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Scholars and Scripts, Eyeballs and Epistemes: What it Means to Publish Blaise Cronin OCLC, April 29, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Scholars and Scripts, Eyeballs and Epistemes: What it Means to Publish Blaise Cronin OCLC, April 29, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scholars and Scripts, Eyeballs and Epistemes: What it Means to Publish Blaise Cronin OCLC, April 29, 2004




5 Publishers Economic Problem Annual (generalized) 4% reduction in journal subscriptions 4% increase in materials to be published 4% annual rate of inflation Source: Peter Bolman (Elsevier)


7 Academic Tribes and Epistemic Cultures Socio-cognitive differences exists across disciplines Modes of communication and publication differ Genres of academic writing and discursive conventions vary Rules and institutional norms relating to publication vary The academic reward system is differentially operationalized ICTs are adopted and co-opted in many different ways Researchers material practices shape and are shaped by ICTs

8 Tribal Practices Chemists submit to the Inglefinger Rule High-energy physicists trust e-preprints American historians are wild about monographs The lunatics run the legal asylum Lone wolves roam in the humanities Sole-authored, interpretative books counts in history, lit. & lang. Collaboration is a way of life in science The author is dead in biomedicine Philosophers think via the act of writing Economist have a rigid hierarchy of journals Linguists publish articles rather than books


10 Quality Filters and Access Peer review (burdensome; least worst; heavy lite) Career review (Guild mode; institutional legitimacy) Fear review (open/deep review; 360 degree scrutiny) Dear review (author fees; OA business model)

11 Humanists, Presses, and Promotion Library budgets for monographs declining Far fewer scholarly monographs being purchased Competition for faculty positions intensifying Increasing emphasis on monographic publishing Fewer outlets for traditional scholarly monograph Junior faculty between a rock and a hard place Need for alternative forms of scholarly expression Publishing subventions for junior faculty See: MLA, 2002, The Future of Scholarly Publishing




15 Tipping Point Print journal subscriptions declining 3-5% p.a. Concomitant growth in online access Ease of access and use paramount In the river of knowledge readers find near substitutes Informal versions of peer review are in operation…scholars pursue a variety of cues in selecting what materials to access. Source: Odlyzko, 2002

16 Disruptive Technologies What Christensen calls DTs tend to have three important characteristics Initially under-perform established products Enable new applications for customers Performance improves rapidly Electronic publishing has these characteristics… Source: Odlyzko, 2002

17 interface started August 1991 –Download data available from start –WWW usage logs starting from ,000 full text documents (with full graphics), as of 1 May 2003 –Physics, mathematics, computer science, non-linear science –Growing at 40,000 new submissions per year (est. 2003) –20 references per article (over 4.5 million total) Over 20 million full text downloads during calendar year 02 Over 300 downloads per article from Source: Ginsparg, 2003







24 Open Access (OA) OA is free online access to digital works on the public Internet OA (so far) involves royalty free article publishing OA removes most licensing and copyright restrictions OA is not synonymous with public domain Revenues generated via author submission fees: new business model OAI-compliant archives/institutional repositories Retroactive OA – existing commercial databases? Creation of electronic scholarly commons

25 Open Access Gold publishers Open access journals (free at point of use) = ~5% Green publishers Formally support author self-archiving = ~55% White publishers Tolls and controls

26 Open Access Developments 24,000 peer-reviewed journals across all disciplines and languages These journals publish 2,500,000 articles per year (Harnad) Full-texts of 85-90% of these articles are not accessible toll-free online Research impact of open access articles is greater (Lawrence) Growing open access movement; development of institutional repositories and growth self-archiving… –Public Library of Science (Plos Biology: $9M grant + Howard Hughes) –BioMed Central (90 peer-reviewed journals; article processing fee) –Budapest Initiative for Open Access (Soros Foundation) –Berlin Declaration on Open Access; DC Principles (48 scientific societies) –American Scientist Open Access Forum –Public Access to Science Act (Rep. Martin Sabos bill) –Top story: Nature, Science Magazine, Wall Street Journal –DSpace, Google and superarchives

27 The Attention Economy What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. Herbert Simon, 1971 Attention is a mode of payment, as well as the main input to scientific production…reputation is the asset into which the attention received from colleagues crystallizes. Georg Franck, 1999

28 Harvesting Eyeballs Heterogeneous Publishing Environment P-journals, E-journals, E-p-journals, P-e-journals, P+e- journals Digital libraries OAI-compliant e-print archives Web-based publishing/posting/blogging Bibliometric/Webometric Indicators Citations Hits/accesses/reads/downloads Acknowledgements Situations Invocations

29 Simulated, fantasy stock market for weblogs Players invest fictional money in an artificial economy where attention is the commodity and weblogs the companies Weblogs are valued for their incoming links from other blogs 5,000 active players and more than 40,000 known blogs

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