The four pillars of scholarly publishing: The future and a foundation

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Ideas in Ecology and Evolution, 7 (2014) .


Scholarly publishing has embraced electronic distribution in many respects, but the tools available through the Internet and other advancing technologies have profound implications for scholarly communication beyond dissemination. We argue that to best serve science, the process of scholarly communication must embrace these advances and evolve. Here, we consider the current state of the process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and propose directions for this evolution and potential change. We identify four pillars for the future of scientific communication: (1) an ecosystem of scholarly products, (2) immediate and open access, (3) open peer review, and (4) full recognition for participating in the process. These four pillars will guide the development of better tools and practices for discovering and sharing scientific knowledge in a modern networked world. The current traditional scholarly publishing model arose in the 1600s, and though it has served its purpose admirably and well, it is time to move forward by embracing open, rapid transparent publication and review.

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