Social Media & Publishing

The Chronicle:

participants say social media are “being used as an alternative to the existing system by young researchers who feel frustrated” by the tight control that senior scholars and traditional publishers have over the selection and dissemination of research.

Good papers increasingly turn up in the social-media networks, according to people in these focus groups. “They’re even beginning to question peer review,” Mr. Nicholas said. “They were honestly saying it’s more important to contact and connect with loads of people than simply pay homage to one or two authorities.”

Some publishers who provided contact information for the survey have sat in on the focus groups as well. Mr. Nicholas described them as feeling caught “in a cleft stick”: Their databases of journal content remain lucrative and are more used than ever, but researchers’ growing ability and desire to share information freely is providing competition. Publishers “are getting quite twitchy, because they don’t know how to link the two together or even if they can,” he said.

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