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The Future of Book Publishing - some predictions

The rate of change means that the future remains highly uncertain, but then, as the cyberpunk writer William Gibson commented, 'The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed.' Gibson's point is well made. The trends that will determine the future are here today. Making predictions about that future really comes down to a judgement about how those trends are going to play out.
   
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Science joins push to screen statistics in papers

The journal Science is adding an extra round of statistical checks to its peer-review process, editor-in-chief Marcia McNutt announced today. The policy follows similar efforts from other journals, after widespread concern that basic mistakes in data analysis are contributing to the irreproducibility of many published research findings. Working with the American Statistical Association, the journal has appointed seven experts to a statistics board of reviewing editors (SBoRE). Manuscript will be flagged up for additional scrutiny by the journal's internal editors, or by its existing Board of Reviewing Editors (more than 100 scientists whom the journal regularly consults on papers) or by outside peer reviewers. The SBoRE panel will then find external statisticians to review these manuscripts.
   
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Open publishing can improve access to knowledge

There have been increasing demands for more transparency in the reporting of research findings, which has built up pressure on all those involved in making and testing potential new drugs, biologics and medical devices. The lack of systematic reporting of both positive and negative results and the resulting 'publication bias' is not only pertinent to research carried out by industry: it is also being hotly debated throughout academia.
   
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Evaluating Big Deal Journal Bundles

Bundled journal access agreements between journal publishers and research institutions display variability in pricing that cannot be explained by institution characteristics alone, according to a study. Although some publishers and libraries hold the details of such agreements confidential, Theodore C. Bergstrom and colleagues used Freedom of Information Act requests to examine agreements between public universities and both commercial and non-profit journal publishers. The authors compared the cost of access to journal bundles, measured as the cost per citation of articles in the journals, for large research universities, small PhD degree-granting universities, and predominantly master's degree-granting institutions.
   
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Open-Access Journal Underdogs Take on Aging Academic Publications

For more than a century, access to the world of academic publishing has been limited to a select crowd willing to pay hundreds of dollars for journal subscriptions. But free, open-access journals have been gaining ground and now threaten to upset the status quo. Publishing academic papers, contributed for free by scientists and researchers, in journals that charge a premium has been a profitable business model for many of the largest names in the industry. The traditional academic publishers are now facing competition from sites that offer online academic journal services for free. Some sites accept donations or are supported by nonprofit agencies, but they don't have to cover the costs of physical distribution, so overhead is low.
   
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