In the last post I talked about the efforts of some people to shift published research from the firewalled journal article to an open access format. The argument is that the public, who indirectly fund a lot of basic scientific research via taxpayer-funded research grants, should have access to the research without having to pay for expensive journal subscriptions. The blog I linked noted a significant scientific boycott of Elsevier, one of the major scientific journal publishing houses.
Today I'll introduce something that Elsevier is doing to harness the power of online publishing for its scientific journals. In what they call the "Article of the Future" project, Elsevier notes their "ongoing initiative aiming to
revolutionize the traditional format of the academic paper in regard to
three key elements: presentation, content and context." They have provided a short video on their web site as an overview of their progress:
As the video notes, the new access systems significantly enhance the amount of information that can be derived over the traditional "flat page" journal article. But is it open access? Not really since a subscription to the journal is still required, or at least access through academic libraries that have purchased online subscriptions for use by students in their individual schools.
So what is the solution?