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International Learned Journals Seminar

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Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers

International Learned Journals Seminar
Friday 9 April 1999

Scientific Societies Lecture Theatre, New Burlington Place, London W1

Cost:    95 sterling for ALPSP members, 170 sterling for non-members.

Reservations via http://www.alpsp.org.uk or by mail to Eileen Storrie,
ALPSP Administrator, 17 Orchard Close, Shillingford, Nr Wallingford,
Oxfordshire, OX10 7HQ, UK

Research communication in the 21st century

Chair:  David Pullinger

The traditional model of learned journal publishing is under strain;  
economic, social and technical pressures will make it impossible for
journals to continue unchanged in the 21st century. The aim of this
seminar is to examine some of the proposed solutions to these challenges.
First of all, we will review what is known about the wishes and concerns
of both authors and readers; this session will draw on ALPSP's own major
survey of learned journal contributors, and on the work of the
SuperJournal project. The next session will cover some of the radical
proposals which have been put forward for complete re-thinking of what
journals are and how they work. The third session will consist of accounts
of a number of real experiments, currently being carried out by
publishers, which explore new approaches to journal publishing. Finally,
there will be a lively round-table debate on the right model or models for
journal publishing in the 21st century.


9.30 Coffee & registration

10.00 Introduction:  Sally Morris, Secretary-General, ALPSP

10.15 What authors really want

o The ALPSP survey of learned journal authors:  Alma Swan, Key
Perspectives Ltd

The motivations and concerns of contributors to scholarly journals have
been investigated for ALPSP in a major survey carried out by KPL. The main
findings of the survey will be presented and some conclusions drawn as to
their significance for the future of learned publishing.

o A bill of rights for authors: David Gordon Wilson, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology

Scientists have a surprising number of "horror stories" about their 
experiences of publication. The most serious problems are long delays in 
acceptance or rejection, and the appearance in the meantime of a 
publication on the same topic by a rival or even the reviewer himself. 
This is a very difficult area for editors and publishers to police. As a 
result, a group of US authors have drawn up a proposed "bill of rights
for authors."

11.00 What readers really want

o What readers value in electronic journals: lessons from SuperJournal:
Christine Baldwin, Information Design & Management

The SuperJournal Project has studied academic readers for three years: how
they use electronic journals, the features they value most, and how these
compare to their initial expectations. This presentation summarises the
key findings: their views on content, the features they consider core and
"nice to have", and the benefits of electronic journals compared to print.

11.15 Coffee

11.45 Rethinking the learned journal model

Why the learned journal cannot survive:  Hugh Look

o The learned journal is under pressure. New media are being used to
communicate research results very quickly and the Internet has emerged as
a (fairly) cheap, universal medium for two-way communication. Traditional
journals are becoming less important, and other tools and = techniques are
taking their place. In due course, the effect may well be to displace the
journal entirely.

o Journals without publishers: proposed non-commercial models for
scholarly communication:  Fytton Rowland, Loughborough University

Various alternative models have been suggested for scholarly publication,
which do not require users or their libraries to pay high prices for
information. These include Ginsparg's preprint archive, "free" Internet
journals, journals paid for by author charges, publication by
universities, and new, less commercially oriented, concepts of the future
role of learned societies.

o The Deconstructed Journal: an alternative model for 
network-based academic publishing: John Smith, University of Kent.

The prevailing model for net-based publishing is based on three
fundamental misconceptions. Means are confused with ends; it is the
purpose, not the form, that is the important aspect of the traditional STM
journal model; and satisfactory net-based publishing models need not
(possibly should not) contain a central publisher. The Deconstructed
Journal model, which will be outlined, is a better model for network-
based academic publishing.

o A new way of selling access to journals: Academic Press's vision of the
future:  Pieter Bolman, Academic Press

The existence of learned journals results from two fundamental tenets in
research communication - "publish or perish" and peer review - which are
media-independent and will, therefore, continue to apply in the 21st
Century. However the user will have immediate access to all relevant
materials through extensive inter-linking of scientific articles and their
availability at any location. AP's linking efforts and licensing scheme
aim to help accomplish this.

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Real experiments

o The HighWire approach: Richard Gedye, Oxford University Press

HighWire Press have publicly stated that their aim is to change the face
of journal publishing. OUP have recently decided to publish their online
journal material via HighWire Press. This talk will describe why OUP were
attracted by the HighWire approach and their experience so far.

o Stopping the price spiral: the SPARC initiative:  Robert Parker, Royal
Society of Chemistry

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is an
initiative of the Association of Research Libraries that aims to foster
expanded competition in scholarly journal publishing. The RSC is one of
the first publishers to co-operate with ARL on this initiative;  this
collaboration presents new challenges to a Learned & Professional

o Peer review revisited: Erik Sandewall, Linkoping University, Sweden

Traditional peer review is well adapted to pre-Internet publishing
technology. It provides feedback to the author, acts as a filter for the
benefit of readers, and assists the academic community's evaluation and
reward system. Since July 1997, Electronic Transactions on Artificial
Intelligence (http://www.ida.liu.se/ext/etai/) has used a two-step review
system combining open debate with a confidential pass/fail decision. This
presentation describes ETAI's experience so far, and how the new system
relates to the functions of conventional review mentioned above.

o The journal as an overlay on preprint databases:  Bob Kelly, American
Physical Society

This talk will describe the proposed integration of Physical Review
articles, from 1893 onwards, with physics literature in electronic
preprint archives ("e-prints") along with databases and electronic books.
Recognising the value of e-prints, the APS makes bibliographic information
(Title, Author and Abstract) freely available on the WWW for browsing and
as a target for linking. This bibliographic information is referred to as
the "wrapper," and is the focal point for access to the article and for
APS article connections to other databases, including e-prints.

o New Journal of Physics: an author-funded journal: John Haynes, Institute
of Physics Publishing

This talk will describe the background to, and motivation for, the
creation of a new journal entirely funded by author charges. The main
features of the New Journal of Physics will be outlined, and its key
challenges and next steps examined.

