Scholarly publishers already know that digital publishing and social media have changed scholarly research workflows and affected the impact of research. Scholarly presses also recognize that technology has caused a sea change in the scholarly publishing industry.

Gary Dunham, PhD and Director of Publications for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, identifies six key trends in scholarly publishing. These six trends have many scholarly publishers scrambling to keep up in order to create new content formats and new financial models to support their publications. Those six trends are:

  1. Digital forms of publishing
  2. Parsing and leveraging content
  3. Connecting with associated content environments
  4. Increasing receptivity to multimedia components
  5. Growing interactivity and dialogue
  6. Moving to mobile

You can follow the link above to read all of Dunham’s insights related to the six key trends in scholarly publishing. ACI is supporting several of these trends with the ACI Scholarly Blog Index. Let’s take a closer look:

Digital Forms of Publishing

Dunham writes, “As of 2011, digital bytes convey and store formal discourse among researchers more than printed words,” and it’s a trend that is not going to reverse. Scholarly presses are publishing electronically for a variety of reasons including cost, speed, versatility, and durability.

In terms of durability, Dunham points to problems with long-term digital archiving creating and the need for better long-term digital archiving of scholarly content. The ACI Scholarly Blog Index helps solve that problem.

Connecting with Associated Content Environments

Dunham explains, “Upon release, each digital publication—book, journal issue, journal article, research report, and what not—does not stand alone but is intrinsically embedded within a greater semantic world, a dynamic, relational landscape of content  resonance and searchability. Through metagging and linking, scholarship disseminated digitally emerges not in a vacuum but as part of a research discovery pathway interconnected with discourse and content elsewhere online: a host of robust commercial and library search engines, data repositories, and information commons; related blogs, Listservs, forums, email blasts, Facebook Pages, YouTube content, and tweets.”

The ACI Scholarly Blog Index does exactly what Dunham is referring to by enhancing scholarly blog content to make it more searchable and easier to find through library search engines when and where researchers need it.

Growing Interactivity and Dialogue

Today, more and more scholarly publishers are writing blogs to generate interactivity and dialogue around their research. Given the fact that younger researchers and future generations are “digital first” in nearly all aspects of their lives, scholarly publishers and scholarly presses need to shift their research, publishing, and discourse practices.

Dunham explains, “In 2011, the impact of such interactivity and community-building on researchers has chiefly occurred around their content—through forums, Listservs, and blogs—rather than directly affecting the form or process of dissemination itself.” Fast-forward to 2015 and digital communications tools, particularly scholarly blogs, have become a critical piece of dissemination process for scholarly publishers and scholarly presses.

The Positive (But Under-Leveraged) Effects of Trends in Scholarly Publishing

Ultimately, Dunham notes that these six trends in scholarly publishing have a positive effect because they make content more accessible, more visible, and more sustainable than printed journals provide.

But here is where things get really interesting…

Dunham wrote his article with these six trends in scholarly publishing for the February 2011 issue of Access Academics and Research. Are you surprised that the same six trends still apply today and scholarly publishers and scholarly presses are still struggling to fully leverage them?

Image: Anastas Tarpanov licensed CC BY-SA 2.0