1.4 Status and Trends
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has revolutionized the way we collect, store, share and communicate information today. This has impacted the scholarly communication process as well, especially from the publishing and dissemination standpoint.
The scholarly publishing system at present is an aggregated one which combines four functions of journal publication i.e. registration, certification (peer review); awareness (communications); and archiving in one package.
Internet and other ICT applications provide an opportunity for unlocking the traditional scholarly publishing system and providing new ways to fulfil these four functions.
Technology also provides new models of dissemination with more control on the part of the researchers, academics and the libraries. Due to issues of affordability and with the intension for providing wider access to all readers, there has been a shift in peer reviewed journals towards open access (OA) in recent years.
New web technologies especially Web 2.0 has brought social media in the forefront with its intrinsic features like openness, interactivity, participatory and user-centric activities. This has brought in a radical change in the information behaviour of the researchers and academics. They can now join all kinds of virtual scientific communities and publish their findings in blogs, wikis, and plethora of other platforms.
Open access is in for the scholarly community as it gives them greater freedom to share their ideas as well as their research work. They can now present their work or ideas not only in writing but also through other multimedia channels like audio, broadcast, video, etc. Web 2.0 tools have made knowledge sharing multi-dimensional and participatory providing wider channels for communication.
Social media with tools like blogs, microblogs (Twitter), wikis, cloud computing, podcasts/video-sharing (YouTube), image sharing (Flicker) and community forum/social networks (e.g. MySpace, Facebook) provides a platform for individual users not only to fulfil their basic data storage requirements, but even more towards their psychological experience requirements of being discovered, appreciated and recognized.
With the development of online publication scenario, online writing is becoming a popular style of scholarly communication. Blogs and wikis provide suitable platform to cultivate the habit of online and collective scholarly writing, especially where there is intense collaboration in the research work.
Availability of more online references and multimedia resources through social media is also forcing the scholarly community towards online writing.