Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Elsevier: harness the openness of new technologies

Karen Hunter, Scott Virkler, and Rafael Sidi, Disruptive technologies: taking STM publishing into the next era, Serials, March 2007.  All three authors work for Elsevier.  Only this abstract is free online: 

Publishers today face a world of 'unprecedented uncertainty'. The web, Google, social networking, wikis, blogs, RSS Feeds - technological innovation has and will con tinue to impact all aspects of our business and the way we interact with our customers. But with scientific information freely available and accessible on the Internet, can traditional publishing survive?  Indeed it can. While publishers have achieved a great deal using a traditional publishing model, we must now increase our level and speed of innovation to compete in today's technology landscape. We can do more than just survive - it is in fact an incredibly exciting time for the industry. The key to success and the challenge ahead lies in harnessing the openness and collaboration today's technologies present for the benefit of the scientific community and in adapting to our customers' new types of demands.

PS:  No, I don't know what this means either.  I'd love to have access to the full text and find out.

Update.  I just got my hands on a copy.  The article doesn't mention OA, even as a challenge.  But it does say the following:

Inarguably, Google, along with other search engines, is the leading disrupter of the publishing business. Google has changed the game for journal publishers and scholarly researchers by enabling free and easy access to information on every topic imaginable....

In the STM community, the social networking phenomenon is termed ‘open science’ and has enabled researchers and scholars to provide comment and reviews online in real time, allowing for far more collaboration than ever before. This openness is a positive advancement for science – we simply need to develop the processes and platforms that enable us to harness this effectively....

STM publishers are now focused on leveraging this unprecedented level of openness and information sharing. We no longer think of this technology as ‘disruptive’ – rather, it is an opportunity to grow and develop in ways never before conceivable, which has exciting implications for the scientific community. At the most basic level, for example, we at Elsevier have been working with Google and Microsoft to ensure our articles are fully indexed and therefore searchable on these services. If our customers’ first port of call is a large consumer search engine, or a speciality vertical search engine, then it is our responsibility to make sure our content is discoverable there....

We have before us the opportunity to provide an unprecedented level of collaboration and information sharing to the STM community – which can only be seen as a positive step towards the advancement of scientific discovery worldwide. To do this, we must not be afraid to disrupt our own businesses, because if we do not, someone else will.