Toby Green has spent 35 years in scholarly publishing working with Academic Press, Pergamon Press, Elsevier Science and OECD Publishing on all types of content: books, journals, databases, grey literature, A&I services and encyclopedias – always with an eye on the reader experience, building audience and stimulating impact. He has served as Chair and Council member of ALPSP and as a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing Board. He is currently a member of the Open Research Community’s team of experts.
A regular speaker at industry events, he has also written about why progress to open access has stalled and why authors should do more to maximise dissemination of their work. He is now creating a start-up, Coherent Digital, that will make it easier to find and use informally published ‘wild content’ content.
From chaotic to useful
There's an old biblical saying: if you give a person a fish, they're fed for one day; if you teach a person to fish, they can feed themselves for a lifetime. Note the absence of any mention of the tools needed to fish, the key word is "teach". Contrast this with Clay Shirky's famous saying (I paraphrase): "publishing's not an incredibly difficult and complex job anymore, it's a button. When you press it, you're done." A publisher's learned skill is dismissed in favour of a tool. So, no wonder the internet is a mountain of unstructured information that resembles the Tower of Babel rather than a well-organised library. Valuable information and content is scattered to the four winds: it's hard to find, hard to wrangle and hard to use. Plainly, it isn't possible to train all the button-pressers, so how to transform the chaotic to the useful? That's what we'll explore in this session.