Thursday, December 06, 2012
Metajournal discussions crawl on
Earlier this week I wrote about the idea of metajournals being the future of academic publishing outside of the commercial/megajournal hegemony.
In his comments on that post and in email correspondence, Martin Weller is still positive about the idea of an Edtech metajournal, but the nuts and bolts of how to make such a venture sustainable remain a stumbling block.
Informal discussions have also stared within the SGM Communications Committee (of which I am a member) about the possibility of a microbiology metajournal. The idea is that the involvement of the Society for General Microbiology would help to sustain this. I am interested in this because without new approaches such as this, I feel that the future for learned societies looks dodgy. Maybe universities should be more proactive.
On a related note, I see that Bioscience Education is also looking for a new Editor in Chief. Again, my feeling is that the metajournal model I described earlier is probably the way forward for publishing venture of this sort - encouraging and supporting contributors in publishing via either the Green or the Gold Open Access routes (as I have done recently myself) and then composing a curation layer via the metajournal format.
It's hard to sell these "radical" ideas to conservative academics hung up on REFophobia and that's the way we've always done it. But the clock is ticking and these is only limited time until most of the boutique journals we have now collapse. As ever, defining the timescale of the event horizon is the difficult part.