November 23, 2020

Full Text Report: “Mapping the Future of Scholarly Publishing” & Chart: Market Share of Leading Scholarly Publishers

Released earlier this month by the The Open Science Initiative Working Group, National Science Communication Institute (nSCI).

From a Summary Blog Post:

In early September of 2014, nSCI recruited and organized over 100 thought-leaders from around the world into a three month long online conversation—named the Open Science Initiative (OSI) working group—to begin looking into viable ways to reform the scholarly publishing system. The outcome of this conversation will be a working paper (the most recent version is linked here) which summarizes the many important facts and perspectives that were discussed on this issue, and also outlines recommendations for a new series of initiatives to push for workable reform measures.

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The OSI working group discussed these issues and many others at length. The group also made these three important recommendations (the first two being majority viewpoints):

  • Convene an annual series of high-level conferences between all key stakeholders over the next 10 years to discuss, implement, adjust, and track major reforms to the scholarly publishing system. The first conference is currently being planned for early 2016. The delegate list will be an invited group of 200 decision-makers representing every major stakeholder group in scholarly publishing, participating with the understanding that they will try to reach an agreement on the future of scholarly publishing and will then work to help implement this agreement. The United Nations will be backing these conferences (through UNESCO) and will help mobilize broad and ongoing international support, participation, and funding. Very broad participation from US stakeholders—publishers, authors, federal agencies, companies who use research, institutions that produce research, and more—is critical to getting this effort up and running. While scientific research is certainly a global interest and enterprise, the US is the largest single producer and consumer of this research information, so without strong US participation, global adoption will be difficult to achieve.
  • Find answers to key questions related to reform, as detailed in the summary document. What do we really mean by “publishing” today? Are self-archiving mandates practical? Are impact factors accurate? Do embargoes serve the public interest? Are there better ways to conduct peer review? Why isn’t open access growing faster? These and many other questions have been identified in this report as starting points for discussion.
  • Investigate the possibility of constructing the world’s first all-scholarship repository (ASR). Our initial discussion regarding this repository is included in Annex 4. Conversations are currently ongoing on this matter. The Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) will explore building the prototype ASR. We are currently preparing a briefing paper for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy so they can consider aligning upcoming federal compliance efforts with this LANL repository. A number of OSI working group members feel that creating the world’s first all-scholarship repository will need to be a precursor to truly comprehensive journal reform, and creating it the right way may end up having a greater impact on science discovery than anything ever attempted to date.

Direct to Full Text Report (58 pages; PDF)

Chart from Report: Publishers With More than 100 Journals, Market Share

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Source: Mapping the Future of Scholarly Publishing; The Open Science Initiative Working Group, National Science Communication Institute (nSCI) (2015)

Note: The full text report linked above is a working version. The final version will be published on March 1st and we will update this post at that time.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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