The Future of the Journal, by Anita de Waard

June 12th, 2010 by jose

I just found this presentation, and thought it’s worth bringing it to the attention of readers:

Anita de Waard is the director of Disruptive Technologies at Elsevier. A company that has a position with such a name has my sympathy. Looks like publishers are slowly realizing that they can have a huge impact on how science is done, and how fast it moves, if they simply paid more attention to modern trends.

Only habit prevents us researchers from realizing that the media we use the most, a paper article with a review cycle of years, is woefully wrong in this day and age.

A somewhat related idea are the 5 stars of open linked data:

★ make your stuff available on the web (whatever format)

★★ make it available as structured data (e.g. excel instead of image scan of a table)

★★★ non-proprietary format (e.g. csv instead of excel)

★★★★ use URLs to identify things, so that people can point at your stuff

★★★★★ link your data to other people’s data to provide context

If scientists and publishers have opendata in mind (and the trend is there!) doing research becomes more fun immediately (no more mails to the authors asking for data that get no response). Seeing that the academic publishing industry has at least one person (Anita) that gets it makes me feel good. Looks like Elsevier has a head-start.

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6 Responses to “The Future of the Journal, by Anita de Waard”

  1. C. BokhoveNo Gravatar Says:

    This seems a bit pessimistic. Online First is around for a while as far as I know, just like the possibility to publish digital data. And then there’s OpenAccess. I agree with you that the “model”, the “means” behind publishing scholarly work will change. Still, one goal is peer review, as long as this will take some months there indeed will be a delay between findings and written work.

  2. Says:

    Unfortunately, I do not know anyone completely happy with the current peer review system. It’s designed for times where communication was by snail mail, plus with exponential growth on pub numbers, it’s barely feasible anymore. Soft peer review (see Dario’s post) is one way to go. Mendeley, citeUlike, etc do implement this.

  3. SophieNo Gravatar Says:

    Nice presentation. I guess sharing the underlying data who would too much work anyway…

  4. South University ColumbiaNo Gravatar Says:

    Great presentation indeed. The idea for open linked data is really a big help for information dissemination. The fact that we are now gearing for knowledge economy we should find ways to improve availability of data.

  5. Weekend Reading: Summer Really Starts Now Edition - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education Says:

    [...] Lemire explains why “Academic Publishing Is Archaic” (via Academic Productivity): The abundance of information is never a problem. The real problem is the lack of efficient [...]

  6. Anita de WaardNo Gravatar Says:

    Very excited to see this post and comment (I only found it because I was trying to find the link to my paper at Also, we tried addressing this main topic (Research data + paper integration) at the Beyond the PDF workshop
    Very interested in hearing more thoughts from this community!

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