Possibilities for publishing enabled by IT

An interesting Connotea bookmark tagged “open access” was posted on Tue May 08, 2007. The bookmark links to an article entitled: Scholarly Publishing and Open Access: Searching for Understanding of an Emerging IS Phenomenon.

Access is provided to a paper accepted for ECIS 2007 – The 15th European Conference on Information Systems, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 7-9 June 2007. The authors are Mary Anne Kennan and Karlheinz Kautz.

Conceptual models are presented of traditional scholarly publishing (Fig. 1), electronic scholarly publishing (Fig. 2) and of the possibilities for publishing enabled by IT (Fig. 3). An excerpt (from page 8/12):

An interesting difference to note between the existing ways of publishing as modelled in Figures 1 & 2 and the possibilities which actually exist for scholarly publishing as presented in Figure 3, is that there is a lot more activity occurring, with regard to peer reviewing and responses by readers as well as awareness, access, distribution and publicity through repositories, blogs or wikis and the activity involves a larger number of actors.

The authors note (on page 3/12) that “scholarly publishing fills at least three purposes within a scholarly community; publicity, access and trustworthiness“. They also add a fourth less frequently acknowledged function (see page 4/12):

Journal publications have become an entrenched part of the academic reward system …

… the culture of top tier journals, and the power of monopolistic journal publishers act as disincentives for authors and other actors to investigate alternative models of scholarly communication.

The final paragraph of the “Conclusion” section:

Advances in information and communication technologies are motivating change in scholarly publishing; a reassembling of the scholarly publishing system is under way. The changes are emerging without us fully understanding what the changes may actually mean for scholarly communication, even who the all current actors are, and how these changes may affect the nature of scholarly work. Broadly, this paper has reported the current situation and some emergent associations. It then proposes further research to enable fuller understanding both of the current situation and future possibilities.

Perhaps research on OA is itself providing a very useful case study of the 3rd conceptual model of scholarly publishing (see Fig. 3 in the article by Kennan and Kautz)?

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