Monday, November 3, 2014

Week Nine: Scholarly Publishing

We have focused this week on scholarly publishing.  The old and the new.  The traditional and the Open Access. I think that my major learning point this week is that publishers do a lot more than just publish.

1.       They register – and time stamp to officially note who submitted scientific results first
2.       they certificate through peer-to-peer reviews,
3.       they disseminate scholarly articles
4.       And they preserve them for posterity.

Elsevier – one of the world’s largest scholarly publishers employs and/or supports thousands of people – editors and staff,  editorial board members and 300,00 referees and 600,000 authors

Then we have ‘predatory publishers’ emanating from the third world, disrupting and corrupting the business – although I suspect the predatory publishers can be quite easily identified.

We also learned about the peer review process.  The complexities, the differences between blind, double blind and ‘OPR’ (Open Peer Review).  We also learned that the peer review process, which is considered an essential element of ensuring quality of scholarly publications, doesn’t work very well at the best of times.

In the end the future of publishing will come down to ‘money, money, money’.   Will the Open publishing houses survive?  Will the massive publishing businesses put open publishing out of business?  Will the University press survive?  Or will the demand for ‘open education’ smother the demand for money?

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