All entries for Monday 05 July 2010

July 05, 2010

Journal publication – an ALPSP workshop

Writing about web page http://www.alpsp.org/

I went to a very good workshop last week, which was billed as an overview of journal publication. It was provided by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) and covered everything they said it would, from the point of view of those working for publishers. They don't often get librarians on their courses: other attendees on the days were working for publishers and societies which have journals.

I picked up some great examples of innovative types of online journal:  

"Enhanced" journal - http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/NR/Index.asp

"Interactive/social" journal: http://bioethics.net/

Journal podcast: http://www.aan.com/rss/?event=feed&channel=1

Journal blog: http://blogs.springer.com/frac/

All of which brought me back to the question at the start of the session, about why it is that authors publish. Motivations listed on the day were:

  • "Registration: to establish the ownership of a specific discovery by a researcher at a particular time - to establish priority."
  • "Certification: to have the quality of the research acknowledged through publication in a specific journal and acceptance by peers."
  • "Dissemination: to let your fellow scientists know what you have done."
  • "Archiving: to provide a permanent record of your work."

I wonder if the enhanced journals and other online dissemination/publication activities satisfy all four of these motivations, and what the balance is as to which one is best served by which type of content. I expect it will vary by discipline and over time. Perhaps the best way to disseminate information about a new surgical procedure would be to publish video footage of the procedure. Perhaps the best way to register, certify and archive information about that procedure would be to write it up in an established journal using academic language to describe the procedure and to set it in context...


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