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now - Foundations and Trends®

:: While at the SLA trade show, I visited the now booth, i.e., Now Publishers Inc, creators of a new series of journals called Foundations and Trends®. From the Product Overview page:

Each Foundations and TrendsŪ will cover a major branch of a scientific discipline and offer current, state-of-the-art review articles by opinion/research leaders in their field. Authors are allowed 50-100 pages for a complete review of the subject and articles are published upon acceptance in electronic form with all of the references linked to the original source. Each article is intended to put primary research into context, improving researchers' and students' understanding of the original literature. As a result, and guided by the links to source material, users will have access to primary and secondary data - enriching their comprehension, retention and utilization of the content.
From the About Us page:
now is introducing a new type of product into the research information market. Focusing initially in the Business and Technology areas, now is introducing Foundations and TrendsŪ (FnT). This product combines the peer-review of journals, the high usage of reference works, and the pedagogy of textbooks. Each "issue" of FnT comprises one or more monographs of up to 100 pages written by research and opinion leaders in the field that surveys the literature and offers a state-of-the-art review of the subject in full including a complete bibliography. The issues will be published electronically upon acceptance with subsequent distribution in print format. Each issue will be subject to peer-review thereby vetting the content and validating the information. We will also have authors revise their contribution on a regular basis to maintain currency and the incentives include the long-term citation impact of the article and financial compensation. As the number of "issues" grows over time, the subscriber has access to a large corpus of literature "in effect a "digital library" -- covering the entire scope of a discipline.
Again, we are presented with a new and interesting approach to scholarly publishing, and like Morgan & Claypool, focusing on up-to-date, state-of-the-art analysis in selected subject areas. Now's two subject areas thus far are business and technology, with some overlap in subject coverage with M&C. Now is publishing seven titles in business, and eight in technology. Another similarity is that each "issue" will be revised by its authors as required, as is each M&C "lecture". Now will use CrossRef to link to the full text of the references in each article.

Is there a need for this new kind of scholarly publishing? Is a vacuum being filled by now and Morgan & Claypool? Stay tuned to find out.

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