January 24, 2014
Maybe you have been wondering what the whole publishing process looks like and what publishers in fact do? Maybe you were asked to pay an Article or Book Processing Charge and you want to know what are you paying for? Or you want to choose between self-archiving (on a private website or on-line repository) and cooperation with a professional publisher, or between publishers X and Y? Anyway it is good to know, in simple terms, what process your paper or your book should go through. So I have tried to summarize the whole process of publishing in a simple graph.
As you can see, scientific publishing is not only about printing and delivering copies of books and journals. It is also about peer review and quality management. And whether we like it or not, it is more and more about promotion. Since the number of researchers all over the world is on the increase and a large proportion of them are obliged to publish frequently (maybe even more than they could afford without loss of quality), it is much harder to achieve a recognized position in one’s field and to be acknowledged and cited. There is a strong presumption of modesty among scientists who are expected to shun publicity, but much of it is contrived, as was recently noticed on the Pubchase blog. All scientists promote their works, but by different means. Traditionally the best way of research promotion was to publish it with a well-known publisher, who provides peer-review by recognized specialists. With the rise of the Internet we now have some additional promotional tools. I mean:
- social media and blogging (including growing number of scientific social media)
- scientific news platforms (like Eureka Alert)
- on-line bibliographies and bibliography managing systems
- abstracting & indexing databases, both accessible for free and paid ones
Publishing in Open Access certainly makes promotion of your paper or book easier, but it does not do the whole job. There is a lot more effort required to ensure that your content is placed in every place online that is relevant to your field and your work.
The publishing process was discussed in more detail on this blog:
- from the point of view of a book author here and here.
- and from the point of view of an article author here
- about DOI number and why it increase searchability of your work you can read here.
I will continue this story with some entries on abstracting & indexing and search engine optimization for scientific articles. Stay tuned!