It is interesting to study the history and see the changing landscape of journal publishing. Over the past 10 years, so much has changed and yet nothing has changed. In looking at past topics discussed by members of CSE, I discovered that the same topics are still being discussed today: peer review, authorship disputes, emerging technologies, and ultimately, expanding each journal’s reach to engage a wide audience of readers.
What has changed: software, programming, and applications. In the early 1990s, journals began to use software to streamline processes. Journals began managing information through databases. Journals gained the ability to track changes in documents through word-processing applications. Efficiency increased with web-based applications that allowed editors to access information electronically, from any location. Today, the options for tracking data and metrics, proofreading via software systems, and enhancing communications are abundant.
The future of scientific publishing in the electronic age1 was a topic discussed at the CSE Annual Meeting in 2002. Speaker Maria Lebron made several predictions that came true. She asserted that “e-books would become a reality.” She couldn’t have been more correct. She was also correct in her closing statement that the “Internet is easier to build than to predict.” Although more analytics on user behavior are available than ever before, the Internet will always morph and change with the emergence of new programs and trends.
One shift since this discussion in 2002 is the idea of needing a behavioral-functional model as presented by Michael Mabe. He described this model as a predictive tool. With all the current online methods and studies, this model may now be outdated. Nonetheless, Mabe’s prediction about the future of electronic publishing was entirely accurate.
Lindy Gervin is a technical writer for Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, San Diego, California.