Magazine article Information Today

APE 2012: No Monkeying Around

Magazine article Information Today

APE 2012: No Monkeying Around

Article excerpt

The annual gathering of European STM publishers, organized by Arnoud de Kemp, gathered in Berlin in late January for the Academic Publishing in Europe 7 (APE 2012) conference to explore the theme, Semantic Web, Data & Publishing.

While introducing the conference, Michael Mabe, CEO of the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers, suggested that, although little has changed for scholars, major shifts have occurred in the movement from print to electronic. Since electronic information is "infinitely malleable," it's impossible to control, leading to illegitimate uses of copyrighted articles.

In his keynote, Derk Haank, CEO of Springer Science+Business Media, said that Europe is ahead in scientific publishing. He thinks it's time for publishers to get back to work and stop being distracted by social media and new technologies peripheral to scientific publishing.

When it comes to open access, Haank's opinions are firm: "Open access [OA] is not the devil's work. Gold OAis the only acceptable format for making publicly funded research accessible for free. Green OA is not sustainable." Furthermore, he doesn't think OA is the solution to the funding crisis, although he admits that it may be more appropriate in some disciplines than others.

Haank is also outspoken in his support of the Big Deal, although his claim that "price increases have been below that volume growth and below inflation for the past 10 years" would probably surprise most librarians. Courting controversy, Haank then noted that some emerging market countries, such as China, Brazil, and India, should begin paying their fair share of the costs for scientific articles. The good news from Springer's perspective is the increase in sales to industry, which is growing faster than the core academic market.

Echoing Haank's optimism was Jean-Claude Burgelman, representing the European Commission. He predicted that Web 2.0-facilitated scientific research will result in an explosive growth of data, authors, and publications. Data mining will become more important, particularly as scientists begin to mine social media.

Burgelman also outlined the policy implications of cheap information, communication, and Web 2.0 technologies. Science will progress faster, and scientists will find new ways to determine reputation. …

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