Elements of Superior Publishing: Going Well Beyond the Platform

Superior Scholarly Publishing Support

Superior Scholarly Publishing Support Panel (L-R) Elisabeth Leonard, Lisa Nachtigail, Nancy Herther

Scholarly publishing is more complex than just providing technical tools and web access to content.  This session examined the process of publication.

Nancy Herther, Social Sciences Librarian, University of Minnesota, said that Open Access (OA) is a broken system; we are trying to develop a system that has cracks in it. There are many mandates to make information available, but the OA system is unstable, and publications are being lost.

Discoverablility is everywhere, but OA hybrids are not discoverable everywhere. The research cycle is broken, so there are major impacts throughout society. Most scholarly databases are not indexing many of the articles that have been published, so people cannot find them. Publishers claim they are making articles available by sending out emails to authors, but this is not the way to promote discoverability. Many libraries are joining the Library Publishing Coalition; 115 of them are listed in the Library Publishing Directory.

What should academic authors expect as a part of OA publishing? They need to develop their own brand. Let the world know about your book. See that it is indexed. Get your book into award cycles for consideration. Get on book tours which keep the expertise of the author in the reach of media after publication. These are things that people are used to getting from commercial presses.

Data counts too. As research articles age, the odds of their raw data being lost increase. OA data needs to be properly managed and easily available by all, today and in the future.

Today’s search engine environment is inadequate. Google doesn’t have everything; algorithms are problematic and apparently biased. Is that what we want in academia?  It is time we become more confident of the services we use so that we can do a better job ourselves.

Lisa Nachtigall, Director of Digital Books Sales Development, Wiley, said that Wiley helps scientific and scholarly societies spread knowledge, advance their discipline, and expand their communities. They partner with hundreds of societies that represent millions of members around the world, working with them to increase the impact, reach, quality, ad sustainability of their journals. Research can break down barriers to change. Our most important partners are the societies.  Wiley is the largest publisher for societies.

Societies represent professionals in their field, funding their operations through sales of content, conferences, dues, etc. Publishing partners are important to societies to sustain themselves. Our services help the societies spread their knowledge when they contract with Wiley to provide publishing services. The primary model is a royalty or profit sharing one.

Societies are supported by:

  1. Contributing to the quality of journals by supporting the editors and promoting the brands.
  2. Reaching the broadest community possible.
  3. Helping them increase their impact.

Practices:

  • Sustainability is supported by helping journals attract the best authors. We must understand the authoring community and then act on those insights.
  • Help authors select a journal to publish in, and understand the peer review process.
  • Provide an author dashboard to streamline the process of submission.
  • Ensure the strength of the community by helping with member services, career development, author workshops, etc.
  • Maintain a diversified position with the journal to help societies financially. Also maintain  strong relationships with the library community. Impact is critically important as is enabling discoverability; providing listings in A&I services; ensuring that library users know that the research is available, and working with sponsors and advertisers by reprints and special distributions.

Create greater government impact and arrange meetings between society leaders and policy makers. Consumer media can also help spread the word about research findings.

Elisabeth Leonard, Executive Market Research Manager, SAGE Publications listed these things that authors do wrong:

  1. They don’t pay attention to the aim and scope of the journal to which they are submitting their article.
  2. They don’t shop their article internally to their colleagues and get feedback before they submit it to a journal.
  3. They are not good writers or not proficient in English and don’t ask for help.
  4. They don’t know how to write for a journal.

Here are some areas where SAGE helps authors. They have also developed a video entitled “How To Get Published”.SAGE Helps

SAGE also recommends that authors use a language service (SAGE has one they refer them to) to make sure the flow of the wording is good, helps with formatting, and after publication works with them to make their article discoverable. They also make sure that words describing the research are actually in the title.

SAGE also partners with Kudos which has created an article “How to grow the impact of your paper: A step by step guide to using Kudos”.

These activities are not something that nobody else could do but they takes rigor, planning, and a large team of people to do them.

Don HawkinsDon Hawkins
Charleston Conference Blogger and Against The Grain Columnist

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