Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication:The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs http://cshe.berkeley.edu/research/scholarlycommunication Sophia Krzys Acord, Ph.D. With: Diane Harley, Ph.D., Principal Investigator; Sarah Earl-Novell, Ph.D.; Shannon Lawrence, M.A.; C. Judson King, Professor, Provost Emeritus, and Principal Investigator Center for Studies in Higher Education University of California, Berkeley Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation SSP/AAUP Web Seminar: May 4, 2010 Copyright 2010, Center for Studies in Higher Education
Background and MethodsThe Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley • 5 years, 45 mostly elite research universities, 160 formal interviews (25% with graduate students/postdocs/pre-tenure faculty), 12 case studies: Anthropology, Archaeology, Astrophysics, Biology, Biostatistics, Chemical Engineering, Economics, English-language Literature, History, Law and Economics, Music, Political Science • Research Goal: assess the criteria by which faculty decide when and in what venues to communicate the results of scholarly research—at all stages: – Tenure and promotion, making a name – Criteria used for disseminating research at various stages (publication practices, new publication outlets, new genres) – Sharing (what, w/ whom, when, why or why not?) – Collaboration (w/ whom, when, why or why not?) – Resources created and consumed – Public engagement → Variation. No one value system or set of needs. Disciplinary conventions matter! Neither senior nor young scholars a monolith.
The Current Publishing LandscapeThe Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley • Scholars use a range of mechanisms for disseminating scholarship at various stages. • Within any given discipline, there may be a variety of publishing strategies available to authors. • Distinguish between in-progress and archival publication. • Scholars can name top 3-5 outlets in a field instantly. In physics, astrophysics, and mathematics, discipline-specific repositories, such as the arXiv, are essential outlets that exist alongside formal commercial- and society-owned journals. Massive data bases, very expensive shared telescopes, etc. Economists and quantitative political scientists use working paper repositories, such as SSRN, and personal websites for disseminating research but continue to rely heavily upon society and commercial journals for final, archival publication.
In computer science, peer-reviewed conference proceedings are the most prestigious archival outlet, but distribution of scholarship using more open methods, such as posting on personal websites, is common.The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Software as product. History and archaeology, and other fields of the humanities, such as languages and media studies, rely heavily on the book for long arguments; journals are still very important as a means for disseminating short arguments, book reviews, and other communications. Music includes “art” historical studies of western music, computer composition, ethnomusicology, and music theory. There are multiple outlets used, including books and critical editions, highly competitive and selective society journals, encyclopedias, and MP3s, CD’s, and traditional/networked performance. In molecular and cell biology, and perhaps other sciences such as chemistry, that are fast-moving, well-funded, highly competitive, and have commercial potential, the journal article reigns and the more prestigious the journal, the better. Some PloS journals rising in prestige (not PloS One). Society Journals (and scholar editors) the most trusted. Publication lags are exceptionally short, and preprint servers are
Finding 1:The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Conservatism in Archival Publication • The power of self-selection and socialization • Conventional archival publication behavior pre-tenure • Some have negative perceptions of OA/electronic outlets • High public sharing threshold among some, and little take- up of Web 2.0 tools/social media Is this conservatism a transitional stage? Exceptions: 1.Physics, math, astrophysics, etc., and the arXiv 2.Scholars in newer or less-established departments? → “Young scholars” are not necessarily different than what went before with regards to publication practices.
Finding 2:The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Myth of the “Digital Native” • Do youth digital skills translate into professional activities? • Senior scholars can be quite innovative in experimenting with new media/alternative forms of scholarly output. Where is digital innovation taking place? • Many disciplines are becoming more computational/visual. • Digital “tipping point” in some fields, particularly those that are image or data-intensive: 1. Biology – visualization tools, complex figures 2. Archaeology – GIS, 3D modeling 3. Neuro Social Science – visualization, fMRI → Some young scholars play important technical roles in collaborative digital research projects. Work in these areas may demand new publication models.
