I just came across this incredibly interesting article from Nature that peers into the future of scholarly publishing. The vision is pretty remarkable. Scientist will disseminate their work via the web and crowd-sourcing, the peer-review process will fall to the authority of the readership, and scientific impact will be replaced by downloads. This is a very exciting proposition for me and I think it will be refreshing for my generation of scholars that increasingly grow weary of the current system. I hope the future of disseminating scholarly and scientific work turns out as this author suggests.
“We now have a unique opportunity as scholars to guide the evolution of our tools in directions that honour our values and benefit our communities. Here’s what to do. First, try new things: publish new kinds of products, share them in new places and brag about them using new metrics. Intellectual playfulness is a core scholarly virtue. Second, take risks (another scholarly virtue): publishing more papers may be safe, but scholars who establish early leadership in Web-native production will be ahead of the curve as these genres become dominant. Finally, resist the urge to cling to the trappings of scientific excellence rather than excellence itself. ‘Publication’ is just one mode of making public and one way of validating scholarly excellence. It is time to embrace the Web’s power to disseminate and filter scholarship more broadly and meaningfully. Welcome to the next era of scholarly communication.”