop </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Increase in volume of reading <ul><li>Source: Carol Tenopir </li></ul>
  15. 16. Researchers as creators
  16. 17. Where, when and how to publish? <ul><li>key motivations in making choices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>register claim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>maximise dissemination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>peer recognition (and the rewards that flow from that) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some tensions between effective dissemination and prestige </li></ul></ul><ul><li>publications as measures of performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>growing dominance of journal articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but mixed messages from funders and institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>increasing collaboration more co-authorship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>implications for measures of productivity and impact </li></ul></ul><ul><li>disciplinary differences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>monographs in the humanities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>conference proceedings in engineering and computer science </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Productivity?
  18. 19. Publications by type 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 Biosciences &-medicine Physical sciences Engineering Social sciences Humanities Education Total Article Book Book chapter Proceedings Book review Editorial Meeting abstract Other
  19. 20. Importance of scholarly journals
  20. 21. Importance of conference proceedings
  21. 22. Importance of monographs
  22. 23. Some points about data <ul><li>increasing interest from funders, and some researchers, in data management and sharing </li></ul><ul><li>most researchers spend much of their time searching for, gathering, organising, and analysing data </li></ul><ul><li>but producing – and sharing - data is not the primary objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>general assumption that data do not have intrinsic meaning until analysed, interpreted, described……. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>data curation/stewardship/management important to researchers only (at best) intermittently </li></ul>
  23. 24. Data sharing: ownership, protection and trust <ul><li>responsibility, protectiveness and desire for control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of rewards for data sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>concerns about inappropriate use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>preference for co-operative arrangements and direct contact with potential users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>decisions on when and how to share </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>commercial, ethical, legal issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>belief that only researchers themselves can have the knowledge necessary to take care of their data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>intricacies of experimental design and processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>data management plans required by funders, but not much sign of adoption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>role of publishers? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>trust in other researchers’ data? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t know if they have done it to the same standards I would have done it” </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Work in progress?
  25. 26. Work in progress?
  26. 27. Changes in scholarly communications? 28% 27% 27% 31% 19% No opinion 51% 50% 52% 49% 47% Unlikely 21% 23% 21% 20% 34% Likely Open access online publication supported by an 'author-pays' funding model will predominate 5% 14% 16% 11% 11% No opinion 13% 18% 7% 20% 18% Unlikely 82% 68% 76% 69% 72% Likely New types of online publication, using new kinds of media formats and content, will grow in importance 26% 18% 18% 9% 15% No opinion 38% 41% 38% 54% 42% Unlikely 36% 41% 45% 37% 44% Likely Formal peer review will be increasingly complemented by reader-based ratings, annotations, downloads or citations 5% 18% 11% 14% 6% No opinion 56% 52% 50% 51% 63% Unlikely 38% 30% 39% 34% 31% Likely Existing peer review processes will become increasingly unsustainable Research Fellow Lecturer Senior Lecturer Reader Professor The likelihood of the following changes in scholarly communications within your field over the next 5 years
  27. 28. Web 2.0?
  28. 29. New kinds of articles?
  29. 30. An alternative solution? <ul><li>convert publications to nano-publications (on the fly??) </li></ul><ul><li>share nano-publications in an open triple repository </li></ul>
  30. 31. Some conclusions <ul><li>researchers vary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by role </li></ul></ul><ul><li>researchers, and funders, are increasingly interested in the efficiency of the research process </li></ul><ul><li>researchers’ attitudes and behaviours as producers are not always consonant with their attitudes and behaviours as consumers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>attitudes towards research data are not always what funders, employers (and publishers?) think they are or should be </li></ul></ul><ul><li>established research cultures remain powerful, and new tools and services are taken up when the costs to researchers are low, and when they provide tangible benefits recognised within those cultures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 and related developments small scale as yet, but have the potential to take off </li></ul></ul>
  31. 32. A final thought <ul><li>in difficult economic circumstances, researchers will fight harder for funds to sustain their research than to support the information services on which they depend </li></ul><ul><li>risk that research support will be damaged while researchers are not watching </li></ul>
  32. 33. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Jubb </li></ul><ul><li>www.rin.ac.uk </li></ul>