Reassembling Scholarly Communications: An Evaluation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Monograph Initiative

Authors: John W. Maxwell, Alessandra Bordini, and Katie Shamash

Abstract:

This report is a consideration of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s 2014–2015 scholarly communications initiative, which focused on helping to develop new capacity in the monograph-publishing ecosystem.

This report looks at thirteen projects funded through the initiative in 2014 and 2015. The proposals came from different stakeholders in the monograph ecosystem: university presses, libraries, faculty, and one consulting organization. They include studies of the economics of monograph publishing; plans to develop new faculty or staff competencies; the development of new software systems to support the production or publication of scholarly works; and the development of new operation and business models that aim to streamline and find efficiencies in the infrastructure for producing and distributing scholarly works.

The range of the funded projects is very broad. This appears to be a result of the open-ended way the Mellon Foundation invited proposals; innovation in digital publishing is an experimental process requiring imagination, an open mind and relative freedom from preexisting drivers and operational assumptions. The Foundation’s approach seems to have been to seek out interesting projects and ideas in a variety of places, and to look for opportunities to help move these ideas forward, without being overly directive about particular outcomes. This, we believe, is appropriate to the task of advancing a very complex tradition of scholarly communication, especially in an apparent time of crisis.

Citation: John W. Maxwell, Alessandra Bordini, and Katie Shamash (2017) Reassembling Scholarly Communications: An Evaluation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Monograph Initiative (Final Report, May 2016). The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 20(1). DOI: 10.3998/3336451.0020.101

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Source: Reassembling Scholarly Communications: An Evaluation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Monograph Initiative

Academics’ behaviors and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals

Authors: Rowley J;  Johnson F; Sbaffi L; Frass W; Devine E

Abstract: While there is significant progress with policy and a lively debate regarding the potential impact of open access publishing, few studies have examined academics’ behavior and attitudes to open access publishing (OAP) in scholarly journals. This article seeks to address this gap through an international and interdisciplinary survey of academics. Issues covered include: use of and intentions regarding OAP, and perceptions regarding advantages and disadvantages of OAP, journal article publication services, peer review, and reuse. Despite reporting engagement in OAP, academics were unsure about their future intentions regarding OAP. Broadly, academics identified the potential for wider circulation as the key advantage of OAP, and were more positive about its benefits than they were negative about its disadvantages. As regards services, rigorous peer review, followed by rapid publication were most valued. Academics reported strong views on reuse of their work; they were relatively happy with noncommercial reuse, but not in favor of commercial reuse, adaptations, and inclusion in anthologies. Comparing science, technology, and medicine with arts, humanities, and social sciences showed a significant difference in attitude on a number of questions, but, in general, the effect size was small, suggesting that attitudes are relatively consistent across the academic community.

Citation: Rowley, J., Johnson, F., Sbaffi, L., Frass, W. and Devine, E. (2017), Academics’ behaviors and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68: 1201–1211. doi:10.1002/asi.23710

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Source: Academics’ behaviors and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals – Rowley – 2017 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Authors: Alex Humphreys, Christina Spencer, Laura Brown, Matthew Loy, Ronald Snyder

Abstract: Scholarly books are increasingly available in digital form, but the online interfaces for using these books often allow only for the browsing of PDF files. JSTOR Labs, an experimental product-development group within the not-for-profit digital library JSTOR, undertook an ideation and design process to develop new and different ways of showing scholarly books online, with the goal that this new viewing interface should be relatively simple and inexpensive to implement for any scholarly book that is already available in PDF form. This paper documents that design process, including the recommendations of a working group of scholars, publishers, and librarians convened by JSTOR Labs and the Columbia University Libraries in October 2016. The prototype monograph viewer developed through this process — called “Topicgraph” — is described herein and is freely available online at https://labs.jstor.org/topicgraph.

Citation: Alex Humphreys, Christina Spencer, Laura Brown, Matthew Loy, Ronald Snyder (2017) Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers. JSTOR Labs White Paper. Available online: https://labs.jstor.org/download/JSTORLabsMonographJune2017.pdf

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Source: Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers