STM Future Lab Predicts

Heather Ruland StainesHoward RatnerAndrea PowellDavid Martinsen

At last week’s STM Innovations Seminar, the STM Future Lab Committee launched its 2014 edition of the annual report on STM Tech Trends. This yearly exercise highlights the most prominent technology trends that committee members believe will have significant impact on scholarly and scientific publishing in the coming three years. For 2014, three main trends stand out in the STM exercise.

The Machine is the New Reader – acknowledging the impact from machine-readability of information, the growing importance of metadata, and the potential for text and data mining and creation of minable archives. In 2014, data is big and “big data” is even bigger. Ultimately, the machine may prove not only to be the new reader, but also the new researcher/author – analysing academic publications and generate hypotheses. One day, it seems, the machine may do it all.

The Return to the Author— notably so in a publishing environment where Open Access increasingly rules. Demand is rising for improved metrics and greater transparency throughout the information workflow, transforming the scholarly publishing eco-system to a scholarly author ego-system.

New players changing the Game – highlighting a menagerie’s worth of  emerging companies and services available on the Web and other online platforms, including social media, authoring tools, open metrics, and data-sharing. Many of these are innovative start-ups seeking to leverage open access information and to offer new discoverability tools to authors and researchers. While their names may be unfamiliar, others are household brands– Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

A panel of technology directors and business development senior staff from STM member companies and organizations explored these themes with CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

David Martinsen has been at the American Chemical Society (ACS) for 25 years, working in various capacities in the Publications Division and in IT. In his current role, David is responsible for tracking new technologies and planning for their incorporation into the scholarly publishing environment.

Andrea Powell has been with CABI since 1991, initially in a marketing role, then as Product Development Director and since 2005 as Executive Director, Publishing. CABI is an inter-governmental, not-for-profit organization set up by a United Nations treaty; its mission is to improve people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

Howard Ratner is Executive Director of CHOR, Inc. and leads its first service — CHORUS – the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States. CHORUS is a not-for-profit public-private partnership (including publishers, resource partners, associations and other organizations involved in scholarly publishing) whose mission is to increase public access to peer-reviewed publications that report on federally funded research.

Heather Ruland Staines is Vice President, Publisher Development at SIPX. Formerly the Stanford Intellectual Property Exchange, SIPX (pronounced “sip-ex”) is a Web-based service to manage copyrights and deliver digital documents for the higher-education marketplace.

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