Cross-Border Integration: Reflections on the Development of Academic Journals


The “Internet ” era is the current general trend of social and economic development. Internet academic publishing has promoted the diversity of academic publishing media, and has also had an important impact on the traditional academic publishing industry. The traditional media-media academic journals have experienced a decline in their dissemination, and their market-oriented operations have been difficult to adapt to the current difficulties of dissemination and homogenization. Internationalization, digitalization, and networking are the requirements of the times. Academic journals need to face the academic world, carry out the second transformation, change the way of thinking, and achieve common innovation and collaborative research. Only by starting from the demand of network society for all kinds of knowledge and information, and strengthening the power of full-media publishing and development, can academic journals shift from the traditional publishing model to the knowledge service industry with “Internet ” as the main feature, in order to enhance their knowledge service capabilities and information dissemination capabilities.

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Chen, Y. (2018) Cross-Border Integration: Reflections on the Development of Academic Journals. Open Access Library Journal, 5, 1-9. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1104666.

1. Introduction

The development model of traditional academic journals has been affected by the Internet. The media has undergone tremendous changes. The flat structure of the Internet has completely changed the central effect and order of information dissemination in the paper era. The advantages of the dissemination of the paper periodicals are lost, and the circulation and influence of the traditional paper media are greatly reduced. On the other hand, the disorder of the information dissemination on the journal’s digital platforms has led readers to read through the form of search, making traditional forms of intellectual copyright. Difficult to cope with new changes, the issue of journal copyright protection has become a problem, proprietary copyright has already existed in name only, the same paper presented in different media has become normal, but the order of open access has not been established [1] .

In this kind of change, how do academic journals break through and transform? What is the core of the academic journal’s sustainable development? Under the current situation where the media is extremely rich, the model of media convergence and cross-border development has caused widespread thinking in the publishing world. Under the various application subdivisions and patterns produced by the current industry subdivision, how to use Internet thinking to transform traditional academic media, how does traditional academic media cross boundaries and how to integrate are the core issues in the current development of academic media and media industry.

Second, the cross-border nature of industry segmentation and cross-border status of academic journals

Cross-border is synonymous with the Internet age. Internet thinking is cross-border or unbounded. It quickly switches the mode of thinking in the market, taking the user’s perceptual thinking and pain points as the development point, drawing on the experience of other industries and achieving the goal of no boundaries and no boundaries. With the rapid development and application of information technology, the industrial boundaries are increasingly blurred, and various segments and patterns of application have been generated in the industry segmentation. Cross-border integration has become a major trend in the new round of industrial upgrading. Cross-border integration of industries does not simply span two completely different areas, but is driven by new demands, relying on new technologies and new platforms, and integrating existing industry fields and factor resources through mutual penetration, fusion or fission, to achieve the extension or breakthrough of the industrial value chain [2] . The essence of cross-border is the performance of the Internet to bring user-centered thinking to the extreme. With cross-border thinking, it brings a powerful integration capability to bring more pleasant feelings to users.

Academic publishing itself is a very strong field of cross-border development. With the technological innovation and media ecological changes, some academic journals have begun to attempt cross-border fusion and transformation, such as cross-media fusion of the Zhejiang University Journal of Social Science. , Innovation platform, the entire journal content, to “fragment”, “less reading” to open up new channels of digital communication. However, the main flow of social science journals of Zhejiang University is still based on large databases. The current bottleneck in the development of academic journals is the following:

1) As a whole, current academic journals are still in the traditional communication system. Academic journals are the community of academic research. They are fixed systems that are bundled together. Academic journals are subject to examination and approval system, competent hosting system and territorial management system management, and are the stage for the display, evaluation and exchange of academic activities. Quantitative evaluations of all evaluation agencies are based on the journals. All evaluation data are based on publications as statistical units. They are the “evaluation results” generally adopted by the administrative authorities and are all lists of “Journals”. Indirect assessment of articles through reviews and indirect “information on publications”. Therefore, the academic evaluation system determines the structure and layout of academic journals, and also forms a series of internal operational management norms such as academic journal entry and exit and daily management and performance evaluation to ensure the orderly operation of academic journals. Not only that, but academic journals are also an integral part of the development of university disciplines construction. The journals of colleges and universities put the functions of dissemination, guidance, and communication of journals into the discipline construction of colleges and universities, and thus built the benign nature of university discipline construction. Development system. However, under the traditional system and mechanism, there are more than 9000 periodicals in the country, which belong to more than 5000 units. These units are in turn divided into different competent authorities. The academic journals formed a high degree of concentration, outstanding administration, and the academic journal publishing units maintained a relatively small scale. The resources of various academic journals have not been fully integrated and utilized, and it is difficult to form a synergistic effect. The concept of running journals is not outstanding. The content of dissemination is similar and the forms are similar. It is difficult for each journal to form its own characteristics and style. In the ratio of manpower and material resources, professional development of academic journals is not commensurate.

