Replacing academic journals

Björn Brembs, Philippe Huneman, Felix Schönbrodt, Gustav Nilsonne, Toma Susi, Renke Siems, Pandelis Perakakis, Varvara Trachana, Lai Ma, Sara Rodriguez-Cuadrado

Replacing traditional journals with a more modern solution is not a new idea. Here, we propose ways to overcome the social dilemma underlying the decades of inaction. Any solution needs to not only resolve the current problems but also be capable of preventing takeover by corporations: it needs to replace traditional journals with a decentralized, resilient, evolvable network that is interconnected by open standards and open-source norms under the governance of the scholarly community. It needs to replace the monopolies connected to journals with a genuine, functioning and well-regulated market. In this new market, substitutable service providers compete and innovate according to the conditions of the scholarly community, avoiding sustained vendor lock-in. Therefore, a standards body needs to form under the governance of the scholarly community to allow the development of open scholarly infrastructures servicing the entire research workflow. We propose a redirection of money from legacy publishers to the new network by funding bodies broadening their minimal infrastructure requirements at recipient institutions to include modern infrastructure components replacing and complementing journal functionalities. Such updated eligibility criteria by funding agencies would help realign the financial incentives for recipient institutions with public and scholarly interest.

Physics of Nanostructured Materials
External organisation(s)
Universität Regensburg (UR), Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Karolinska Institute, Universidad Complutense De Madrid, University of Thessaly, University College Dublin, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Royal Society Open Science
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508016 Science communication, 102015 Information systems
ASJC Scopus subject areas
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