Collaboration in scholarly communication: Opportunities to normalize open access

Author: Allyson Rodriguez

Abstract:  As most librarians are well aware, open access and scholarly communication have been and will continue to be hot button issues. But what is a librarian’s role within the library? What about out in the greater world of scholarly communication? How do we ensure the changes we wish to see? To answer these, we must look at scholarly communication from a more holistic approach. It cannot simply be the job or responsibility of one group, or, even worse, one person on a campus. Scholarly communication is a multifaceted issue that should be addressed through education, outreach, recognition, and fiscal support. With so many lingering questions and doubts from faculty and students, librarians must continue to educate, collaborate, and highlight in ways we have not tried before. At the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries, through collaboration and communication, we have made great progress toward reaching these goals.

Citation: Rodriguez, A. (2017). Collaboration in scholarly communication: Opportunities to normalize open access. College & Research Libraries News, 78(5), 270.


Moving from Colonialism and Paternalism to Equity and Cooperation in Scholarly Communication

Authors: Josh Bolick, Ada Emmett, Marc Greenberg, Town Peterson, Brian Rosenblum

Abstract: An idealist might believe that communications among scholars represent open, clear, reasoned debate, and that all involved will share certain base values. While we realize that significant barriers, such as to women and people of color, have long existed, one might wish that equality would be on the list of such shared values… that is, one would like to believe that all scholars have the same range of opportunities open to them, regardless of their race, country of origin, economic status, or whatever, so that all of the relevant data and the best minds might be brought to bear on solving problems of interest to science and scholarship. One might wish that–whatever the details might be–all scholars would share the idea of equality as an underlying and overarching assumption. Here we examine this idea of equality in scholarly communication via the example of a recent exchange about open access in the Journal of Wildlife Management.

Citation: Bolick, Josh, Ada Emmett, Marc Greenberg, Town Peterson, and Brian Rosenblum. Moving from Colonialism and Paternalism to Equity and Cooperation in Scholarly Communication.” OAnarchy [blog] (April 20, 2017).


How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative

Author: Dorothea Salo

Abstract: Since Clifford Lynch’s infamous call to arms (2003), academic libraries have been wasting their time trying to change the scholarly communication system on the feeblest of rationalizations. Proper librarians know that the current system is obviously the most sustainable, since it’s lasted this long and provided so much benefit to libraries (Rogers, 2012a) and profit to organizations as diverse as Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, and the American Chemical Society, as well as their CEOs (Berrett, 2012). Moreover, faculty have proclaimed loudly and clearly that they believe libraries’ central role is to be the campus’s collective knowledge wallet (Schonfeld & Housewright, 2010; Lucky, 2012), so who are librarians to argue?

Citation: Salo, D., (2013). How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 1(4), p.eP1075. DOI:


Changes in the digital scholarly environment and issues of trust: An exploratory, qualitative analysis

Authors: Anthony Watkinson, David Nicholas, Clare Thornley, Eti Herman, Hamid R. Jamali, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine, Carol Tenopir


Abstract: The paper reports on some of the results of a research project into how changes in digital behaviour and services impacts on concepts of trust and authority held by researchers in the sciences and social sciences in the UK and the USA. Interviews were used in conjunction with a group of focus groups to establish the form and topic of questions put to a larger international sample in an online questionnaire. The results of these 87 interviews were analysed to determine whether or not attitudes have indeed changed in terms of sources of information used, citation behaviour in choosing references, and in dissemination practices. It was found that there was marked continuity in attitudes though an increased emphasis on personal judgement over established and new metrics. Journals (or books in some disciplines) were more highly respected than other sources and still the vehicle for formal scholarly communication. The interviews confirmed that though an open access model did not in most cases lead to mistrust of a journal, a substantial number of researchers were worried about the approaches from what are called predatory OA journals. Established researchers did not on the whole use social media in their professional lives but a question about outreach revealed that it was recognised as effective in reaching a wider audience. There was a remarkable similarity in practice across research attitudes in all the disciplines covered and in both the countries where interviews were held.


Citation: Watkinson, A, Nicholas, D, Thornley, C, Herman, E, Jamali, H, Volentine, R, Allard, S, Levine, J, Tenopir, C. (2016) Changes in the digital scholarly environment and issues of trust: An exploratory, qualitative analysis Information Processing & Management 52(32).




