Scholarly publishing is the bedrock of scientific communication worldwide. In last couple of decades we have seen that scholarly publishing has been through multiple challenges and opportunities, much of it owing to the radical developments in technology and business models like open access. Web revolution and crowd knowledge sourcing which brought about free access to information and technologies have started putting up credible challenges in terms of rendering the services usually provided by publishers. Numbers of publications are on the rise every year with global output of scientific content doubling every nine years, however publishers are not able to keep their revenues steady and which in turn has caused them to raise the subscription fee which is climbing faster than the price rise of any other commodity. Open Access movement was initiated to rival the centuries old traditional subscription based print publishing, it provides free access to much of the information, but the cost is shifted to researchers.
The world of academic publishing is diverse and has thousands of players, with the big five being the global gatekeepers of scientific communication, lapping up the lion’s share of $10 billion industry, there are many discipline specific associations and university presses. While the traditional publishing was facing stiff challenges and sometimes boycott, open access was seen as a revolutionary path. However, open access has not received universal acceptance, especially from researchers in the social sciences and business fields. And there is still resistance to open access publishing by some academics who consider that the newer open access journals lack legitimacy and credibility.
The bulk of the reasons academic publishing has to go through these obstacles lies in the cost – cost of the entire processes of publishing, which have manifold layers in it, from acquiring content to editing to peer review, content polishing, printing, delivery and marketing. A portion of the cost like copy-editing and peer reviewing maybe transferred to the authors however. Not all of these costs can be offset but technology enabled publishing services can chip away the load carried by in-house operations. Providers of varied publishing services to authors and publishers, can assist them in Content Acquisition to Standard and Expert Editing, Journal Selection, Expert Scientific Review, Marketing, Brand Awareness, Author Outreach, Social Engagement and a host of other services ranging from education to on-campus activities.
Technology led authoring solutions, editorial workflow solutions, submission management platform and peer review systems to the rescue
The journey from authoring of an article to distribution of a journal is unbelievably slow and long and it consists of multiple processes. Peer-reviewing is as important as authoring itself and it takes weeks for an article to be peer-reviewed, any article that gets published would have on an average 6-7 contributors behind it. Authors, peer-reviewers and editors work hand-in-hand during the review and submission process, despite the availability of software interface that streamlines the entire submission process, it takes months for an article to be ready for publication. The readers on the other hand demand faster and better products, only a consistently reliable journal that produces authoritative and relevant content can maintain reader loyalty in this age of rapid information proliferation. Also, readers want to access the articles wherever they are, in different devices and formats, and of course at lower prices.
Edanz of Japan provides authoring and publishing support to researchers. Edanz’s Author Path helps author throughout the processes, it brings journal selection, writing, collaboration, and submission management into one powerful platform. Authors can create a new manuscript project and automatically get relevant journal recommendations from the Edanz Journal Selector database. They can invite co-authors to collaborate and start writing. The writing process is made easy with expert writing guidance provided for all sections of the manuscript, while Author Path’s integration with submission management software allows authors to track submissions right through to acceptance. Author Path compiles projects into manageable sections, each section gives expert writing advice and tips using real examples from successfully published papers. The integrated Journal Selector tool allows authors to search, refine, and save journals that best suit their project, they can search for references online and save them to their Resources section.
Edanz also provides an extensive authoring and publishing support to non-English researchers (who know their science but wouldn’t easily be able to communicate their findings in conventional academic publishing English and methods) and connects them to publishers in English language. Edanz provides translation, editing, journal selection and related services to these researchers.
Technology can also greatly help in post-production activities like delivery and marketing. Readers of today are exposed to variety of multimedia formats, publishers can provide their readers with a different experience, eg: by creating a simulation video explaining a biological process. This will help readers understand the concept better, and can be an alternate source of revenue for publishers. iPublishCentral Scholar, Impelsys’ flagship content delivery platform provides branded web and mobile platforms for delivery of journals, ebooks, videos, courses and other file formats, thus giving publishers a platform to distribute their content in various formats, helping generate more revenue through varied content. Impelsys also provides content transformation services, infusing appropriate media, data presentation and infographics to make the document easy to read, adding an aesthetic touch.
While peer review, open access and business models are the most debated topics currently, there are many other stages of publishing which can be outsourced. Academic publishing is going through a transformation and is struggling to stay relevant; there are various technologies which can automate processes and provide publishers with different streams of revenues, while also assisting authors in getting published and get people to read and use their work.
Edanz and Impelsys in partnership are equipped to provide comprehensive publishing services to authors and publishers. Edanz provides above mentioned upstream services while Impelsys’ delivery platform iPublishCentral Scholar provides world class content distribution capabilities in formats like ebooks, journals, videos and others, with features like mobility, content security and consumer analytics. Together they constitute a one-stop shop for all academic publishing needs, eliminating the need for other vendors or technologies, helping publishers bring efficiency in their operations, cut costs while helping streamline and automate processes.