Speaking as a professor and executive editor of the print and online Teachers College Record, Gary Natriello, Teachers College, Columbia University, said that in the Internet age, authors of research reports expect speedy publication and wide distribution. They want a high value high quality product, they expect low barriers or no barriers to access (that is, they want readers to have free access to their online articles), they want an outlet that’s valued by professionals, and they want to retain ownership and control of their work.
And for their part, libraries and their patrons want maximum content available to them, and they don’t want to pay for anything.
So how does an academic publisher cope?
As a panelist in this afternoon’s AERA session on Scholarly Communication in the 21st Century, Natriello said we are moving toward the No Print Zone. He sees fewer and fewer library patrons browsing the print journals stacks, while nearly everyone prefers online journal access. And as they search, they expect a simple but powerful search tool (akin to the clean interface of the Google home page). In response, his colleagues developed a unified search engine which, in all practicality, now functions as the “front door to the library” at Teachers College. Patrons can subscribe to the library’s news feeds in various categories including arts and humanities, and science and math education.