15.30 Tea

16.00 Panel debate

What is the model for scientific information transfer in the 21st century?

16.45 Closing remarks:  David Pullinger

17.00 Presentation of the Charlesworth Awards for Typographical Excellence
in Journal and Serial Publishing

17.30 Drinks

Author biographies

Christine Baldwin

Christine Baldwin has worked as a librarian and in print and electronic
publishing. She is now an independent information consultant, focusing on
the information needs of academic researchers, and how these can be= met
by publishers and librarians with electronic products and information
systems. She was Project Manager of the SuperJournal Project (1996-98), a
research project to identify critical success factors for electronic

Pieter Bolman

Pieter Bolman is a physicist by training and went from research into
science publishing. He is now President of Academic Press in San Diego and
in charge of all AP publishing activities worldwide. He led AP's
transition to Web publishing with the establishment of IDEAL
(International Digital Electronic Access Library) and APPEAL (AP Print and
Electronic Access License), through which around 8m authorized users now
have access to all 175 AP scientific journals.

Richard Gedye

Richard Gedye is Journals Marketing Director for Oxford University Press
and has been actively involved in the development of OUP's online journal
publishing strategy. He joined OUP in 1992 from Macmillan, where he also
worked in journals marketing, after a series of positions promoting
academic and professional books.

John Haynes

John Haynes is Journals Publisher at Institute of Physics Publishing where
he is responsible for the organisation's 32 journals. He has been with
IoPP for 8 years and has played a key role in several electronic journal
developments, including most recently New Journal of Physics.

Bob Kelly

Bob Kelly worked for IBM for thirty years, latterly on electronic books.  
He joined APS in 1993, since when he and his team have moved all APS
Research journals into an online environment, created an all-electronic
journal, from author to reader, and are currently working on streamlining
the APS editorial process and on the migration of the Physical Review
Online Archive back to 1893.

Hugh Look

Hugh Look is a consultant, writer and lecturer, and edits Interactive
Media International (previously EP Journal). He is particularly interested
in how changes in technology affect business strategy in the information
industry, and in virtual communities; he is helping to develop a new
virtual community for one of the UK's largest professional bodies. He
previously spent 13 years in electronic publishing in small and large
companies, including a small technical journals operation.

Robert Parker

Robert Parker is General Manager, Journals & Reviews for the Royal Society
of Chemistry, where he has worked for the last 13 years.  He is a disused

David Pullinger

David Pullinger was the principal researcher in early British
Library-funded electronic journal experiments (back in the 1980s!) He
started the electronic publishing programme at Institute of Physics
Publishing and then at Nature. He was Director of the SuperJournal
Project, continues to write research papers and is on several editorial
boards of journals. He is currently a consultant and interim Director for
publishers and e-commerce, and a Visiting Professor at Middlesex

Fytton Rowland

Fytton Rowland spent over twenty years in publishing and information at
three learned societies; at the Royal Society of Chemistry he was
responsible for some early electronic publishing experiments. Since
joining Loughborough University ten years ago, he has been involved in
several user studies of electronic journals. He has written on the need
for managerial and sub-editorial competence in the administration of
"free" electronic journals, and on the differing requirements for
electronic scholarly debate and electronic canonical publication.

Erik Sandewall

Erik Sandewall is professor of computer science at Linkoping University,
Sweden. His research interests concern artificial intelligence, knowledge
representation, and autonomous aircraft technology. He is editor-in-chief
of Electronic Transactions on Artificial Intelligence, a journal which
uses new publication and communication paradigms, published on paper by
the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and electronically by Link=F6ping
University Electronic Press).

John Smith

John Smith's career has embraced both academic librarianship and
information technology. His work has included office automation support, =
full text database production, information services, and promotion of
networking for libraries; he is now IT Librarian at the University of Kent
at Canterbury. He is a Governor of the International Council for Computer
Communication and has been involved in the design and operation of several
international conferences on library networking and electronic publishing.

Alma Swan

Alma Swan has a background in Zoology research. She then moved into
publishing, managing the Current Awareness in Biological Sciences
Database. In 1996 she set up Key Perspectives Ltd with Sheridan Brown.  
KPL is a consultancy whose clients include major academic publishers,
learned societies and other information producers. She is still involved
in active research and publication, working on a research project at
Leicester University into the genetics and evolution of Exmoor Ponies
(Britain's aboriginal horse).

David Gordon Wilson

Dave Wilson was born and educated in Warwickshire, England. He first
crossed the Atlantic in 1953, working his way in the engine room of a
cargo boat. He is an engineer who has researched, taught and worked in
industry in the USA, Britain and Nigeria. He has published extensively
throughout his career. Since retiring in 1994 he has been interim head of
the Office of Minority Education and faculty director of the MITES
program: Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science.