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A Scientist and the Web

 

APE2008 – ARNE RICHTER: EGU and JACP

I’m not keeping up with the backlog of things I have brought away from APE 2008 Academic Publishing in Europe “Quality & Publishing” – I find it difficult to comment several days after the event (Please can conferences install wireless for everyone. Then you are likely to get bloggers telling the world about what is going on.).  So the actual content here is bitty as it’s real-time phrases rather than more joined-up prose.

The second plenary was from ARNE RICHTER: European Geosciences Union. He concentrated on the success of their OA journal – J. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. [see my comments below]

Points from the talk…

DFG 2005 survey showed that what matters for scientists was:

International worldwide distrib
reputation (NOT impact factor) matters
topical focus (e.g. journals)
quality of peer-review
long term avaialiliy
promptness
***low or zero cost

The internet is key and effectively drives scientific communication to Open Access. There is enormous benefit when everything is Open.  It’s the only realistic platform for digital info – full multimedia. The default frame is landscape on screen with offscreen fonts for printing, NOT double column PDF.  Search engines are only possible with the Internet and support actions against plagiarism and IPR violations (OA is fundamental here). There can be customized online information systems about new publications. Decreasing prices for electronic eqpt drive  increased utilization

OA supported by scientific organizations. We need worldwide repositories. These will be domain-specific, e.g. topical data bases and archives (e.g. space science). They provide long-term archiving.

New models of publishing process for authors and publishers:

  • authors compile entire work in digital
  • all software free of charge
  • camera-ready[*]  -  if publishers provide macros, then it can be compiled into journal style
  • servers have customised XML files
  • upload to all archives, databases, etc.

[* PMR "camera-ready" extends easily into semantic content and I think this is the more appropriate term. The idea  is that authors author in a natural fashion, not driven by the needs of the journal.]

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions is a  born digital publication

Online peer review…

  •   process moves from author’s client to publisher’s server… NO classical peer-review.
  • referees and public comments are published in Open Access form alongside discussion. So whole world does peer-review.
  • NO SECRETS. Avoids referees hiding behind curtains
  •  manuscripts are higher quality and cause less work at least 50% less work
  • ENTIRE process can be handled by internet control
  • If author cannot master the technology, they can pay the publisher

** the final decision for acceptance is made by editor

This ia a service model, low cost.    ACP uses Copernicus. The better the software gets the cheaper the artcile. => 300 EUR or less.

The EGU has shown how learned societies can have a major role. The messages I took away was then when you have an enthusiastic and competent learned society (or international union) which is committed to communication and the support of its discipline then this is the ideal medium. This was reinforced during the meeting – there seem to be significant costs in conventional closed access publishing which simply go away for OA -  one example is licence management – another is access control.

PS: I’m already familiar with this journal as I collaborate with atmospheric chemists in Cambridge and Leeds and STFC on semantic models of chemical reactions. With Michael Kohlhase I have started to mark up a paper into content MathML and CML. This would mean that a machine could read the paper and work out the chemical reates and mechanisms.  So praise for  ACP Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

PPS not sure how much more I shall recover from the meeting – I’ll probably write a mini-summary.

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