Michigan State University

Issues and Trends

Alternative publishing models

New publishing models are gaining acceptance as alternatives to traditional publishing practices. This doesn’t mean that any one of them will necessarily solve the scholarly communication problem, but they represent experiments to see what can be changed. See a list of new modes of publishing that allow more access to scholarship without high price barriers.

Open data

“Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike” (opendefinition.org). Data refers to the non-textual materials, such a maps, chemical compounds, medical data, etc. Open science data and open government data are two main streams in open data. Examples of open science data range from data repositories where authors can publish data sets (for example, Data Dryad) to large project projects (such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey). An example of open government data is World Bank Open Data.

Open peer review

The Journal of Interactive Media in Education initiated open peer review in 1996 to enhance transparency and disclosure of reviewing process of scientific publications. Presented as an alternative as traditional anonymous peer review, open peer review has been adopted in various forms over the years by a number of scientific publications, such as Biology Direct, Life, F1000Research, etc.

Projects in affordable publishing

The following are a few examples of projects:

  • SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition partners with publishers to develop alternatives and competition to high-priced journals and encourages change in the system of communication.
  • Project MUSE is a partnership of not-for-profit publishers offering essential journals in the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences in a library-friendly and reasonably priced way.
  • Project Euclid is a collaboration of independent and society publishers in the field of theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics to offer quality journals online with low subscription prices.