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(kw/lw/cs 12/06; Updated 3/08)
The Scholarly Communication Collaborative will have a two-pronged focus: develop and implement as appropriate a coordinated plan for the University Libraries to inform and educate its staff; and recommend appropriate approaches for engaging the campus community in the policy and practice issues that surround the process of scholarly communication. The Collaborative should focus efforts on the dissemination or sharing of scholarly works. The creation aspects of scholarly communication, such as the development of collaborative tools, are out of scope for this group.
Scholarly communication first entered our professional consciousness in the 1990s, centered on the topic of rising serials prices and their impact on libraries' budgets. Our lexicon was one of problems, crises, and the clear definition of an enemy. Several years experience working in this arena has led to a more informed, broader perspective - part of a natural evolutionary process. Formerly we focused almost exclusively on the economic case, with some real successes. A number of faculty and administrators did become outraged and engaged. But many also told us the system works just fine for them; publishers told regulators that the real problem is under funding of universities. To achieve a marked, sustained impact on scholarly communication, librarians need to be advocates for faculty and administrative action. Scholars must be the new face of this effort and focus on how the present system restricts access to their scholarship. In other words, this is no longer just a library problem of serials inflation (with a spillover effect of reduced monograph purchases), but a series of scholarly communication issues and opportunities owned by scholars, their campuses and their societies. As librarians, we are uniquely positioned to serve as educators and advocates for influencing the development of new forms of scholarly communication. Our expertise with traditional publishing, digital technologies, and intellectual property, coupled with our liaison model makes us well situated to provide leadership for reshaping scholarly communication.
We still recognize access problems caused by continued high subscription costs, changing copyright laws, and the licensing of access. Current publishing models are still not economically sustainable. But there is a growing awareness of new opportunities for more sustainable models through ongoing advances in technology. There is genuine hope that the symbiotic relationship between higher education institutions, scholarly societies, and commercial publishers, which could previously be characterized as tense and antagonistic, will realize more cooperative and beneficial partnerships in the future.
Even as we envision a future where productive partnerships are the norm, we know the road ahead will be bumpy for a while. We are trying to change systems that are largely out of the control of any one campus. The recent ARL / ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication was designed to prepare participants to be educators and advocates, and to develop sustained campus programs informed by the sharing of peers' best practices, rather than a series of singular efforts that have limited impact. We need to develop collective action in arenas such as e-resource licensing and educating faculty on author's rights. While acting locally is an important component; we must also spend some energy on legislative advocacy. Through the cumulative effect of our actions we can accomplish infinitely more than we could alone.
Purpose / Focus
- Collaborative members will develop deeper expertise in scholarly communication; will share knowledge and provide support and leadership to colleagues
- Define baseline expertise that all liaisons should possess
- Plan, develop and deliver professional development programming in scholarly communication to all Libraries staff
- Inform and influence collection management policies and practices in support of sustainable models of scholarly communication
- Coordinate efforts with University Digital Conservancy, particularly around related policies and educational efforts
- Communicate regularly with Libraries staff
- Raise campus awareness of scholarly communication issues
- Involve the Senate Library Committee in the efforts of this group
- Assess need for and develop, revise, update and maintain web sites, brochures and other publications related to scholarly communication and intellectual property
- Facilitate partnerships with UM faculty, students, campus offices, CIC libraries, and other partners as appropriate
- Assess need for, develop and deliver campus programming in partnership with campus stakeholders
- Develop a mechanism for on ongoing environmental scan and inventory of issues, including attention to campus priorities, interests, and needs
- Create a three year plan for a campus scholarly communication program using a collaborative process for designing goals; update and revise plan as necessary, to reflect what we learn from environmental scans
Program Priorities 08-09
- Support campus implementation of NIH mandate
- Analyze results of Part 2 of environmental scan and use to inform development of campus program plan
- Coordinate Libraries' participation in the ARL New Publication Models Study
- Revise Copyright Information and Education web site, working with Scholarly Communication librarian
- Develop librarians with expertise in author's rights issues specifically, and scholarly communication broadly, so they feel confident to work with faculty and graduate students in this arena.
- Develop sharable, reusable materials for librarians to use with faculty and students
- Encourage faculty to manage the copyrights in their work. Provide the information resources and tools to do so, including a publishing infrastructure that encourages innovative dissemination of their work through the University Digital Conservancy. This campus education program is envisioned as happening at the department level, through liaisons and Collaborative members
- Begin development of a campus program plan, which includes identification of program priorities and development of timelines.
- Communicate regularly with Libraries staff through the Monday Memo, an established wiki, and other means as appropriate
Collaborative members should plan to spend 2-4 hours per week on this work.
- Academic Programs Directors
- Academic Programs staff
- Health Sciences Libraries staff
- Collections Council
- Libraries Organization Development
- University community
Requests for funds should be made to the sponsors; ideally by end of May 08.
Related Issues / Projects
- University Digital Conservancy
- Copyright Information & Education Initiative
- EthicShare project
- The Sponsors will consult with and conduct a review of the Collaborative at the end of each fiscal year to determine if any changes need to be made to the group membership, chair(s), and/or its charter.