The Future Article

It’s the first day of the Bloomsbury Conference and I’m going to take this post to research a few of the concepts that came up during the presentations.

I’m quickly realizing two important ideas:

1) The focus is on the Article as a key vehicle for scholarly communication.
2) Article Impact is code for ‘who cares about what you have to say?’ But it doesn’t influence the publishing market… yet.

A few days ago, we talked about the Article of the Future, which adds links and metrics to the basic article, and Brian Hole showed us a more equitable publishing model for open access.

Today we added on to the idea of what an open access article could and should be.

Lee Ann Coleman from the British Library mentioned Who Needs Access, a site with a great case for why the public should be able to access tax-funded research. She also talked about the role of the library, not just as educators, not just as providers, but as advocates for access.

David De Roure gave us a good picture of the future scientific article– one that is data-driven, public and powered by computers that enable us to think through our new digital world and collaborate in new ways. He introduced the idea of the social machine. I’m not sure I fully understand, but I think we’re talking about tools that allow all of us to participate in scientific research.

The example du jour is Galaxy Zoo, and I can understand why. I especially like that the research done from these images is easy to find and publicly available. The pictures are nice-looking too!

Published with Creative Commons permission from Galaxy Zoo

Mike Taylor brought up new measures for impact, like altmetrics that look at weblinks, mass media, tweets and usage counts. But do academic publishers look at this kind of thing to determine who gets published and how the public can access them?

There seems to be a lag between the value of research and the value assigned by publishers.

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