Monday, July 02, 2007

Scientific publishers' changing role in today's online world

Timo Hannay has an excellent post in Nature's Nascent blog where he makes some very interesting points:

"Above all, publishers need to be leading the online charge, not following the scientists we serve. We are the information dissemination experts, so if we aren't pushing the boundaries and testing what's possible in this new world then we're not merely missing out, we're also not doing our jobs. Cynics will point out that most apparent 'opportunities' are a long way from turning a profit, and many probably never will. They're right. Do any of the STM projects I've mentioned above make a lot of money? No. But are they representative of the future of scientific communication, and do they provide a platform on which to build information businesses of the future? You'd better believe it."
"On top of that, they need to become better at cooperating — with each other and with other organisations outside the industry. This particularly applies to online interoperability (even horror of horrors, with competitors), which is a positive-sum game that can benefit all participants. CrossRef has blazed a trail in this area, and we should build in its success."

Last Friday I attended an NFAIS meeting at Philadelphia where I met Hilary Spencer who is the product manager for recently launched Precedings. In our brief chat in which I commended Hilary with Nature's recent online experiments and I told her how these experiments can be important on the input side of the publishing we also briefly touched on this cooperation point that Timo is higlighting. Who knows may be we should be looking into something similar that Marc Canter is proposing for Idendity Hub and create one for Scientific Hub

No comments: