Scientific Authors in a Changing World of Scholarly Communication: What Does the Future Hold?

Am J Med. 2020 Jan;133(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2019.07.028. Epub 2019 Aug 13.


Scholarly communication in science, technology, and medicine has been organized around journal-based scientific publishing for the past 350 years. Scientific publishing has unique business models and includes stakeholders with conflicting interests-publishers, funders, libraries, and scholars who create, curate, and consume the literature. Massive growth and change in scholarly communication, coinciding with digitalization, have amplified stresses inherent in traditional scientific publishing, as evidenced by overwhelmed editors and reviewers, increased retraction rates, emergence of pseudo-journals, strained library budgets, and debates about the metrics of academic recognition for scholarly achievements. Simultaneously, several open access models are gaining traction and online technologies offer opportunities to augment traditional tasks of scientific publishing, develop integrated discovery services, and establish global and equitable scholarly communication through crowdsourcing, software development, big data management, and machine learning. These rapidly evolving developments raise financial, legal, and ethical dilemmas that require solutions, while successful strategies are difficult to predict. Key challenges and trends are reviewed from the authors' perspective about how to engage the scholarly community in this multifaceted process.

Keywords: Open access; Peer review; Predatory publishing; Preprint repository; Self-archiving.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Authorship*
  • Humans
  • Open Access Publishing / trends
  • Peer Review, Research / trends
  • Periodicals as Topic / trends
  • Preprints as Topic / trends
  • Publishing / economics
  • Publishing / trends*
  • Scholarly Communication / trends*
  • Stakeholder Participation