With the Finch Report signalling the start of Open Access in the UK – even if some OA had been used prior to the report – it can only be a matter of time before possible innovations in publishing become reality. Digital publishing across the board has changed dramatically in recent years, going from bog standard PDFs to interactive and instantly updatable media you can carry with you at all times. With OA allowing research to be more widely available, let’s have a look at some innovations that could be on the way.
1. Better systems to accommodate research output
With the rise of OA changing the academic publishing landscape, universities have began looking for ways to protect their assets. As the EPSRC’s long awaited open research data policy comes into effect on May 1st 2015, universities and research organisations are expected to securely preserve data. Of course, this would be costly for any university to attempt, which leads on to the next point…
2. Merging of university intellectual property
As commercial publishing houses have merged over time, with the most recent being Penguin Random House, so to might university presses. It has already been suggested that journal prices will need to fall in order for universities to support OA developments, so it would make sense to merge similar publications together. This could be a problem for smaller university presses – and possibly lead to job losses – if taken over by a larger, and more financially successful, university press.
3. Individual journal subscription
As journals are usually accessed through academic library subscriptions, it could be possible that individuals are able to subscribe in a pay-as-you-go format. This has been achieved for music, film and tv subscriptions and is recently been adapted for fiction and non-fiction publications. With Nature Publishing allowing subscribers to share ‘read only’ versions of research papers, it won’t be long before others follow suit. Nature’s method is one way to get around the six-month embargo period issued on all Green OA papers.
So what do you think? Do you see any of these on the academic publishing horizon?