Academic journals play an essential role in the dissemination and preservation of knowledge as well as giving due recognition to the researcher. This is a means of communication which has barely changed over the last few centuries, with the academic community recognizing the basic traits it had to fulfil. Since the end of the 20th century we have witnessed a radical transformation of these publications owing to decisions in academic policy, processes for evaluating the professional development of researchers, and the possibilities that the digital environment has created for releasing these publications.
Based on content analysis of the main research into this topic, the position of academic journals is analysed, with special emphasis on ones from the field of social sciences. The especially precarious situation these titles find themselves in and the urgency of incorporating international quality standards with the aim of being indexed in the most important databases are considered. At the same time, the challenges currently faced relating to necessary transformation to the digital environment are addressed. Accessibility, open access, new resources such as added value, business models, impact measurement, and behavioural changes in researchers are issues considered and reflected on in order to propose actions that will lead to quality publications.
This new qualitative leap in the publishing of academic journals requires radically different designs, diffusion, and readings, and so we must be able to offer innovative solutions regarding formats, management, dissemination, etc., while at the same time reflecting on the role of academic journals in the development of knowledge in our society.
Cite this article as: Ruiz-Corbella, M. (2018). De la edición impresa a la digital: la radical transformación de las revistas científicas en ciencias sociales | From print to digital publishing: the radical transformation of scientific journals in the social sciences. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 76 (271), 499-517. doi: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP-3-2018-06