Mietchen, Pampel & Heller: Criteria for the Journal of the Future

Posted in Allgemein, Open Access, Organisation, Publikationsform, Qualität, Web 2.0, Weblog, Wiki by Heinz Pampel on 20. Juni 2011

Daniel Mietchen (a), Heinz Pampel (b) and Lambert Heller (c)

The internet changes the communication spaces in which scientific discourse takes place. In this context, the format and role of the scientific journal are changing. This commentary introduces eight criteria that we deem relevant for the future of the scientific journal in the digital age.


The debate on the future of scholarly communication takes place between researchers, librarians, publishers and other interested parties worldwide. Perhaps appropriate to the topic, the debate has seen relatively few contributions via traditional scholarly communication channels, whereas blog posts like “Is scientific publishing about to be disrupted?” by Michael Nielsen (2009) received a lot of attention.

In light of this debate, a discussion emerged during the Open Access Days 2009 between Lambert Heller and Heinz Pampel about the changing landscape of scholarly communication in the field of library and information science (LIS). In the following months, both discussed their views with different stakeholders, including the LIBREAS editors.

In autumn 2010, Heller and Pampel started – a blog, in which they document their thoughts on the current system and on the future of scientific discourse in LIS. [1] As a result, they summarised their analysis in a paper (Heller & Pampel 2010) presented at the annual conference of the German Society for Information Science and Information Practice (DGI). The core of the work is a collection of eight criteria for the future of the scientific journal in LIS.

In connection with a conference talk by Daniel Mietchen on large-scale collaboration via web-based platforms at the conference “Digitale Wissenschaft 2010” in Cologne (Mietchen 2010a), Mietchen and Pampel discussed the possibility of a transition of the criteria in a general and interdisciplinary form.

In the following, Mietchen translated the criteria into English and started an editable copy thereof at Wikiversity, a wiki for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities (Mietchen 2010b).

After a further joint discussion, the following version [2] of the criteria was formulated, with contributions from other discussants at Friendfeed [3] and Wikiversity.


Dynamics: Research is a process. The scientific journal of the future provides a platform for continuous and rapid publishing of workflows and other information pertaining to a research project, and for updating any such content by its original authors or collaboratively by relevant communities.

Scope: Data come in many different formats. The scientific journal of the future interoperates with databases and ontologies by way of open standards and concentrates itself on the contextualization of knowledge newly acquired through research, without limiting its scope in terms of topic or methodology.

Access: Free access to scientific knowledge, and permissions to re-use and re-purpose it, are an invaluable source for research, innovation and education. The scientific journal of the future provides legally and technically barrier-free access to its contents, along with clearly stated options for re-use and re-purposing.

Replicability: The open access to all relevant core elements of a publication facilitates the verification and subsequent re-use of published content. The scientific journal of the future requires the publication of detailed methodologies, including all data and code, that form the basis of any research project.

Review: The critical, transparent and impartial examination of information submitted by the professional community enhances the quality of publications. The scientific journal of the future supports post-publication peer review, and qualified reviews of submitted content shall always be made public.

Presentation: Digitization opens up new opportunities to provide content, such as through semantic and multimedia enrichment. The scientific journal of the future adheres to open Web standards and creates a framework in which the technological possibilities of the digital media can be exploited by authors, readers and machines alike, and content remains continuously linkable.

Transparency: Disclosure of conflicts of interest creates transparency. The scientific journal of the future promotes transparency by requiring its editorial board, the editors and the authors to disclose both existing and potential conflicts of interest with respect to a publication and to make explicit their contributions to any publication.

Further Steps

These criteria are still evolving. Comments and adaptations are welcome – the wiki version can be edited by anyone. Thanks to all who enriched the discussion. The criteria are licensed under the Creative Commons license CC0. [4]


Heller & Pampel 2010 | Heller, L.; Pampel, H.: Konzeptstudie: Die informationswissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Zukunft. In: Ockenfeld, M. (Hrsg.): Semantic Web & Linked Data. Elemente zukünftiger Informationsinfrastrukturen. Frankfurt am Main : Deutsche Gesellschaft für Informationswissenschaft und Informationspraxis, 2010. S. 135-144. Online: [Archived at]

Mietchen 2010a | Mietchen, D.: Science in the long run. COASPedia, 19.10.2010. Online: [Archived at]

Mietchen 2010b | Mietchen, D.: Eight criteria for a Journal of the Future. Research cycle research, 29.09.2010. Online: [Archived at]

Nielsen 2009 | Nielsen, M.: Is scientific publishing about to be disrupted? Michael Nielsen, 29.06.2009. Online: [Archived at]


[1] [Archived at]
[Archived at]
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[4] [Archived at]


(a) Daniel Mietchen is an evolutionary biophysicist with a strong interest in open science and using Web 2.0 tools for scholarly publishing. Profile info:

(b) Heinz Pampel studied library and information management at Stuttgart Media University (HdM). Since 2007, he is working for the Helmholtz Association’s Open Access Project at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam. Website:

(c) Lambert Heller is a social scientist with a postgraduate LIS Master from Humboldt University Berlin. He works as a subject specialist at TIB/UB Hannover. He speaks and publishes on library 2.0 and collaborative knowledge work at Goethe Institute, Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts and several german centers for continuing education in LIS. Website:

5 Antworten

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  1. […] eigener Sache: Auf ist eine überarbeite und englischsprachige Version von Kriterien zur Zukunft der wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift zu finden. Die Version stammt aus der […]

  2. […] Akteure aktiv damit befassen. Ebenfalls wissenschaftlich geht es in dem aktuellen Beitrag bei zu. Daniel Mietchen, Heinz Pampel and Lambert Heller formulierten Kriterien für zukünftige […]

  3. […] the Open Theses earlier this year.) Thanks to Adrian Pohl (Open Bibliographic Principles fame)… Mietchen, Pampel & Heller: Criteria for the Journal of the Future The internet […]

  4. Ignition said, on 11. Juli 2011 at 20:47

    […] Leave a comment 11/07/2011 In June 2011 Mietchen, Pampel & Heller formulated “Criteria for the Journal of the Future” on […]

  5. Videos der APE 2012 online | said, on 14. Februar 2012 at 22:25

    […] präsentierte Daniel Mietchen (EvoMRI) auf der Konferenz die Kriterien eines “Journal of the Future“, die er gemeinsam mit Lambert Heller und mir diskutiert hat. (Weiterentwicklungen sind […]

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