What Does it Take to Make Networked and Open Science Sustainable?
INVITED SPEAKER: Ms Catriona MacCallum, Senior Advocacy Manager, Public Library of Science (PLOS), USA
The traditional scholarly cycle is being disrupted by interactions between new players, new services and new platforms, resulting in an emerging network of collaborators, communities and innovative forms of scholarly discourse that extend beyond the academy. Taking advantage of this network requires a transformation in the way we think about scholarly communication, and a transformation in the publishing industry to one that is focused on services rather than on products.
The internet and Open Access are just the first steps. Both provide opportunities to drive down the fixed costs of traditional publishing and increase the accessibility and utility of published research but both create challenges. Production, distribution and dissemination can potentially become cheaper but the non-cash cost of peer review done by academics is largely unaffected and there are new costs in managing the transition to full open access and creating the networked infrastructure to support it.
Publishing is at a cross roads. We can largely uphold 20th Century forms of publishing and scientific discourse and try and commodify and contain the network or we can fundamentally re-evaluate what is needed and what we want in this new environment. What are the services required to ensure that research is trustworthy and re-usable, disseminated effectively and efficiently, and evaluated appropriately? How can we foster systems and services that are transparent, open to new players, subject to real competition and which scale as the network grows?
The sustainability of such a networked system of services will rest on a shared community governance across many different stakeholders, a governance that enables common standards, such as ORCID, and an interoperable infrastructure that can take advantage of rapidly changing technology. The bigger challenge is that it requires cooperation and trust among all stakeholders, including those that have traditionally been excluded from the scholarly lifecycle.
Catriona MacCallum is currently Senior Advocacy Manager at PLOS, a Consulting Editor on PLOS ONE and a member of the Board of OASPA (the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association). She joined PLOS from Elsevier in July 2003 as one of the launch editors of PLOS Biology. She was a Senior Editor on PLOS Biology for 10 years, primarily responsible for handling papers in ecology and evolutionary biology. She was also involved in the planning stages of the PLOS community journals and PLOS ONE. She studied Zoology at Edinburgh University, remaining there to do a PhD on the evolutionary ecology and genetics of speciation with Nick Barton.
She joined the Elsevier journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution as assistant Editor in 1998, becoming Editor in 1999 and Managing Editor in 2001. She also took a sabatical from PLoS in 2007–08 as an invited Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Berlin. She has spoken and written extensively about the transformation of scholarly publishing and is a keen advocate of open access, open science, and the reform of scholarly communication.