Sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV researchers publish in scholarly journals to disseminate their work. The scholarly publishing industry has transformed beyond recognition in the past 20 years with the advent of the Internet. Not only have methods of dissemination of scholarly work changed, in addition there has been a proliferation of many different aspects of publishing, with innovations in the types of material considered as academic output, changes in peer review, and business models and new opportunities for engagement post publication. At the same time there have been fundamental changes in much of the infrastructure of publishing, including author identity, versioning of articles and linking within and between articles.
We are at a critical point in the opening up of access to the literature and what happens next will determine whether it really does become a global, and not just a developed world, public good. Skirmishes around some of these innovations have distracted from this vital debate. It is crucial for the next phase in scholarly publishing that everyone involved – be it authors, reviewers or editors -– engages with this exciting debate to ensure that publishing STI and HIV research serves their needs.
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