Paving new roads for scholarly communication

Although electronic publishing has became mainstream, to a large extent the patterns of scholarly communication are still very similar to what we knew prior to the invention of the World Wide Web. Indeed, the most common method used by authors remains writing up the findings of research in an article to be published in a scholarly journal. Many communities want to make the next step, and CERN is acting as a hub in this change.


At the end of June, more than 250 librarians, IT engineers and information specialists from different communities and from all five continents gathered at the University of Geneva to participate in the CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication. Will nano-publications and triplets replace the classic journal articles? Will Mendeley become the new Facebook for scientists? Why do fewer than 10% of scientists, across all disciplines, publish their work in Open Access while actually 90% think Open Access would be beneficial for their field? These were the kind of questions that was discussed during the three-day workshop and which in the years to come will clearly change our “modus operandi”.

The workshop was aimed at those involved in the development of Open Access repositories and who can influence the direction of developments either within their institution, their country or at an international level - that includes technical developers of Open Access bibliographic databases and connected services, research information policy developers at university or library level, funding bodies concerned with access to the results of their research, Open Access publishers, and influential researchers keen to lead Open Access developments in their own field.

This was the seventh workshop in a row (OAI7). Since the workshop was organized at CERN the first time in 2001, under the name “Workshop on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and Peer Review journals in Europe”, the meeting has become global and has grown substantially in terms of participants. At a given moment it was therefore decided to move the workshop to the University of Geneva; a collaboration that is apparently very fruitful as this was the second workshop in a row to be held at Uni Mail. The participants did however get a good flavour of CERN as they were all invited to a reception in the Globe, which included “Drole de physique”, a visit to the ATLAS control room and a guided tour of the “catacombs where the web was born”.

The success of the workshop is evident in the many positive “tweets” published on the Internet. The CERN Scientific Information Service has every reason to be happy with the achievement and can happily look forward to the next workshop.

by CERN Bulletin