The future of scientific publishing

Status: In progress
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Accessible publication of the results, data and ideas arising from research is a fundamental part of how science functions, how it advances, and how scientific evidence is used in different settings, from health care to disaster response to education. The future of scientific publishing matters to everyone.

Background

Since the earliest days of scientific research, scholarly publishing has allowed scientists to share new ideas and evidence with the world. By offering up knowledge claims to be scrutinized, tested and applied, publishing is the basis of scientific ‘self-correction’. It forms the foundation of international scientific collaboration which accelerates the work of scientists taking on important global challenges from climate change to pandemic response.  

But at such a critical time, there are deep concerns within the scientific community that publishing systems no longer meet the needs of global science. 

A small number of corporations guard access to much of the scientific publishing system. Too often, paywalls block researchers and institutions from accessing articles, while high fees often exclude them from publishing in journals.  

At the same time, an explosion in demand is straining the peer review system, while so-called predatory publishers exploit the increasing demand by offering unscrutinized routes to easy publication. And the use of journal impact factors and citations as the main measures of scientific merit has locked scientists into a model centered around ‘high-impact’ journals that are unaffordable for many authors and readers – a system that deepens inequalities and limits access to knowledge. 

For publishing to fulfil the vision of science as a global public good – freely available, and for the benefit of anyone, anywhere — it must satisfy two fundamental responsibilities: 

Activities and impact 

Through this project, the Council collaborates with its Members, national and international funders, universities, open science bodies, publishers and individual scientists, creating a powerful coalition for change that works to ensure that scholarly publishing supports the open, efficient and accessible dissemination and use of scientific work. 

At the moment, the ISC continues to convene these discussions around open science with the Members and other various stakeholders. 

Get involved 

The project calls for bold, ambitious action and collaboration. Implementing the ISC’s eight principles for publishing will challenge aspects of the culture and practice of science that have developed in recent decades.  

Become part of the growing community working to imagine a future publishing system with science at its heart. For more information and to get involved, contact Moumita Koley, Consultant Campaign Manager for the Future of Scientific Publishing project.

For monthly updates on the project, sign up for the Open Science newsletter.

Steering Group

Photo of Abrizah Abdullah Prof. Abrizah Abdullah

Prof. Abrizah Abdullah

Chief Editor

Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science

Prof. Abrizah Abdullah
Geoffrey Boulton

Geoffrey Boulton

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Geoffrey Boulton
Dominique Babini

Dominique Babini

ISC Fellow (Dec 2022)

Dominique Babini
Dr. Ahmed Cassim Bawa

Dr. Ahmed Cassim Bawa

Professor

Johannesburg Business School, University of Johannesburg

Dr. Ahmed Cassim Bawa
Amy Brand

Amy Brand

Director and Publisher

The MIT Press

Amy Brand
Luke Drury

Luke Drury

Vice-President

All European Academies (ALLEA)

Luke Drury
Rupert Gatti

Rupert Gatti

Director of Studies in Economics

Trinity College, Cambridge

Rupert Gatti
Heather Joseph

Heather Joseph

Executive Director

SPARC

Heather Joseph
Joy Owango

Joy Owango

Founding Director

Training Centre in Communication

Joy Owango

News & Events View all

blog
06 June 2024 - 18 min read

Open science round-up: May 2024

Learn more Learn more about Open science round-up: May 2024
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14 May 2024 - 17 min read

Open science round-up: April 2024

Learn more Learn more about Open science round-up: April 2024
blog
16 April 2024 - 4 min read

Barcelona Declaration: open research information must be the new norm

Learn more Learn more about Barcelona Declaration: open research information must be the new norm

Project team

Megha Sud

Megha Sud

Senior Science Officer

International Science Council

Megha Sud
Moumita Koley

Moumita Koley

Campaign Manager for the Future of Scientific Publishing project

International Science Council

Moumita Koley

Publications View all

publications
17 November 2023

The Key Principles for Scientific Publishing

Learn more Learn more about The Key Principles for Scientific Publishing
publications
17 November 2023

The Case for Reform of Scientific Publishing

Learn more Learn more about The Case for Reform of Scientific Publishing
publications
09 March 2022

The normalization of preprints

Learn more Learn more about The normalization of preprints

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