By Guest Blogger Tim Cross
I just returned from the PSP Conference in Washington, DC a couple of days ago. As someone who is continuously curious about the issues facing my colleagues and friends, I found it a good learning experience. Here are some of the highlights and takeaways from the conference.
“Is There Life After Journals?”- This was a provocative keynote topic which stimulated good discussion. The consensus was that journals will continue to be central to scholarly communication and the research lifecycle, as they serve communities while providing necessary content filtering and validity through peer review and journal brand.
“Scholarly Collaboration Networks” – Starting with the premise, that sharing is not new or radical – it’s been at the heart of scientific research for 400 years – the idea was posited that it’s in the interest of publishers to find ways to work with the SCN movement as it moves from a broad set of principles to technical “nuts and bolts.” But some publishers in the audience wondered how the community can embrace the spirit of this without threatening the very means by which we review, edit, and produce the content to be shared.
“Lessons from Subscriptions Trends” – One opinion on the panel was that hybrid Open Access (OA) journals are not the right choice for publishers and Gold OA is not a permanent solution. In answer to an audience question about how many subscription journals have actually flipped to OA, the idea of the “Goldilocks zone” was explained. A good candidate in the zone for flipping is a journal with:
- High Impact Factor
- Low or stagnant revenue
- Lots of submissions
“Dueling Data Repositories” – Data sharing is needed to promote reproducibility and advance research by building on or analyzing existing data. What are the current issues?
- Managing research output
- Preparing to share
- Meeting expectations for funders, institutions, and publishers
- Submitting to repositories
- Mandate alignment
- Domain appropriateness
- Capacity and functionality
- Stability and permanence
“Pirated Content – Why do they go there?” – Who are “they” is a topic in itself. This session was an exploration of why researchers use illegal sites and what the impact of this could be on scholarly research. It’s not just disadvantaged researchers in underfunded regions who have difficulty getting access to content, but also researchers who are frustrated with the inefficiencies of accessing content at their own institutions. There was also an interesting discussion on the moral challenge of digital piracy:
- Conflicting worldviews
- Making knowledge more accessible is a global good
- We have to balance human rights with intellectual property rights
The conference was a great opportunity to see my colleagues and customers, and I hope to see you at an upcoming conference. Please visit the Westchester conference calendar blog post, and contact us if you would like to schedule time to talk at a conference or via phone.