Scholarly communication landscape


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Presentation given SLA Arabian Chapter February 2010

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  • Content: The basic content of scholarly publishing hasn't changed too dramatically in hundreds of years. The original goals of publications like the royal academies of philosophies sciences in the United Kingdom remain intact in the 21st century. Journal literature is created to further the disciplinary study of any given subject area through research and then it's dissemination. While some areas of academic study and discourse have been abandoned, new areas have arisen and the overall scholarly output continues to grow. Journal publishing is still by and large dictated by editorial and peer-review prior to publication. Containers:  What has changed in the past twenty odd years is how academic scholarship is packaged and delivered to its constituents. Publications are still printed and produced in hand-held container known as journals but they're also now disseminated through "portable document formats" or PDFs and hypertext mark-up language "html". Online journals can be many more pages than print journals and they can provide interactivity to other forms of electronic media. The journal is still considered to be the package of choice for online dissemination of academic information but article-level access is rapidly becoming the more important structural element of scholarly communication. Computing: Since the advent of the Internet and initial networked computing in the 1970's, computers have played a vital role for researchers and academic institutions. Initially, their role was limited to acting as tools of developing and processing research. More and more computers are becoming the main mechanism through which scholarly information flows and is delivered.  New capabilities: As computers become smaller, faster, and more mobile, so does the content delivery in scholarly communication. Today, there more and more multi-media journals being produced. There are scientific social networks being delivered around interactive PDF-sharing and contribution. Scholarship is evolving and changing into a more interactive and shared environment. As this happens, librarians need to be considering how they can serve their user populations to take advantage of these new scholarship paradigms.
  • There's multiple layers to the publishing industry. One of the large, more encompassing layers is that of large commercial content that provide us with newspapers, weekly magazines, and popular/heavily used trade publications. In the library world, these are companies like EBSCO Publishing, ProQuest, H.W. Wilson, and Cengage Gale. They provide libraries with databases of "aggregated" content from various content producers who are paid to have their content made available through these packages. The standard publisher deal with an aggregator package is 5 years which means the aggregator can serve that content out for five years and then they try to negotiate a new contract with the content producer. Some content producers supply their content to multiple providers; others sign what are known as exclusives in order for only one aggregator to provide access to that content. Many of the aggregator providers grew their aggregator services out of what was just an abstracting and indexing service in print.  Then we have the big academic publishers, most of whom are are science-technical and medical publishers otherwise known as STM publishers. This group includes names such as: Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, Springer, Taylor and Francis, and Wiley-Blackwell. These are publishers who have invested quite a bit of infrastructure into developing their own web services that are marketed to both libraries and to individual users. Their editorial and peer-review practices have shifted into the networked online environment and their content delivery is generally considered to be consistent and stable. Many of the large commercial content providers and the big publishers offer package pricing deals for groups of libraries known as "big deals", These deals generally provide a larger content base than any one library could provide solely and also allow for a discounted payment or locked in renewal rate for multiple years. This type of deal allows a library to provider far more content then they normally could subscribe to individually and provide a predictable rate of renewal increase.
  • Society Publishers: At the next level of scholarly publishing, you find the society publishers. While generally smaller and more focused than the big STM publishers, larger society publishers often behave like the larger STM providers. They often offer "big deal" type packages for their content and their content costs in many ways rival the costs spent on the STM providers. smaller societies will generally act more like their university press counterparts. Smaller society publishers will usually look for a place to have their journals hosted for them because they do not have their own infrastructure to host journals themselves. They may or may not join with other societies or university presses in an aggregated type of presentation of their content. University presses operate alot like society publishers. The larger ones such as Oxford University Press can afford to locally host their own content and provide the local infrastructure for managing big deal packaging of their content. Some american University Presses such as Duke University Press or John Hopkins UP have even created hosting platforms that other UP's  use. smaller institutions generally find hosting services for their platforms. For extremely small university and society presses; they may not have online content at all but may still be producing content in print. Last but not least are academic and learned organizations such as Massachusetts Medical Society who produce the New England Journal of Medicine. Again, these organizations may be large enough to host their own content and provision of it electronically or else, they may find a hosting service for their content. Let's pause here for questions and discussion.
