Are you interested in making your work more accessible to a wider audience?
ConserveOnline offers several options right now, and we are working on several more. This page provides information on how ConserveOnline can help you get your data, documents, and expertise to the people who need them, as well information on the broader world of electronic publishing and how we plan to take advantage of new technologies.
The easiest way to make your work available on ConserveOnline is to create a workspace. A workspace is basically a small website where you can post data, documents, images, maps, and so on. You can also use an events calendar, hold discussions, and restrict some information to a group of collaborators. Any documents you post to a workspace and make public will be accessible to search engines like Google.
If you really want people to find your information, posting a text document or a PDF is no longer enough. There is simply too much information on the internet, and you need to take steps to endure yours rises to the surface. Publishing in the ConserveOnline Library can help. The Library is a more formal place to publish your work than a workspace. Once you post something to the library it is given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) http://www.doi.org/, a unique, permanent identifier given to an electronic document. which is not related to its current location. Unlike URLs, DOIs do not change, and they also are associated with information about the document, such as the title, authors, topics, and so on. This metadata makes each DOI a rich source of information that search engines can use to locate documents on the internet.
Rich metadata is one way that DOIs increase the likelihood that interested users will find your documents. Another is that each DOI ConserveOnline issues is deposited in a central directory of DOIs of scholarly and research content. This directory is maintained by CrossRef (www.crossref.org), a not-for-profit network founded on publisher collaboration, with a mandate to make reference linking throughout online scholarly literature efficient and reliable. As such, it is an infrastructure for linking citations across publishers. Other publishers and librarians can then link to those DOIs, greatly increasing the visibility of your documents to search engines.
Giving a document rich metadata and a DOI are important steps toward making your information easy to find on the internet, but to take full advantage of electronic publishing technologies we need to do even more. The next steps are to use XML (a mark-up language for electronic content on the web) and provide new models of peer review.
For example, let’s say you create a workspace on ConserveOnline, and work with some colleagues on a report. Once the report is done, you would like to publish it. At this point you have several choices: you can leave the document in the workspace, and hope interested readers will find it, or you can put it in the library and have it receive a DOI. Both of these options are free.
We are now working on a third option. You will be able to take your text file or PDF, and send it to a third-party publisher who will tag your document with XML, which creates another rich set of metadata describing the document, making it even more findable on the web. This process will also format your document to professional book or journal standards, and create HTML, to make it readable on the web, as well as a PDF (if you started with a text file). So you will be able to go from a Word document to a professional formatted article in XML, HTML, and PDF.
You will also have the option of submitting your work for peer review. This will be a streamlined version of peer review, providing a level of rigor and credibility to work that has until now fallen outside of the scope of the traditional peer reviewed literature. Our goal is for authors to be able to go from a manuscript to a full-formatted, tagged, and peer-reviewed publication in a matter of a few months at most, rather than the year or so it takes with most journals.
These publishing services are not free, however, and we are working on a model for making it affordable to all our users. The precise nature of the peer review process also needs further definition. We welcome your input on both of these important questions. Please contact us and share your ideas. We are committed to making ConserveOnline a publishing tool that will help conservation scientists and practitioners be more effective in their work.