The evolution and revolution in academic publishing

Roland JonssonPublishing in scientific journals has for long used to be pretty straightforward. The researcher submitted manuscripts with their latest work, which was evaluated by experts in the field, type-set, printed and sold to libraries, universities and interested individuals – and this was quite profitable for some publishers.

This is not the case any longer. The ways scientific data and information is shared has changed dramatically in the digital age. Increasingly, publishers are competing by offering additional services that help the authors and readers through media organizations and science blogs. However, journals charge exorbitant fees to subscribe or download papers, restricting this to those who can afford them.

To partly solve this, free electronic scientific publishing also called “Open Access Publishing” has emerged. This grants full access to anyone, for any purpose, but transfers the publication costs to the authors or their organization. Nothing is free! However, currently UiB offers support to cover “Open Access Article Processing Charges”

A side-effect of the open access model is a malignant proliferation in junk publishers with the sole objective of making money without any regards for scientific quality. In year 2011 there were 18 identified predatory publishers, which increased to 693 in 2015. The list is updated through the year on the blog Scholarly Open Access, http://scholarlyoa.com. Take a look at this list when your mailbox is swamped by the numerous offers for publishing!

Happy New Year!

Roland Jonsson

PS. Do not forget to verify that all your works from 2014 have been added to Cristin. Check this via https://www.cristin.no/as/WebObjects/cristin.woa/8/wa/registrering?la=no. Log in by choosing institution “University of Bergen”, and then use your regular user name and password.

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