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