Learned Publishing Volume 26 No 4 October 2013
ISSN 0953-1513, Online ISSN: 1741-4857
Editorial: CHORUS: moving research publications in line with US federal funding requirements
pp236 [free access]
The second digital transition: to the mobile space - an analysis of Europeana
David NICHOLAS and David CLARK
ABSTRACT. According to industry estimates the mobile device (smartphone and tablet) will soon be the main platform for searching the Web and yet our knowledge of how mobile consumers use information – especially scholarly information, and how that differs from desktop or ‘tethered’ users – is imperfect to say the very least. This article aims to correct this through an analysis of the usage logs of a major cultural, multimedia website, Europeana.eu, which started tackling the mobile challenge in 2011. The challenges of identifying mobile use – no easy matter – are described. The information behaviour of 150,000 mobile users is examined and compared with that for desktop users. The main ﬁndings are that mobile users are the fastest-growing user community and that their visits are very different in the aggregate from those arising from desktops. Mobile visits are information ‘lite’: typically shorter, less interactive, and with less content viewed per visit. Use takes on a social rather than ofﬁce rhythm, with use peaking at nights and weekends.
The new engagement game: the role of gamification in scholarly publishing
ABSTRACT. Gamiﬁcation – the application of game mechanics to solve problems and engage users – is gathering signiﬁcant momentum in the wider business world, and there are many ways in which it could beneﬁt librarians, academic publishers, and learned societies. At its core, gamiﬁcation is a way of tapping into motivational forces to increase individual investment in a system, process, or resource; applied correctly, these mechanics could be used to increase engagement with a publisher’s back catalogue, drive society members to explore the value their membership offers, and encourage students to connect with on-campus learning resources. Gamiﬁcation can help satisfy both business and audience objectives, but frameworks have to be carefully designed to avoid some of the common pitfalls that such systems face. Although there are few examples of gamiﬁcation at work in the learned publishing sector, those who are willing to explore, experiment, and iterate on solutions will be better placed to meet the needs of the increasing ‘digital native’ student and academic population.
Point of view
Technical and ethical standards in China: long on framework but short on action
Zhejiang University, People’s Republic of China
How to spot Ugly Black Ducklings: the next competitive frontiers in scholarly publishing
ABSTRACT. This paper reviews events of SSP 2013 and AAUP 2013 within the context of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s notions of Black Swans (unexpected game changers) to anticipate the formation of competitive arenas (i.e. new models and revenue streams) for scholarly communications. It examines Tim O’Reilly’s keynote address at SSP 2013, the advice of Michael Schrage from the opening Plenary at AAUP 2013, and Tim Sullivan’s discussion of Harvard Business Publication’s use of a topical blog network as new publishing platform to access global digital communications networks. The essay extrapolates from the case studies presented to overlay the strategies of successful practitioner presses and the advice of sought-after business consultants on the work of academic houses, to imagine the next competitive frontier(s) in scholarly publishing.
RUBRIQ: tools, services, and software to improve peer review
Laura STEMMLE and Keith COLLIER
Research Square LLC
ABSTRACT. Rubriq is on a mission to put lost time back into research. We estimate that 15 million hours are lost each year to redundant peer review as papers get rejected and ﬂow down the journal prestige pyramid. Rubriq uses an author-pays model to facilitate fast, independent, and standardized peer review performed by three academic peers who are ﬁnancially compensated for their efforts. Authors receive the reviews as well as a detailed journal recommendation report in 1–2 weeks. This service is designed to improve journal selection, supplement editorial reviews, and make peer review more portable between journals. The creation of the standardized scorecard is just the ﬁrst phase of Rubriq’s plans to improve the scholarly communication workﬂow. Through lessons learned over the past year, the Rubriq approach is evolving into a broader set of tools, software, and services designed to speed and improve the scholarly communication process
Point of view
Are online communities the future of bookselling?
What satisfactions do self-publishing authors gain from the process
Alison BAVERSTOCK and Jackie STEINITZ
ABSTRACT. This paper, a follow-up to our previous Learned Publishing paper (http://dx.doi.org/10.1087/20130310), extends the reporting of new research into the motivations, demographics, processes, and outcomes of self-publishing authors. The research ﬁndings challenge traditionally held notions about the lack of satisfaction in either the process or ﬁnal product in self-publishing. By contrast, the authors researched emerged as very satisﬁed with the process of self-publishing, likely to do it again and recommend it to others – and these trends were observed across all the demographic categories and types of content. The generally high rate of republishing among the cohort can be taken as further evidence of associated satisfaction. The research offers conclusions that are relevant to all stakeholders in publishing and provides a foundation for more speciﬁc research within particular publishing sectors and roles.
Medical research charities and open access
University of Sheffield
ABSTRACT. This paper provides an analysis of the attitudes and activities of UK medical research charities in relation to open access (OA). Both quantitative and qualitative data are presented derived from a recent survey of charities covering areas such as policy development, funding arrangements, and business process design for OA. Positions on key issues including green and gold OA, funding article-processing charges (APCs), and publication licences are assessed. Modelling of potential APCs as a percentage of overall annual research spend is undertaken to show possible costs of a charged-for gold system. Medical research charities clearly regard OA as important and some see it as an opportunity to further their mission. However, many expressed signiﬁcant concerns particularly about the costs and expertise required to support OA. Further co-ordination of policy development and action across the sector and with other stakeholders is recommended in order to help ensure optimal implementation of OA.
Point of View
How the approval system affects Chinese scientific journals
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Peoples Republic of China
ABSTRACT. Chinese scientiﬁc journals are moving in the right direction but developing ﬁrst-class academic journals still requires a number of obstacles to be overcome. Before the birth of any journal, a very complex journal approval system (JAS) must be negotiated. The paper will ﬁrst present the history of the JAS in China and then analyze its effect on the scientiﬁc journal system. The JAS poses potential risks to the development of journals, and journal quantity rather than quality is the current priority. This needs to be changed and the JAS should be replaced by a journal registration system. Simultaneously, a system in which entry (start up) and closure, if required, is much easier than at present should be introduced, allowing the market to be the principal arbiter of success or failure.
pp310 [free access]