Scientific Communication: Evolution or Paradigm Shift?
Author: Allan Foster, Information Industry Consultant & Writer, United Kingdom
The communication of scientific knowledge is undergoing significant change. At one level, many academics are exerting more control over their intellectual output than ever before. Governments and institutions are keen to find new ways to disseminate the product of publicly funded research to a wider audience through the medium of the web.
Publishers emphasise the importance of a professional approach to the marketing and production of scientific information and, particularly, to the notion of quality control through peer review.
The 'open access' debate is being fiercely argued, with stakeholder groups such as publishers and librarians often taking entrenched positions.
At the same time, relatively new entrants to the knowledge dissemination market such as Google are challenging some fundamental notions of 'publication' with new business models. And social technologies such as blogging and wikis are democratising the right and the ability to contribute to scientific debate. Are these competing or complementary technologies?
Allan Foster will attempt to chart this ever shifting landscape and make some predictions of a more heterogeneous future.
About the author
Allan Foster has had a 36 year professional career which has taken him across public library, polytechnic, university and special library sectors. He took early retirement from his post as Director of Information Services (and University Librarian) at Keele University at the end of October 2005 where he had responsibility for libraries, IT and media services since 1994. He was previously Librarian and Information Services Manager at Manchester Business School, part of the University of Manchester (1988-94), and has had spells at Lancashire Polytechnic (as Chief Librarian), Sheffield City Polytechnic, the British Institute of Management & Somerset County Library.
His main areas of interest include strategic information planning, the use of networked information, electronic database provision, business information and information/knowledge management. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars and professional meetings nationally and internationally, and he has written many books, reports and journal articles on these subjects.
He has been a consultant to a number of companies and public sector organisations in the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and South America, and is external examiner at two UK universities. He has a degree in social sciences and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals.
From 1st November 2005 he has been undertaking a variety of information work including consultancy, training, PR and ad hoc applied research.
Other papers in this session:
Author: Hana Machková, Vice-President for International and Public Relations, University of Economics, Czech Republic
Author: Vladimír Karen, Albertina icome Praha s.r.o., Czech Republic
Author: Lothar Nunnenmacher, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
Author: Boris Škandera, Informetal, interest association, Czech Republic
Co-author: Miluše Fukalová / Mittal Steel Ostrava a.s., Blanka Polochová / VÚHŽ a.s.