I have been asked to talk about the changing nature of scholarly communications and the implications this has for researchers But I would like approach this in a slightly different manner and look at current researcher practises and talk about the factors that influence researcher behaviour And then examine what the implications are for those within the scholarly communications landscape I hope that when I finish you will understand why I have chosen to approach the topic in this way. As for personal background – I have been working for the RIN for 2 years as the liaison and partnerships officer and prior to the I completed a PhD at Oxford in Biochemistry.
I have just put together a simplified version of a research life cycle to help us identify the basic components of research and to think about how we approach the different steps There is a lot of overlap between the different stages but we tend to still think about and talk about the different stages as discrete steps Might be more accurate in this context to talk about it in simpler terms related to the role of researcher and researchers 1) to generate knowledge 2) to use knowledge Important to bare in mind these 2 different and often conflicting roles when talking about both researcher behaviour and scholarly communications
We know that in general the reasons why researchers publish has not changed very much for the past few years And that the types of out puts they publish has not changed that much either – it is more medium in which they are produced that has changed. What I mean is that researchers still produce journal articles – they are just now more likely to be produced electronically; instead of writing a letter to a journal commenting on a paper you might write a blog – but the principle and the reasoning behind them is the same. But we are all well aware the scholarly communications landscape is changing. So the question is what is instigating these changes?
The perception, and in many cases, the realty that their work is being monitored and assessed has a major influence on how it is communicated And as a result research outputs are becoming increasingly important commodity
As a result starting to see an increase in journal article production in areas that didn’t traditional publish in journals. Such as humanities and education
World wide web User generated content Social media Open research practices Suppercomputing Cloud computing Mobile computing (blackberry and ipad) - Many of these underpin or are a result of web 2.0 technology
Producers of knowledge: dissemination and sharing Users of knowledge: collaborations and re-purposing the definition is not limited to technologies but also includes the changing ways in which individuals and groups produce and communicate information
Over the past few years, there has been a growing increase in the use of the internet within research, and tied to this is the rapid development of new tools and services being launched by commercial players as well as arising from the efforts of research communities, information service providers and knowledge intermediaries such as publishers and conference organizers Researchers and proponents of open research practises report a number of benefits of using these tools and resources: Saves time, enhances collaborations, find new sources of information, enhanced visibility, Given these benefits it is believed that the majority of researchers use or plan to use these tools in the future
Yet depsite the advantages i mentioned before, few researchers are using web 2.0 tools and resouces for dissemination many researchers are reluctant due to fears of being ‘scooped’, missinterpretation of data, copyright and IP issues, and the lack of recognition and reward (RIN 2008).
A number of our reports have highlighted the growing use and reliance of e-journals and online databases One area our report on the us of web 2.0 tools and resources did not examine in detail was the use of these resources as research tools Google Flu - estimate current flu activity around the world in near real-time E-epidemiology - adapting epidemiological data collection to the 21st century Linguistic analysis of myspace and facebook pages Ordnance survey maps Cyberpsychology Asd What is becoming clear is the distinction between the researcher as a producer and as a user of knowledge is becoming blurred.
These initiatives can have a profound effect on researcher behaviour as well as scholarly communications development But as you can see many of these policy initiatives conflict, or more importantly are perceived to conflict, in the eyes of researchers e.g. research assessment and open access/data sharing
To support these policy and technological development we are seeing a number of changes to the scholarly communications landscape This just gives an over view of some of the changes that are occurring As I mentioned previously, the development of new and innovative publishing and searching platform, tools and services being launched by commercial players as well as arising from the research communities, information service providers and knowledge intermediaries such as publishers and conference organizers There is also a move to publish research data, linking information within publications to existing data bases, and enhanced annotation of research outputs Commenting, moderating and rating are also being introduced as new ways of undertaking peer review
Whole research cycle is affect by policy, technology (including) social media and I already mentioned some changes that are happening within the publishing community and touched on peer review, but you can see that there area number of implications for the future of peer review Boundaries are starting to become blurred and there is less of a distinction between producer and user of knowledge
- Disciplinary differences – these used to be much more defined – humanities vs sciences but now we are seeing areas such digital humanities