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Developments in scientific communication: Considerations on the value chain

Authors
Publisher
IOS Press
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Communication
  • Education

Abstract

This article analyses the transformation of the value chain of scientific information in response to concomitant changes in scientific research and education. The scientific communication market is described in terms of main driving forces and their interplay. These forces are the actor (author/reader), accessibility, content, and applicability pairs. Scientific communication is described in this article in terms of its four functions: registration, archive, awareness, and certification. The introduction of these forces and functions allows a structural analysis of the scientific communication market and allows us to discuss aspects of structural continuity in, e.g., describing the transformation from a paper-based system to communication in a digital environment. The developments are seen to emphasise the already existing autonomous development towards a “unified archive”, lead us to review certification policies to include elements external to research and lead us to consider new structures for scientific communication, and publications. The new structures can be seen to result from the interactions in the market as modelled by the forces and the functions. The distinction between formal and informal communication is seen to become less useful. The need to review the structure and organisation of the market becomes evident, in particular if we consider communication during research and education as well. This leads us to speculate whether elements of the virtual organisation are of relevance.

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