David Worlock | Developing digital strategies for the information marketplace | Supporting the migration of information providers and content players into the networked services world of the future.

“MicroPublishing in this context means the publication of short , single experiment, peer reviewed OA articles , with DOIs and metadata to make them citable and discoverable. Typically this might be supplementary or ancillary material that might have been once grouped into a major research program report , delaying it and making it too dense or bulky . Or it might be work on reagents that has genuine scientific interest but, as an incidental finding , only clutters the main report . And MicroPublishing might be a first chance for a post grad or even a student doing lab support work to get their name onto a collaborative publication for the first time . And in all of this work of adding small pieces to the jigsaw and making sure they did not get lost or overlooked – curation is clearly at the heart of these efforts – I heard  nothing described in terms of workflows or process  that would not have been identical in a commercial environment . And that is important . There is a great deal of bogus hype around “ publishing expertise” . If you are clever enough to be a Professor of Genomics , then mastering publishing does not seem to be a huge intellectual challenge .And the digitally networked world has democratised all processes like publishing . We can all be publishers now – and we all are! …

And we should be attentive not just because of the competitive element . I have a 30 year record of saying that the competitor to the information provider in a digital network is the user doing it for himself , and I am not altering that view now . But we really need to pay attention because this is where and how innovation takes place . This is where and how needs are discovered . If granularity , discoverability and speed to market are the critical issues here., then those are the issues that we must attend to , instead of packing articles with greater amounts of supplemental material , holding articles in peer review until they are “complete”  or using citations to game journal impact factors . Above all , we have to remember that scholarly communication  is communication by and for scholars . They will , and are , re-inventing it all the time . Rather than propagandising the virtues of “ traditional publishing “ commercial publishers should be forming relationships  that help change take place cost-effectively and at scale .”