  • Open access journals come from a myriad of places. Many of the large STM publishers offer an 'author pays' model that allow for articles form specific journals to be made open access if the author has paid for the article to be so. This type of open access is provided when governmental bodies have ruled that specific research must be made readily available to a research community. Authors in these communities that are receiving grants from agencies such as the Welcome Trust in the UK or the National Institute of Health in the United States, often write these publication fees into their grant proposals.  In addition to these models, there are open access collections provided by publishers like Hindawi and BioMed Central, where either individuals can pay the author fees or an organization can choose to pay these fees on behalf of their authors. In these models, organizations can pay something like a subscription based on the number of articles being published from their institution annually.    There are also individual titles that are published separately from a known publisher or open access publishing group. These are publications usually produced by individuals or organizations dedicated to free exchange of information or ideas. One prime example of this type of open access publishing is D-Lib Magazine produced by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives.   Lastly, many institutional repositories are now offering publishing platforms for publications produced  within their research institutions. The most commonly known platform offered is: OJS: Open Journal Systems that provides a basis for creating a peer-reviewed mechanism for a journal or report to be produced just as it would in the mainstream publishing market. An example of this type of open access publishing is the Journal of Digital Information. Sometimes, authors have also signed publishing agreements that allow them to archive a copy of their paper in their institutional repository. In many cases, this type of access must then be restricted to the local institution. Is there any further discussion on open access production of electronic journals?
  • Platform providers refers to the systems that deliver or provide access to electronic journals. Again, the bigger publishers are generally using a local system to serve their electronic journals out for access. However, many publisher; especially the societies and university presses are unable to provide the infrastructure and system support needed to host content locally. Therefore, they either pay to have their content hosted elsewhere or else sign agreements with the aggregator providers to receive payments for allowing their content to be served out from aggregator platforms.  There are some platforms available to the university press community such as Project Muse, eDuke Collections, and JSTOR. JSTOR had previously been just a back-file provided but is moving into providing current content now as well.  The main hosting platforms for e-journals are: Atypon, HighWire, Ingenta, MetaPress, and Scitation. Each have a slightly different look and feel and can be customized by a publisher to be completely hidden from the end-user. The activation of titles works slightly different on each platform as well. It helps libraries to be able to determine hosting platforms when there are access problems with content.  As noted on the previous slide, institutional repositories are now also becoming a mechanism for delivery of e-journal content. It sometimes help to know if a repository is using OJS or if the IR is utilizing Duraspace or Fedora as their base platform. Again, this helps when trying to figure out why access problems may be occurring.
  • Lastly, and most importantly for workflow of electronic journal management, we should go over the various mechanisms used to management electronic resources. Almost all libraries still use some form of an integrated library system for local control and processing of their collections. However, ILS were developed in the print library world and continue to be better mechanisms for managing print resource management than electronic resource management. The new open source systems can be adapted rather readily for electronic management but these are still developing and studies are still forthcoming on their true viability in the market.  Subscription management services are still being used by many institutions for single title access acquisitions and for helping to manage combination journals where electronic access is still tied to a print subscription base. Many subscription vendors have added tools for investigating electronic access availability as well as providing base licensing terms & conditions.  OpenURL provision has been extremely important in helping to provide ubiquitious access to electronic journals and electronic resources. These services help libraries develop a master A-Z journal listing and set-up local control to content coming form multiple streams of access: aggregators, publishers, platform providers & provide end-users with a base experience from which to get all forms of access. The underlying knowledge-bases often allow librarians the ability to search and find content to which they should have access and to help identify content that may be requested.    Electronic resource management tools were developed by and large out of librarians indicating that the traditional ILS did not provide adequate functionality to capture all of the relevant administrative metadata regarding electronic resource purchases. These tools have developed slowly and didn't always integrate well with other access provision tools. Many of these are in redesign to make them more fully integrating into the new tools being used for content delivery.  In conclusion for this section, it would be remiss to not mention discovery tools. These are platforms that help to wed traditional access to content from the ILS with  content within institutional repositories and content access provided through openURL knowledge-bases. These tools are still in their infancy but have quite a bit of buzz in the marketplace right now. Any final questions or discussions before lunch?
  • Scholarly communication landscape

    1. 1. Scholarly Communication Landscape
    2. 2. Evolution of Scholarship <ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Containers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Computing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    3. 3. Macro-Level Publishing <ul><ul><li>Large commercial content providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big Publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big Deals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    4. 4. Mid-Level Publishing <ul><ul><li>Society Publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University Presses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic/Learned Organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    5. 5. Open Access Publishing <ul><ul><li>Open Access from the Large Providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Access  Collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single Open Access Titles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional Repositories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    6. 6. Platform Providers <ul><ul><li>Aggregators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal Hosting Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional Repositories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    7. 7. Service Providers <ul><ul><li>ILS  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscription Vendors & Management Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Knowledgebases/OpenURL providers  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic Resource Management Tools  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discovery Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>