Bringing Scholarly Communication into the 21st Century

Friday, February 17, 2017: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 311 (Hynes Convention Center)
Science publishing is undergoing great change, amid growing debate as to whether the present system of scholarly communication best serves scientists and the public. The dominant commercial model of journal publishing delays the dissemination of, and hinders access to, research, especially in developing countries. Yet changes to this model are inhibited by a reward system that places great emphasis on the venue of publication, relies heavily on citation-based metrics to define “quality” and “impact,” and pressures scientists to publish in “top-tier” journals, which can lead to misconduct. Considerable profits are made from scarce research funds, and publication bias against negative results and replications distorts the scientific literature. Innovative solutions are now addressing these challenges. These include greater use of preprint servers to make scientific results more rapidly accessible, and applying lessons from computer science to link scholarly communications and datasets in a more open system. This symposium will discuss how scholarly communication might look in the future, how it could improve how science is done, and how the public engages with it. The audience will be invited to contribute their experiences of the current system and to suggest fundamental principles that should underpin a system of scholarly communication fit for the 21st century.
Stuart Taylor, The Royal Society
Philip Campbell, Nature
Michael Taylor, University of Bristol
Wendy Hall, University of Southampton
The Why of Open Access
Neal Young, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science
Jessica Polka, Harvard Medical School
Promoting a Culture of Preprints