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STM publishing goes mobile

Posted by Ian Palmer on February 21, 2011

I attended the AAP-PSP conference in Washington, DC the first week of February, which had a central focus on mobile content and apps.

The joke was that lab coats have already been redesigned to accommodate iPads.  In three years more users will access the Internet via mobile than desktop, reading mobile chunks on smart phones and fuller content for immersive reading on tablets. 

PDFs may not be dead just yet (Geoff Bilder of CrossRef opined 7 more years) because researchers save PDFs for printing out later and because of iPads.

Publishers have started creating mobile-optimized content. For now that means repurposed smaller XML or HTML5.  They are even reflowing PDFs so that instead of the standard two-column journal article it flows as one long column.

Device diversity: iPhone has 28% of the market, Blackberry 27%, Android 27%. Each uses a different language. So many publishers creating mobile-optimized websites and then using Open Source standard WURFL (wireless universal resource file) to deliver a device-specific display.

Since STM content users need to be authenticated and no one really likes usernames and passwords, some publishers using device pairing.  Bluetooth uses device pairing. The user gets a pairing code when on a device with IP access to content and then enters that code when on their mobile device so they can have access to full text outside the institutional network.

Interesting publishing trends identified at the meeting:

  • Expect most journals to become hybrid Open Access in next few years.
  • Version control and repositories.  Reprints Desk’s customers prefer the Article of Record from the publisher's website.
  • ORCID is Open Researcher & Contributor ID which will increasingly be assigned to authors and linked to the DOIs of the articles they publish.
  • Some believe that there is an information UNDERflow in biotech because corporate libraries have been closed and access to expensive content cut off. Some believe this is slowing down the drug pipeline. Reprints Desk has a role to play in the making content more available for research-intensive companies.

So, what do you think are trends to watch out for? 

- Jan Peterson, Head of Publisher Relations at Reprints Desk


p.s. Stay tuned for Reprints Desk updates on support for the tablet market!

Topics: document delivery, STM, journal articles, reprints, scientific literature, STM publishing, open access, apps, mobile, peer-reviewed literature

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