Atypon started as a technology for better publishing in scholarly communication, thus enabling publishes to do more on their websites. We are developers of technology but cannot launch it until the publishers demand it. Scholarly communication technology has remained the same for 20 years; it uses
- IP authentication for institutions,
- User name and password for personalization,
- XML as an intermediate format,
- HTML and PDF for reading,
- Search engines and email alerts for discovery, and
- Many incomplete methods for archiving.
There has not been much change in these methods, and Atypon people are doing some of the same things. So why do we need change?
- Weak institutional identification and PDF delivery drives piracy.
- User frustration,
- Archaic formats mimic print in an increasingly digital world.
- Search engines work only when you know what you are looking for.
- Getting 100 email alerts a week is no way to manage personalized delivery.
- Archiving misses increasingly more content.
- We are increasingly seeing user generated content that is not being archived.
Adding structured data increases traffic and provides greater benefits from modern data practices than the whole scientific endeavor. We are moving toward scholarly HTML.
Discovery today: Researchers want to know what is new on a daily basis, but the amount of information flooding them is overwhelming. They need to be able to manage this fire hose of information, and email alerts cannot do it. Machine learning is the future, and fortunately robots can help us with discovery. New services show promise in managing the flow of informaiton; machine learning algorithms will be aided by content analysis and social networks.
Archiving is too important to be haphazard. We need to solve the problem of archiving our websites;, and the only way to do it is to archive the CMS itself.
Although scholarly communication has remained the same for 20 years or more, we can agree that technology will change every 20 years. Technologists are ready for a radical overhaul within the next two years; are libraries ready for it?
Don Hawkins blogs about conferences for Information Today and Against The Grain. He also maintains the Conference Calendar on the Information Today website and is the Editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, published by Information Today in 2013, and Co-Editor of Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, published by Information Today in 2016. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in the information industry for over 45 years.