Advances in scholarly communications have significantly changed the research workflow, particularly in the past decade with the huge volume of technology tools that have launched to aid the process. No longer are scholars dependent on traditional channels to develop their research, and today they have more options than ever to communicate their research results to wider audiences.
Jeroen Bosman and Bianca Kramer of Utrecht University Library developed the visualization (shown below) that highlights 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication and how those innovations have changed the research workflow between 2000 and 2015.
They mapped 101 innovative tools to the six phases of scholarly research: discovery, analysis, writing, publication, outreach, and assessment. Using this map, they created typical workflow examples that show how these innovative tools could be used for traditional, modern, innovative, experimental, Google, and NPG/Macmillan research workflows.
For example, a traditional workflow would use Web of Science, SPSS, Endnote 7 and Microsoft Word, Nature, ResearcherID, and Journal Citation Reports at each stage, respectively. However, modern, innovative, and Google workflows would use different tools such as Google Scholar, Google Books, Figshare, and Altmetrics.
Furthermore, check out the most important developments in the six research workflow phases that Bosman and Kramer discuss in the visualization. Some of the developments that jump out include:
- Trends: Increased use of social discovery tools and scholarly social media
- Expectations: More use of “publish first, judge later” and more open and post-publication peer review
- Opportunities: Using repositories for institutional visibility
Technology is disrupting scholarly research and communications with trends like the increased use of social recommendations and circumvention of traditional publishers. In fact, research from Altmetric has already shown that online mentions of scholarly documents (including social media mentions) affect the impact of the research, and a separate study from Poynter Research Center found that the number of scientists using social media to to communicate with audiences and share their research is growing.
Looking at the long-term, Bosman and Kramer identify the following as the most important development at each stage of the research workflow:
- Discovery: Multidisciplinary and citation-enhanced databases
- Analysis: Collaboration and data-driven
- Writing: Online writing platforms
- Publication: Open access
- Outreach: More and better connected researcher profiles
- Assessment: Importance of societal relevance and non-publication contributions
ACI is already addressing many of these opportunities and developments with its growing Scholarly Blog Index featuring researchers from a variety of universities and making it easier for institutions and their audiences to find that scholarly content.
The world of scholarly research is changing. That’s why so many scholars are starting their own scholarly blogs and becoming more active in social media. Finally, the researchers and authors can take some control over their research and content.