Saturday, April 11, 2009

JEP: Talk About Talking About New Models Of Scholarly Communication

Talk About Talking About New Models of Scholarly Communication

Karla L. Hahn / JEP: Journal of Electronic Publishing / vol. 11, no. 1 / Winter 2008 /


Although many new forms of scholarly exchange have reached an advanced state of adoption, scholars and researchers generally remain remarkably naïve and uninformed about many issues involved with change in scholarly publishing and scholarly communication broadly.

It is increasingly important that dialogue at research institutions involve a much wider group of researchers and scholars. Only active engagement by those undertaking research and scholarship can ensure that the advancement of research and scholarship takes priority in the development and adoption of new models.

Research libraries have led in educating stakeholders about new models and are expanding their outreach to campus communities. In considering the effects of recent change, and looking to emerging trends and concerns, six dangers of the current moment are considered along with six topics ripe for campus dialogue.



The Point of Dialogue

The goal of effective and useful dialogue is the discovery of new knowledge, new perspectives, and new strategies for action. Its object ultimately is action by all stakeholders. It is natural to quail before the scale of outreach to researchers and scholars and the need to make conversations personal, but there is overwhelming agreement in the library community that the most effective way to engage scholars and researchers in change in the scholarly communication system is through one-to-one conversations (Newman, Blecic, and Armstrong 2007).

For all stakeholders the goal of dialogue is not a convert, but a conversation. True dialogue evolves over time as the topics that began the conversation are reshaped by the exchange, and new ideas, perspectives, and frameworks emerge. Yet action is inherent in the process as well, and also alters the conversation over time. Research institutions should lie at the heart of scholar and researcher dialogue.

They are the places researchers and scholars create new knowledge. They provide the infrastructure that underpins most research and scholarly communication. They are the locations where researchers and scholars gather daily. They are the center of graduate education, the process of training the next generation that will generate new knowledge.

The library community has taken the lead in the campus environment in interpreting and responding to change in scholarly communication systems. It is also important that librarians play a leadership role in the dialogue needed to develop new and richer perspectives on issues, perspectives that are scholar-centric rather than library-centric. Ultimately, research and scholarship cannot be well served without the contributions and actions of their practitioners.


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