Most established academic disciplines have their own journals and other outlets for publication, though many academic journals are somewhat interdisciplinary, and publish work from several distinct fields or subfields. The kinds of publications that are accepted as contributions of knowledge or research vary greatly between fields, as do review and publication processes.
Academic publishing is undergoing major changes, emerging from the transition from the print to the electronic format. Business models are different in the electronic environment. Since the early 1990s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common. Currently, a major trend, particularly with respect to scholarly journals, is open access via the Internet. There are two main forms of open access: open access publishing, in which the articles or the whole journal is freely available from the time of publication; and self-archiving, where authors make a copy of their own work freely available on the web.
STM publishing is a frequently-used abbreviation for academic publications in science, technology, and medicine.
The Royal Society was steadfast in its not yet popular belief that science could only move forward through a transparent and open exchange of ideas backed by experimental evidence.
Some journals, particularly newer ones, are now published in electronic form only. Paper journals are now generally made available in electronic form as well, both to individual subscribers, and to libraries. Almost always these electronic versions are available to subscribers immediately upon publication of the paper version, or even before; sometimes they are also made available to non-subscribers after an embargo of two to twenty-four months, in order to protect against loss of subscriptions. Journals having this delayed availability are generally called delayed open access journals.
Peer review is a central concept for most academic publishing; other scholars in a field must find a work sufficiently high in quality for it to merit publication. The process also guards against plagiarism. Failures in peer review, while they are probably common, are sometimes scandalous (the Sokal Affair is arguably one example, though this controversy also involved many other issues).
Once peer review has been completed, the original author(s) of the article will modify their submission in line with the reviewers' comments, and this is repeated until the editor is satisfied.
The production process, controlled by a production editor or publisher, then takes an article through copy editing, typesetting, inclusion in a specific issue of a journal, and then printing and online publication. Copy editing seeks to ensure that an article conforms to the journal's house style, that all of the referencing and labelling is correct, and that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Typesetting deals with the appearance of the article — layouts, fonts, headings etc., both for print and online publication. Historically, these activities were all carried out in-house in a publisher, but increasingly are subject to outsourcing. The majority of typesetting is probably now done in India and China, and copy editing is frequently done by local freelancers, or by staff at the typesetters in India or China. Even printing and distribution are now tending to move overseas to lower-cost areas of the world, such as Singapore. In much of the 20th century, such articles were photographed for printing into proceedings and journals, and this stage were known as "camera ready" copy. With modern digital submission in formats such as PDF, this photographing step is no longer necessary, though the term is still sometimes used.
The author will review and correct proofs at one or more stages in the production process. The proof correction cycle has historically been labour-intensive as handwritten comments by authors and editors are manually transcribed by a proof reader onto a clean version of the proof. In recent years, this process has been streamlined by the introduction of e-annotations in Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, and other programs, but it still remains a time-consuming and error-prone process.
The American Psychological Association (APA) style is often used in the social sciences. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is used in business, communications, economics, and history. The CMS style uses footnotes at the bottom of page to help readers easy to locate the sources. The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is widely used in the humanities.
Most scientific research is initially published in scientific journals and considered to be a primary source; see that article for details. Technical reports, for minor research results and engineering and design work (including computer software) round out the primary literature. Secondary sources in the sciences include articles in review journals (which provide a synthesis of research articles on a topic to highlight advances and new lines of research), and books for large projects, broad arguments, or compilations of articles. Tertiary sources might include encyclopedias and similar works intended for broad public consumption.
A partial exception to scientific publication practices is in many fields of applied science, particularly that of U.S. computer science research. An equally prestigious site of publication within U.S. computer science are some academic conferences . Reasons for this departure include a large number of such conferences, the quick pace of research progress due to Moore's Law, and computer science professional society support for the distribution and archiving of conference proceedings.
Scholarly publishing requirements in the humanities (as well as some social sciences) are currently a subject of significant controversy within the academy. The following describes the situation in the United States. In many fields, such as literature and history, several published articles are typically required for a first tenure-track job, and a published or forthcoming book is now often required before tenure. Some critics complain that this de facto system has emerged without thought to its consequences; they claim that the predictable result is the publication of much shoddy work, as well as unreasonable demands on the already limited research time of young scholars. To make matters worse, the circulation of many humanities journals in the 1990s declined to almost untenable levels, as many libraries cancelled subscriptions, leaving fewer and fewer peer-reviewed outlets for publication; and many humanities professors' first books sell only a few hundred copies, which often does not pay for the cost of their printing. Some scholars have called for a publication subvention of a few thousand dollars to be associated with each graduate student fellowship or new tenure-track hire, in order to alleviate the financial pressure on journals.
The rival to this subscription model is the open access journal model. (This is also known as "author-pays" or "paid on behalf of the author." ) where a publication charge is paid by the author, his university, or the agency which provides his research grant. The online distribution of individual articles and academic journals then takes place without charge to readers and libraries. Committing to the open access community means dispensing with the financial, technical, and legal barriers that have been designed to limit access to academic materials to paying customers. The Public Library of Science and BioMed Central are prominent and successful examples of this model.
Corporate interests often criticize the principle of open access on quality grounds, as the desire to obtain publishing fees would cause the journal to relax the standard of peer review. It is often criticized on financial grounds as well, because the necessary publication fees have proven to be higher than originally estimated. Open access advocates generally reply that because open access is as much based on peer reviewing as traditional publishing, the quality should be the same (recognizing that both traditional and open access journals have a range of quality). It has been argued that good science done by academic institutions who cannot afford to pay for open access might not get published at all, but most open access journals permit the waiver of the fee for financial hardship or authors in underdeveloped countries. By October 2006, it has become clear that open access journals are feasible in at least some situations, and some can be financially viable without outside funding. It remains unclear whether this is applicable to all--or even most-- journals.
A variant of this model, Hybrid open access publishing has developed since 2004. In this system, those articles that have a fee paid are made available open access immediately; the others are either made available after a delay, or remain available only by subscription. During 2004, many of the traditional publishers (including Blackwell Publishing , Oxford University Press, Springer Science+Business Media and Wharton School Publishing) introduced such models, and the move is continuing to spread. Proponents of open access suggest that such moves by corporate publishers illustrate that open access, or a mix of open access and traditional publishing can be financially viable, and evidence to that effect is emerging. It remains unclear whether this is practical in fields outside the sciences, where there is much less availability of outside funding. In 2006, several funding agencies, including the Wellcome Trust in the UK and several divisions of the Research Councils UK (UKRC) announced the availability of extra funding to their grantees for such publication fees.
When publishing is not seen as a single act, but rather as an initiation of a process, an opening frame for collaboration, new models of academic publishing can emerge.
Who Owns Academic Work? (Books: intellectual property: between the Ivory tower and the market).(Who Owns Academic Work: Battling for Control of Intellectual Property)
Mar 08, 2002; Who Owns Academic Work? Battling for Control of Intellectual Property by Corynne McSherry Harvard University Press, Cambridge,...