Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

08/01/2012

Possible Futures for Academic Publishing


“There must be an easier and
more cost-effective way!

Tonight’s post is one that was published by Online Education Database  (OEDb) and brought to my attention by one of their staff in the interest of my readers.

The article is one of many informative and educational articles in their online Library:

8 Predictions for the Future of Academic Publishing

University presses and academic journals may perpetuate the world’s most groundbreaking research, but they tend towards the heavily conservative when it comes to changing anything and everything about their organization. But the inevitable influx of digital and new media ventures has already started trickling into the tight-knit institutions, and many scholars are already calling for a dismantling of the old — and often unwieldy and inaccessible! Some of the latest experiments will stick, while others will go all Crystal Pepsi on humanity. Until time decides to tell, the following represent a few things academics are saying about where their research might be headed.

1. Open Access:

With the popularity of MIT OpenCourseWare, TED, Khan Academy, Open Culture, and other beloved open access initiatives, academic publishers might yank some inspiration from their setups. Transitioning from paid subscriptions to journals will result in some egregious costs — an estimated £60 million in the UK, for example — but caves to the precedent already set by open source. Consumers used to snapping up research for free likely won’t want to pay for it, making the more traditional models die out over time.

2. On second thought … keep paying! :

In the U.S., researchers hope to fight the encroach of open source with legislation. Known as the Research Works Act, it sought to block research backed by public schools from free availability — even though, as many pointed out, such a measure would functionally bar Americans from accessing the studies for which their taxes paid. While the bill eventually died out in February 2012, the future could see similar propositions crop up and completely alter the way citizens access academic studies. By legally protecting the system allowing (or even requiring) them to pay even more money for research they already funded, essentially.

3. Creative Commons:

Somewhere between profiting and populism sits the Creative Commons suite of licensing options, which economics expert Rajiv Sethi believes might appeal to many future academic publishers. Creative Commons offers up many different ways for researchers to choose how readers access and share their information, making the process far more autonomous than open source, but more approachable than charging to read. Since the professor’s 2010 predictions, some publications have experimented with the format to their ultimate satisfaction, rendering it another possible route for the scholarly world to take.

Read and learn more

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