2) The media integration form of academic journals still lacks a dominant role as a whole. The staffing and hardware facilities of the editorial department of academic journals are very limited, and the technical power is insufficient. Digital publishing faces the limitation of human and resource channels. The status quo of academic journals is far from keeping up with the speed of development of the Internet. It is difficult to achieve all-round digital development of journals, and digital copyrights can only be transferred to China Knowledge Network and Ten thousand. Party and other large journal databases. However, large-scale periodical databases not only monopolize the online transmission channels of academic journals, but are even more deadly to lead readers to “paper-based” reading methods and databases to download papers to obtain information. Academic journals lose their self-identity in the online communication. The current academic journal lacks autonomy in the overall layout of media integration and forms an unreasonable distribution of benefits. The technical genes needed in the era of new media are almost a congenital deficiency of all academic journals.

3) Academic journals have inherent deficiencies in the dissemination of traffic. Academic journals are different from mass media, and mass reading often has massive and complicated information, so as to satisfy readers’ needs as much as possible. The tracked hotspots change quickly and frequently. The expressions are often simple and intuitive, easy to understand, and the terms are easy and lively. With the nature of recreational pastimes; while the function of academic journals mainly lies in academic research, academic exchanges and discussions, the depth of research is pursued, the amount of information they carry is refined and not miscellaneous, the language is rigorous and standardized, and the focused academic hotspots They often have long-term sustainability and have a profound impact on society. Academic journals also require objective and in-depth discussions on academic hotspots, and they also have a spirit of critical reflection [3] . With the characteristics of professionalism, science, public welfare, and seriousness, it has the characteristics of small audience capacity, small distribution, and small scale, and has its own unique communication channels. In the case of serious homogeneity of current academic journals, more professional breakthroughs in content are needed.

Third, the integration of academic journals into development

Academic dissemination in the era of “Internet+” has achieved a flat radiation effect and gradually developed toward information sharing and open access. The current actual situation is that academic journals lack a large-scale public service digital publishing platform led by the state, and academic journals with the nature of public welfare are not strongly supported by public technology platforms; the form of media integration is still dominated by the periodical databases led by and others, provided by the editorial departments of various academic journals, HowNet and other journal databases provide a platform for such cooperation. This is basically in line with the industry trend of market segmentation, because there is no academic journal that can be megalopolis or gather all in one, taking into account the work of good content and a huge digital platform. The benefit of its cooperation lies in the fact that academic journals have obtained greater dissemination efforts than in the paper media era. The journal database has become the biggest winner by integrating multiple journals to obtain secondary copyrights on the Internet; the disadvantage of cooperation lies in the trend of depaperization. As well as the inequality of the distribution of benefits among them, the content of the paper media production has received very little benefit sharing, and the editorial department of academic journals is hard to develop even more powerful and difficult to develop.

The discussion of the media integration form of academic journals has been a hot topic in the industry in recent years because academic journals are faced with the situation that they cannot develop without power. Many academic journals have implemented the review, drafting, digitization of the manuscript process, and the integration of this process with the PC and the Internet through an integrated editing and editing system. However, the integration of this process with the mobile Internet has been slow. This article believes that under the mode of Internet operation, academic journals must change their thinking and adjust their operational forms. Academic media integration is not a simple splicing of different media forms, but a breakthrough in the integration of technological integration, channel integration, platform integration, content integration, business integration, and management integration under the traditional communication system, embodying user thinking in academic communication, service thinking, free thinking, iterative thinking, big data thinking.

2. Content Is King, Build Professional

Academic journals must maintain their influence, which requires precise content and keen observation and academic penetration. From the nature of academic journals, content is his core competence, which is the essence of the quality of academic journals. The form of communication also plays a huge role in influencing influence. The Internet is the primary engine for the development of academic journals. Various forms of communication can enhance the dissemination effect of academic journals and articles. In the open and shared Internet environment, the explosion of information, the inexhaustible spread of media contacts, the fragmentation of user’s attention, and the increasingly impractical content detonation, must be focused on the depth and individuality of the information to get attention. In other words, this is the essence of content or dissemination. Content and communication are complementary to each other and they complement each other.

Therefore, academic journals need to be professionally built. First of all, academic journals need to find a new media entry point that suits him, that is, they can be more precise in content and do more personalized and personalized services. From the content selection, we must identify the readers’ position, carefully plan topical content, and deepen the content; in the form of content, we must break the concept of paper publication, refine the granularity of publication to adapt to the network to capture information data. For example, HowNet’s priority publishing has achieved a single-content publication format, and the content has been decomposed and refined from the publication-paper-keywords; from the content presentation method, text, image, audio, video, etc. can be selected for integration. The full-media format, for example, can represent the logical relationship between knowledge in the form of knowledge visualization, and can also do data cleaning, screening and analysis, and then draw valuable conclusions. From the expression of content, publishing through the Internet can be simplified somewhat. For example, a small article published on the WeChat service number of a magazine can be published in a suitable format and form without being subject to the traditional journal format.

