Publication Source

Driving once between the Oxford and Chichester offices of the publisher John Wiley, I was passed by a plumber’s white van, emblazoned on the side with the words ‘John Abell, Solution Solutions’.  I chuckled to myself about the inanity of business-speak, without stopping to reflect that I was just as guilty of using an inflated descriptor of my own work.

At the time, I was responsible for Wiley’s journal publishing business, which we called, rather portentously, ‘Research Communications’.  But the descriptor made claims that were not entirely justified, for, generally speaking, publishers communicate research in just one format and just one way.  They publish journal articles, whose format has not greatly changed in centuries. True, there are some efforts to produce lay summaries and the like, but that is not the norm.

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