Strong response to ISC members’ consultation on the future of scientific publishing

Over the past few months, the ISC has been gathering feedback from members on the draft discussion paper developed as part of our ongoing project on the future of scientific publishing.

Our 2019 – 2021 Action Plan, which was developed following consultation within the ISC membership and with the broader international science community, made the case for a review of the role of publishing in the scientific enterprise, to ensure that scholarly publishing was fulfilling the needs of its main audience: the scientific community and the institutions in which they work.

In the first half of 2020, we launched a project on the Future of Scientific Publishing, to seek further input from ISC members and to ultimately look for areas of consensus about the extent to which publishing regimes and current trends serve the needs of science, and whether and what change may be needed.

A draft discussion paper, Opening the record of science – making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital era, was shared with ISC members in late July 2020, and feedback on the paper was collected through an online survey and through a series of virtual meetings which took place in September 2020.

In total, 50 different ISC members responded to the survey, and 57 members attended virtual meetings, with 79 different members involved in either responding to the survey, joining a meeting, or both. All types of ISC members (Member Unions and Associations, Member Organizations, and Affiliated Members) took part in the consultation, and responses were received from all regions of the world.

Video recordings of the virtual meetings are available to ISC members – please contact Anne Thieme if you would like to receive a link to watch the discussions.

Feedback from the meetings and online survey is now being collated and used to develop a revised version of the discussion paper, which will be produced in late 2020. If approved by the ISC Governing Board, the discussion paper will be accompanied by a shorter position paper which will set out the ISC’s vision for the future of scientific publishing. Keep an eye on the project webpage for the latest news.


Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash.

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