3. Open Source Access, Enhanced Publishing

What are the survival issues that academic journals should solve? This article believes that the survival of academic journals is not economic survival but content survival. First of all, academic journals should realize a development mechanism that does not rely on profitability as a platform for academic communication and academic evaluation. It has the characteristics of a public product, and its social benefits are much higher than its economic benefits. For academic journals, the desire for public welfare and academicity should be much higher than the pursuit of market effects. In terms of the nature of academic journals, academic journals should not adopt the kind of commercialized operating mechanism of popular publications, but should adopt an operating mechanism that expands knowledge dissemination. Open source access is an important means of disseminating knowledge in the Internet era. The purpose of open source is not for economic interests, but more for the purpose of expressing more opinions and disseminating knowledge. Academic journals are equivalent to cultural communication institutions such as universities and colleges. The academic journals themselves support the development of the disciplines of universities and research institutes. They have the nature of disseminating cultural duties and should be supported by the state and the community.

Reasonable interest stratification. In terms of the publication profits of academic journals, the cost price of academic journals cannot reflect its academic value. The amount of various academic journals published is not large, its value is reflected in it is the core field of knowledge dissemination in the chain of cultural and creative industries―content production, it is the source of knowledge transfer and cultural innovation, and it needs to be vigorously protected. The database of large periodicals such as China Knowledge Network and Wanfang has obvious shortcomings in academic information sources, professional editorial authority, and academic community relations. Academic journals are still the mainstream media for academic publishing, and their existence is still indispensable; Journals can cooperate with major databases, and do not stick to the exclusive, or form an organization or alliance with the discipline as a unit, form a joint effort to negotiate with the major databases, and strive for their own reasonable economic interests.

4. Multi-Party Cooperation, Multiple Dissemination

Under the trend of current industry subdivision, academic publishing will form a whole set of cultural and creative industry chains. Academic journals are only a part of the subdivision. To make content production, academic journals cannot survive independently and must be in this entire industrial chain. Realize your own content value. In the process of media integration, academic journals still focus on the question of whether they should stick out or step out. Transcending means that the academic journals are swamped from a whole process of knowledge production to knowledge dissemination. They must overcome technological barriers in software, hardware, and networks, whether it is the introduction of technical personnel to build a journal website or the provision of technical services. The technology platform built by merchants complements the shortcomings of academic journals. Stretching out of the hand means focusing on full depth content, transforming it into a “think tank” type role, and leaving digital publishing to a more professional partner.

This article believes that under the current conditions of web media and paper media, instead of building a digital construction with the goal of self-reliance, it should also focus on content production and hand over digital construction to other parties to achieve cross-border development. It is worth noting that under the current situation of all-media development, the transmission of many academic journals has shifted from offline to online, to the Internet, mobile phones, and new media, and actively sweeping away academic journals in both spatial and temporal dimensions. Distance barriers and even language barriers in the sense of cultural transmission. With the development of science and technology in the future, there will still be breakthroughs in the way of dissemination. When you believe that as long as it is high-quality content, you will surely get attention and give priority to spreading it.

5. Structure Point of View, Particle Content

Academic journals need to use Internet thinking and customer thinking in the process of catering to the integration of new media to make changes in content [4] . First, the Internet and new media have changed people’s reading styles and reading habits, mainly from reading paper journals to reading databases, diversifying content forms and forms of dissemination, reading screen multi-screening, and reading time fragmentation. And other aspects. The transformation of readers from subscribers to users forces academic journalists to reinforce user awareness and service awareness to meet user needs and choices. Secondly, in the paper era, the center of academic communication is academic journals. Its publication style, column features, special planning, editorial ideas, and expert presiding are important dimensions for establishing a famous journal and authority. In the era of new media, the basic structure and the overall image of academic journals have disappeared in the database platform. The anti-rule, fragmentation, and decentralized deconstruction methods of new media have transferred the center of academic communication to a single paper. The overall form of the journal has been broken. Search titles, keywords, citations, downloads, high cited questions, high cited authors, etc. have become an alternative format for academic journals. . Therefore, it is necessary to refine the publication as a retrieval form, such as the structuring of the paper and the granularity of the paper as a retrieval form.

6. Conclusion

In the “Internet+” era, the development model of traditional academic journals will be affected, and this impact is also a turning point. As an important carrier for the transmission and dissemination of knowledge, academic journals must adjust their position and embrace change [5] . Under the “Internet Plus” background, academic journals should upgrade their traditional role, rely on Internet technology, and pay attention to differentiated production in terms of information content and format according to user needs, and provide more accurate service positioning. In the future, we should strive to be the organizers and publishers of the topics, supervisors of scientific research processes, gatekeepers of academic achievements, evaluation centers of authoritative experts, innovation knowledge service centers, and focal points for academic opinions, so as to attract academics to deposit “attention currency” into “media banks”, to achieve a new breakthrough in overall service capabilities. At the same time, this paper believes that academic journals should focus on content production, and realize the industry’s cross-border with high-quality content and multiple forms of cooperation.

Fund Projects

The Journal of the Zhejiang Provincial Journal Association, the Journal of the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Journalism and Research Work on the “Internet+” Age of Knowledge Services in 2016―Discussion on the Multivariate Symbiosis of Academic Communication (ZGXB 201612).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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