Scientific, technological and medical publishing is on the cutting edge of the industry. The authors of STM works are always looking for new and different ways to present their findings to scientists and the public via increasingly interactive e-journals and other digital forms.
The old standard of a printed copy of scholarly work is now no longer the most useful approach. New digital methods are more advantageous for a variety of reasons and represent the future of STM publishing.
Digitization is the new norm. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association said that since 2011 digital methods of communication have become more utilized than the printed word to share information in the STM fields. The four ASHA journals are published digitally and printed copies are now only available for purchase on-demand at the specific request of a reader.
"Without the Web, it would be much more expensive for a reader in far-flung locales to get their hands on the work."
Digital is affordable
The digital distribution of STM works is preferable for a multitude of reasons. First, digital publishing is vastly more affordable than traditional printed works. An electronically published study is not burdened by the high up-front price of printing and distribution. Cutting out the costs of printing and shipping in favor of publishing the work on the Web means that the information can be available globally at the same time and for the same price. This is especially been useful in the medical fields according to Scholarly Kitchen. Medical publishing is growing in new markets like Brazil and Turkey thanks to digital publishing. Without the Web, it would be much more expensive for a reader in a far-flung locale to get their hands on the work, not to mention more time-consuming to print and ship the work internationally.
Digital is fast
Digital publishing increases the speed with which the material becomes available, as well as the speed with which that information can be utilized. A digital piece of research merely needs to be typed and proofread before it is ready to be published. The digital nature of the publishing means that it can also be published around the world simultaneously.
A digital publication also allows readers to use the material more quickly. An electronic copy of a scientific work can be searched selectively and divided into smaller chunks by topic more easily. This allows a reader to access the information that is pertinent to them much more quickly. Digital publishing in the STM field can even allow readers to utilize multiple studies at the same time, greatly increasing their productivity. Digital publishing and searchability can even grant a reader the ability to jump from study to study concentrating only on the specific pieces that they are interested in, According to a study published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science's journal, Science.
Digital is interactive
Lastly, digital publishing allows for much more interesting and interactive work. Evidence-based research can often be augmented by audio or video files that give the reader a more comprehensive picture of the findings according to the ASHA. Often a digitally published STM work can feature functionality that allows the user to manipulate the data presented in the study for themselves allowing for stronger peer review and more interesting supplemental works.