Jason Priem has a wonderful slidedeck on how to smoothly transition from today’s practices in scientific communication to the future. Here is my reading of the argument given in Jason’s slides:
Communicating science is a central and essential part of doing science, and we have always used the best technology available.
Yet currently, there are several problems with journals, the primary form of scholarly communication.
Journal publication is
- Hard to innovate
- Restrictive format: function follows form
- Inconsistent quality control
These problems are fixable, if we realize that journals serve four traditional functions:
By decoupling these functions, into an a la carte publishing menu, we can fix the scholarly communication system. Decoupled scholarly outlets already exist. Jason mentions some outlets (I would say these mainly serve registration functions, maybe also dissemination ones):
- Math Overflow
- Faculty of 1000 Research
- the blag-o-sphere
Jason doesn’t mention here — but we could add to this list — systems for data publishing, e-science workflow, and open notebook science; these may fulfil registration and archiving functions. Also, among existing archiving systems, we could add the journal archiving functions of LOCKSS is the main player I’m familiar with.
To help with the certification functions, we have altmetrics tools like Impact Story (Jason’s Sloan Founded project with Heather Piwowar).
Jason’s argument well worth reading in full; it’s a well-articulated argument for decoupling journal functions, with some detailed descriptions of altmetrics. The core argument is very solid, and of wide interest: Unlike previous articulations for “pre-publication peer review”, this argument will make sense to everyone who believes in big data, I think. There are other formats: video of the talk and a draft article called “Decoupling the scholarly journal”.
Briefly noted in some of my earlier tweets.
Tags: altmetrics, decoupled journal, journal publishing, prepublication peer review
Posted in future of publishing, information ecosystem, scholarly communication | Comments (0)
Altmetrics is hitting its stride: 30 months after the Altmetrics manifesto, there are 6 tools listed. This is great news!
I tried out the beta of a new commercial tool, The Altmetric Explorer, from Altmetric.com. They are building on the success and ideas of the academic and non-profit community (but not formally associated with Altmetrics.org). The Altmetric Explorer gives overviews of articles and journals by the social media mentions. You can filter by publisher, journal, subject, source, etc. Altmetric Explore has a closed beta, but you can try the basic functionality on articles with their open tool, the PLoS Impact explorer.
"The default view shows the articles mentioned most frequently in all sources, from all journals. Various filters are available.
Rolling over the donut shows which sources (Twitter, blogs, ...) an article was mentioned in.
Sparklines can be used to compare journals.
A 'people' tab lets you look at individual messages. Rolling over the photo or avatar shows the poster's profile.
Altmetric.com seems largely aimed at publishers. This may add promotional noise, not unlike coercive citation, if it is used as an evaluation metric as they suggest:
Want to see which journals have improved their profile in social media or with a particular news outlet?
Their API is currently free for non-commercial use. Altmetric.com are crawling Twitter since July 2011 and focusing on papers with PubMed, arXiv, and DOI identifiers. They also get data from Facebook, Google+, and blogs, but they don’t disclose how. (I assume that blogs using ResearchBlogging code are crawled, for instance.)
Tags: Altmetric.com, altmetrics, Altmetrics.org
Posted in future of publishing, information ecosystem, random thoughts, scholarly communication, social web | Comments (0)