What is the future of academic publishing?

6 MIN READ

Posted April 13, 2021

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It might be difficult to admit, but academic careers partly depend on a number of the publication. Thus the demand for scientific publications might never fade away. While the massive part of the publishing industry remains in an existential crisis, profit margins of scientific publishers approaching 40% on their operations.

However, how this situation might change in the next 10-20 years? What is the future of academic publishing?

Will the impact factor of the journal will be overrated in the future of academic publishing?

Academic publishing has always been an integral part of research and academia.
The rationale behind the impact of the journal’s status in the scientific society is simple: a paper in a journal with a high glamour factor, which is closely correlated to the impact factor, like Nature or Science ensures high visibility for the leading authors of the paper and presumably heightens their value and prospects when applying for a new fellowship or grant. But what is the impact factor of the journal and why is it so important for the researchers’ community?

According to the description on the research guides portal, the impact factor (IF) is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year.

The impact factor is an excellent definition of the influence, a scientific journal has on its field. The IF is considered one of the crucial points of measuring scholarly achievements of the scientist looking for funding, or those who applied for Ph.D.
However, the modern researchers believe, that the impact factor of the journal as the selection criteria should be minimized, when funding agencies and institutions are assessing their future candidates.

There have been more and more attempts to change the system and encourage academical authorities to rely less on the impact factor and more on other aspects of a researcher’s work output, such as teaching or science outreach. For example, many publishers have started assessing the impact factor and the citations of a single paper, rather than for the whole journal.

Furthermore, as another option offered, it would be to ask the researchers to write a single-paragraph narrative summarising the importance of their newest results to their respective fields.

To summarize the aforementioned, we can assume that in the close future the academic society along with publishers might start to rely less on the impact journal factor for their decision-making process and value the personal or motivational statement of the researcher for more than their publication history.

Why is it crucial to use a hosting platform in academic publishing?

Researchers are still forced to write “articles” for journals in which communication format was developed back in the 17th century. The academic publishing process in most cases takes more than a year to come to fruition.

However, now, in a world where the power of social networks is revolutionizing almost any industry, researchers are getting new opportunities to tell the world about the results of their discoveries. Now researches have become enabled to submit their articles into journal hoisting platforms, which helps to fasten the process for the academic publisher, as well as the researcher.

The crucial role in scholarly publishing is played by the hoisting platform, which academic publisher uses to adapt the publication to the journal’s format. Hosting platform, developed for academic publishing usually delivers fast and easy controls and does not require extra IT knowledge. Most scientific journals are based on some form of peer review or editorial refereeing to qualify texts for publication. Peer review quality and selectivity standards depend on the publisher.

The peer-review system is usually integrated inside the journal hoisting platform for the publisher to increase the efficiency of the text editing and proofreading process.

The journal hoisting platform acts as an intermediary between the publisher, researcher, and the reader. Despite the fact that there is a great variety of journal hosting platforms, the good ones, usually contains the following features:

1. Simplicity and efficiency of content management
The process of working on the digital platform should not be too time-consuming for the publisher and journal managers saves valuable time for the journal managers so that they could prioritize their work towards the quality of the journal’s content.

2. No technical knowledge required to set-up and run a journal
Usually, a well-designed digital hoisting platform does not a specialist team to set-up and maintain a journal. Every extra task taken is a missed opportunity to do something else. Well-developed digital platform helps to avoid that.

3. Help to spread scientific knowledge
The main aim of the digital publishing platform is, obviously, to help discover the scientific knowledge one is looking for. In an era of digital publishing, a journal hosting platform that communicates with new technologies and allows the publisher to access structured content is vital.

4. Increasing author and reader satisfaction
Authors and readers are the main targets for the journal hosting platform developers.
The presentation of published content and the User Interface for navigating through the journal and its articles are the main features the digital platform developers should emphasis on. While the author is conscious of how one’s article is presented to the audience, the reader is delicate about the way how information is structured and provided.

What will the academic publishing look like in the future?

There is a thoughtful and vocal group of academics who are interested in journals going away completely or at least turn into free or paid access to publishing platforms. It is difficult to convey in an answer like this how passionate this group is.

But there is a very much larger group of people who are just fine with how journals work. People want articles to be bundled by topics in journals. They like using the Impact Factor of journals as a way of assessing papers. Scientific journal publishing is undergoing rapid change. The change from print publishing to online-only publishing is now more or less complete. Journals already morphed to adapt to the times. Most have transferred into digital publishing platforms and have back issues available as well.

Will academic publishing to be profitable and fruitful in the future?

Scientific and academic publishing is considered a quiet profitable industry with a 25-billion dollar profit a year. Although there are many open access journals – those which are free to read – universities still spend millions to access research. Scientific publications are considered as some of the most expensive pieces of literature you can buy. Notably, those who fund and perform research usually pay to read the research they create, while others have to pay to access publicly funded research.
Obviously, that academic publishing business is too big to fade away. Thus like most of the businesses, it will adapt to the digital era.

PubliMill - efficient hosting platform form authors and editors

When it comes to future projections in academic publishing, the need for an efficient and less time-consuming publishing platform constantly grows. https://vtex.lt/ – LaTeX experts, who understand both – code and content. VTeX has invested a lot in IT and publication-related technology research, and is always watching and getting ready for changes and new trends in publishing and overall information technologies.

PubliMill – a platform that greatly benefits the lives of academic publishers, authors, and readers by making publishing and research processes more content-rich, clear, and discoverable for STM publishing houses, university presses, and academic associations. For more information, read about PubliMill hosting platform here: https://vtex.lt/blog/how-a-journal-hosting-platform-can-make-research-and-academic-publishing-processes-easier/

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