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

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


Abstract: Scholarly books are increasingly being made available in digital form, joining in the print-to-digital transition that scholarly journals began well over a decade ago. Ten years of innovation have produced tremendous benefits for authors and readers of journal literature, and certainly some of this innovation is applicable to the digital migration of monographs. But the long-form scholarly argument presents some very different challenges, and its online migration is still in many ways in its infancy. The platforms that make monographs available to users often offer little in the way of specialized functionality for the different ways that scholars and students use these books. The JSTOR Labs group, an experimental product development team at JSTOR, undertook a user research and design process in order to better understand the wide variety of needs, behaviors, frustrations, and ambitions users bring to the task of reading scholarly books online, and to explore possible new paths to unlocking the value of the long-form argument in a digital environment. This paper is intended to do three things. First, we discuss the kinds of uses that readers have for scholarly books, and the opportunities for improving the usefulness of books for those purposes in a digital environment. These emerged from ethnographic research we carried out with a variety of readers of digital monographs and with a small working group of scholars, publishers, librarians, engineers, data scientists and user experience designers that we convened in partnership with the Columbia University Libraries in late 2016. Second, we discuss the design thinking process that we used to explore the landscape, how the group identified problems to solve, and how together we selected one opportunity ripe for new feature development that the JSTOR Labs team could prototype. Third, we describe the process we used to develop that prototype, and introduce the tool that we built, which we are calling “Topicgraph.”


Citation: Brown, L, Humphreys, A, Loy, M, Snyder, R, Spencer, C. (2017) Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers, A JSTOR Labs Report – DRAFT FOR COMMENT




Finding the Principles of the Commons: A Report of the Force11 Scholarly Communications Working Group

Authors: Robin Champieux, Bianca Kramer, Jeroen Bosman, Ian Bruno, Amy Buckland, Sarah Callaghan, Chris Chapman, Stephanie Hagstrom, MaryAnn E. Martone, and Daniel Paul O’Donnell


Abstract: While the creation and exchange of scholarly and research information now takes place within digital environments and increasingly on the open web, traditional print-based workflows are recapitulated across the scholarly communication life-cycle, outmoded rewards systems hold strong, and crises of access, reproducibility, and reuse continue to be raised. In some respects, scholarly and scientific communication has not changed much since the establishment of the first scientific journal 350 years ago. But, what if we could start over? What kind of system could and should we build to harnesses the resources of the digital age to maximize the communication and use of new knowledge? These questions, posed by Dr. Sarah Callaghan at the Force2015 Conference as part of the 1K Challenge, inspired the creation of the FORCE11 Scholarly Commons Working Group.


Citation: Champieux, Robin; Kramer, Bianca; Bosman, Jeroen; Bruno, Ian; Buckland, Amy; Callaghan, Sarah; Chapman, Chris; Hagstrom, Stephanie; Martone, MaryAnn E.; and O’Donnell, Daniel Paul (2016) “Finding the Principles of the Commons: A Report of the Force11 Scholarly Communications Working Group,” Collaborative Librarianship: Vol. 8 : Iss. 2 , Article 5.
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Much Obliged: Analyzing the Importance and Impact of Acknowledgements in Scholarly Communication

Author(s): Finnell, Joshua

Abstract: Author rights, peer review, open access, and the role of institutional repositories have all come under scrutiny by scholars, librarians, and legal experts in the last decade. Much of the conversation is centered on liberating information from the confinements of legal, financial, and hierarchical restraints. The relevancy of traditional citation analysis too, understood within the framework of an h-Index and Eigen factor, is under scrutiny with the rise of altmetrics. Collectively, these issues form the core of the scholarly communication process, from creation to dissemination to impact. However, an overlooked facet of the scholarly communication process is the acknowledgement. As an expression of scholarly debt, the acknowledgment is an important facet of intellectual networks. Not only does the acknowledgement demonstrate the intellectual contributions of colleagues, advisors, funding agencies, and mentors but also the significance of librarians in the scholarly communication process.

Citation: Finnell, J. (2014). Much Obliged: Analyzing the Importance and Impact of Acknowledgements in Scholarly Communication. Library Philosophy & Practice (e-journal).