The End of the Scientific Journal? Transformations in Publishing Symposium

The End of the Scientific Journal? Transformations in Publishing

A one day symposium investigating scientific journal publishing -- past, present and future.

The Royal Society, London, 27th November 2015

In the early 21st Century the world of scientific publishing is changing swiftly. Online publishing, open access, big data, innovations in peer review and commercial pressures have created a scientific publishing environment very different to that faced by scientists just twenty years ago.

To take just one area of recent change, the move to online publication raises a series of questions. Papers are increasingly being published as soon as they have been peer reviewed, without waiting for a volume to be collated. Will individual articles still speak to each other, or will the idea of a volume be lost? Does online publication offer new possibilities, creating space for more interdisciplinary material or new types of journal content? Most radically, is it still the case that publishing in a journal is the best way to share results, or establish priority? Or are scientists turning to alternative forms of presentation which bypass formal publishing? And does the rise of citizen science point to new forms of scientific practice, participation and publishing?

The key to understanding these contemporary changes lies in their historical context. The rise of professional science in the nineteenth century was facilitated by an exponential growth in science journals which transformed the ways in which scientific knowledge was constructed and circulated. Such links, between scientific publishing and practice are not only of historical interest, but are of crucial significance now, as we move into the uncharted waters of digital and open access publishing.
This symposium will bring together scientists, historians of science, academics involved in current science journal publishing and editing, and science editors from major publishing firms, to discuss potential developments in science publishing and their historical context.

Invited speakers include
• Bernard Lightman (York University)
• Jonathan Topham (University of Leeds)
• Aileen Fyfe (University of St. Andrews)
• Pietro Corsi (University of Oxford)

Up to 20 places are available, please contact Berris Charnley at if you are interested in attending, indicating briefly your reasons for attending and relevant experience.

The symposium is organised by the ‘Constructing Scientific Communities’ project. Conveners: Sally Shuttleworth, Gowan Dawson, Chris Lintott, Berris Charnley, Geoffrey Belknap and Sally Frampton

To download a flyer for this event, please click here

The programme will be available soon.