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Publishing Innovations: A Helpful Tool

In previous posts, we’ve written about several of our favorite new publishing innovations and online tools that can help you during the manuscript writing process. Hopefully you’ve found these useful in your research and writing practice, but these are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of new developments happening in the greater publishing ecosystem. It can be difficult and time-consuming to keep all the changes straight and decide which of these new products might actually be of use to you. Not to mention understanding why some tools are even being developed at all, because the structure of the publishing system can seem very layered and opaque. Thankfully, two librarians from Utrecht University Library, the Netherlands have come up with a fantastic new model that can help you make sense of it all.

Called the "101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication," Bianca Kramer and Jeroen Bosman took the top 101 major players in the new publishing ecosystem and divided them up into the six main workflow phases from research through to measuring the impact of published articles.


Six main workflow phases


Already one of the clearest systems organizing these tools that we’ve seen to date, Kramer and Bosman take it even further to give you an idea of how these tools all work together using sample workflows.

Sample workflows


For example, in the “Traditional” workflow example above, you can see what tools might be useful at each stage of research and publication. When you’re starting out your research, you will need to find related literature, so Web of Science is an obvious go-to choice. SPSS can then help you during the data analysis phase and Microsoft Word plus a reference organizer such as EndNote will help you prepare your draft manuscript. Then comes the publication stage of the workflow, where you submit to a journal – in this case Nature. Once your article is published, it’s now important to think about how to get your work noticed and properly attributed to you. Tools such as ResearcherID or ORCID are a quick way to avoid any ambiguity in attribution and they work across many publishing platforms. Finally, either the journal you submitted to or a third-party tool can help you track the individual impact of your paper through citation counts, downloads or shares.

The website created by Kramer and Bosman allow you to explore other sample workflows and filter through potential tools by the type of workflow you’re looking for. If you’re not at the workflow stage yet and just want to explore tools, the drop down options in the tools menu let you see what options are available for a variety of research and publishing activities such as peer review or archiving.

Most important developments


According to their poster, Kramer and Bosman created this workflow system to help elucidate patterns in innovation in the publishing ecosystem and determine what drives development. Through this analysis they hope to determine how each new tool affects the system and moves the ecosystem towards more open, efficient and better science. We think this tool can provide a foundation to understanding the major players and drivers in the publishing system on a basic level.

The table shown above describes the key elements in each stage of the publishing workflow. The information provided might be a bit detailed for someone just interested in getting their manuscript published as quickly as possible, but it will help you to understand what issues are driving change and decision-making at each stage, which in turn helps you anticipate the types of tools and innovations that you might expect to run into.

Whether you’re new to publishing or a long-term veteran, we think this workflow tool has something to offer authors at every stage of their career.


Images above were used under the CC-BY-SA licence. Kramer, Bianca; Bosman, Jeroen (2015): 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication - the Changing Research Workflow. figshare. Retrieved 02:33, Jan 30, 2015 (GMT)