Scholarly Publishing Perspectives: Recap of the NISO and STM Meetings
– by Guest Blogger Tim Cross –
In the community of Scholarly Publishing, April and May are often called the conference season, and several high profile conferences are sometimes lightheartedly referred to as the “rodeo circuit.” While the travel can be grueling, particularly for those who are traveling to the US from abroad, many of my colleagues see these conferences as a critical annual ritual, given the intense concentration of educational and networking opportunities, as well as important industry announcements. This year is no exception.
In late April, I attended both a NISO Live Event on XML for Standards Publishers and the STM Annual US Conference in Washington, DC. Below are a few of the noteworthy developments which came out of these two conferences:
The NISO (National Information Standards Organization) meeting was held at the Library of Congress on April 24. It was helpful in articulating the value of XML workflows and deliverables for standards publishers. Several key topics were covered, including the importance of structure versus display, production efficiency, interoperability, and the need for a standards format that allows content to be more easily monetized and repurposed for a variety of print and digital deliverables. Another important component of the meeting was the announced launch of the new NISO-STS, which has now been released for public comment. The goal of the new STS (Standard Tag Suite) is to provide “a common XML format that standards developers, publishers, and distributors can use to publish and exchange full-text content and metadata of standards.”
Following the NISO event, I traveled across town to the STM Annual US Conference at the National Press Club, where this year’s theme was “The Decade of The Researcher.” A big topic this year was Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how AI, combined with human intelligence, can increase the efficiency and accuracy of everything from peer review and fraud detection, to efficiency in research. Other topics included the reproducibility crisis, current gaps and future needs of researchers, fostering global scientific collaboration, trends in peer review, block chain technology, and a panel on the STM Tech Trends 2021. The most engaging topic for me was a discussion of the RA21 initiative. We will be hearing a lot more about this in the days to come. Resource Access for the 21st Century (RA21) is a “joint STM – NISO initiative aimed at optimizing protocols across key stakeholder groups, with a goal of facilitating a seamless user experience for consumers of scientific communication.” In other words, how can the scholarly community solve the challenges facing researchers and publishers as they wrestle with the design of authentication protocols that can both grant access to content and protect privacy?
Which conferences and meetings will you be attending to learn more about the challenges and opportunities in scholarly publishing that interest or concern you the most? As the conference season continues, the next few weeks will find me at the Council of Science Editors (CSE) Annual Meeting starting May 19 in San Diego, followed by the Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting on May 31 in Boston. Westchester Publishing Services will be hosting a session on May 31 at SSP, get more details here.
If your “rodeo circuit” includes either CSE or SSP, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a convenient time to meet. I’d welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with you about the ever-evolving trends in scholarly communication and publishing, and the role that Westchester Publishing Services can play in supporting the mission of your organization.