Journal Article: “The Diverse Niches of Megajournals: Specialism Within Generalism”
The following article was recently published by the Association for Information Science & Technology.
Université de Montréal
Université du Québec
Cassidy R. Sugimoto
SourceJournal of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T)
Over the past decade, megajournals have expanded in popularity and established a legitimate niche in academic publishing. Leveraging advantages of digital publishing, megajournals are characterized by large publication volume, broad interdisciplinary scope, and peer‐review filters that select primarily for scientific soundness as opposed to novelty or originality. These publishing innovations are complementary and competitive vis‐à‐vis traditional journals. We analyze how megajournals (PLOS One, Scientific Reports) are represented in different fields relative to prominent generalist journals (Nature, PNAS, Science) and “quasi‐megajournals” (Nature Communications, PeerJ). Our results show that both megajournals and prominent traditional journals have distinctive niches, despite the similar interdisciplinary scopes of such journals. These niches—defined by publishing volume and disciplinary diversity—are dynamic and varied over the relatively brief histories of the analyzed megajournals. Although the life sciences are the predominant contributor to megajournals, there is variation in the disciplinary composition of different megajournals. The growth trajectories and disciplinary composition of generalist journals—including megajournals—reflect changing knowledge dissemination and reward structures in science.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.