International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM)
STM is an international association of about 100 scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishers, collectively responsible for more than 60% of the global annual output of research articles, over half the active research journals and the publication of tens of thousands of print and electronic books, reference works and databases. We are the only international trade association equally representing all types of STM publishers – large and small companies, not for profit organisations, learned societies, traditional, primary, secondary publishers and new entrants to global publishing (see http://www.stm-assoc.org). The mission of STM is to create a platform for exchanging ideas and information and to represent the interest of the STM publishing community in the fields of copyright, technology developments, and end user (researcher) / library relations.
STM considers it part of its aims and objectives to assist publishers and their authors in their activities in disseminating the results of research in the fields of science, technology and medicine. Within the developments of e-publication and e-dissemination, STM aims to assist national and international organisations and communications industries in the electronic environment who are concerned with improving the dissemination, storage and retrieval of scientific, technical and medical information. By taking a role in digital archiving, STM fully endorses the commitment of the publishing industry to knowledge preservation. And in the same context, preservation of published information for perpetuity needs to be safeguarded by accessibility and retrievability over time, via interoperable systems, standards and tools. Within the STM industry, a large population of publishers has been active from the start of e-publishing to develop and maintain digital archives including the facilitation of file conversion ensuring compatibility to new technologies of storage and access. In several cases, arrangements with the library world have been made for digital archives to be transferred to trusted public depositories in the event they could no longer be maintained by the publisher. A good example of this is the work done between several large STM Publishers and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague.
As STM, through its members, has excellent contacts with a wide variety of scientific (sub)communities and can gauge their specific needs and wants as regards digital preservation. Also, participation of STM in APARSEN will provide the project with support from worldwide experts in the publishing industry who have been working on archiving and preservation during the last two digital decades. Standards and conventions as developed under APARSEN can find their dissemination and application in the publishing community via STM member meetings, workshops and seminars. One of the objectives of STM in APARSEN is to establish community wide a framework of common standards and technologies that ensure interoperability between the many digital archives that will exist around the world. In that way the science worker of the future can be ensured of good access to a history of publications and hence to a history of knowledge.