Finding 3:The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Analog vs. Digital Literature? There is an increased reliance on electronic literature, but also a continued desire for print. What are young scholars missing in the electronic literature environment? • Their literature-seeking practices may precede adequate shifts in the IT infrastructure. • Inability to independently assess unvetted work • Some develop “narrow” search practices → Young scholars have “mixed” information-seeking practices. More work is needed to develop effective filters in the electronic environment.
Disclaimer: Predicting the Future?The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Scholarly publishers should step back and look at what individual fields are doing. • Different disciplines, different cultures • Collaborations/grand challenge questions • New developments in resources/methods • New funding/university resolutions • Role of scholarly societies • Look at scholarly practices beyond the most competitive institutions to investigate the spectrum of scholarly innovation.
Summary of Recommendations forThe Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley the SSP Community 1. Competitive high-quality and affordable journals and monograph publishing platforms (with strong editorial boards, peer review, and sustainable business models) 2. New models of publication that can accommodate arguments of varied length, rich media, and embedded links to data; plus assistance to manage/obtain permissions of copyrighted material 3. Support for managing and preserving new research methods and products including components of natural language processing, visualization, complex distributed databases, and GIS, among many others
Recommendation 1:The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Peer Review and Publishing Challenges Need: Competitive high-quality and affordable journals and monograph publishing platforms Particular demand: • Sciences: serials crisis, professional editors, shortest publishable unit, overworked senior referees. • Social sciences: more journals (and expanded editorial boards) needed in low-paradigm, diversifying fields. • Interdisciplinary work: sometimes no obvious publication outlet. • Humanities: monograph crisis, not enough journal outlets, some overworked scholar-editors, high costs to obtain permissions to reproduce copyrighted images, few options to incorporate multimedia content.
The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley New publication outlets should offer: • Faster turnaround time to publication • Scholar-editors with strong administrative support • Affordable and accessible publication options • Extensive options to disseminate supplementary data • Print-on-demand options for analog/electronic reading environment How does peer review figure into new outlets? An efficient/transparent peer-review system is needed, which could include: • Better ways to evaluate an author’s contribution to multiple- authorship publications, at the institutional level. • Better ways to evaluate interdisciplinary work institutionally. • Sharing peer reviews of rejected work with other outlets, etc.
Recommendation 2:The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley New Media, New Venues Need: New models of publication that can accommodate arguments of varied length, rich media, and embedded links to data Examples of demand: • Molecular biology: Carlos Bustamante, overstretching DNA movie • Ethnomusicology: Music in the Afghan North (1967-1972) website • New Music Technology: Open Sound Control software • History: Spatial History Project GIS-based visualizations • Archaeology: Rome Reborn 3D reconstruction
The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Media-rich publication models should offer: • A stringent peer-review process with experienced reviewers, perhaps in concert with a scholarly society. • The opportunities to integrate heterogeneous data sources and multimedia work, including work that relies on spatial (GIS) approaches, is highly visual and/or computational, and is tied to large databases. • Institutional (broadly defined) assistance to manage permissions of copyrighted material. • Clear navigational maps/tools. • The possibility to be viewed on mobile reading devices. An important question: • It can be extremely expensive to prepare and preserve new media; who will pay?
Recommendation 3:The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley Infrastructure Need: Support for managing and preserving new research methods and products. Examples of demand: • Music catalogs • Lab protocols • Cell lines • Archaeological databases • Specialist sharing groups in art history (e.g., British studies, Indian studies, etc.) • Databases for non-proprietary data in the social sciences and astronomy
The Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley New infrastructure should offer: • The ability to link between grey material and published work • Mechanisms to credit scholars for their contributions • Compliance with funder mandates on data sharing • More global ways of annotating data • Sophisticated search tools and services • The ability for authors to retain copyright on contributions Other considerations: • Human subjects protections, restrictions on the use of proprietary data, and individual personality may prevent deposit.
Closing Thoughts and QuestionsThe Future of Scholarly Communication | UC Berkeley 1. Who will pay for new publishing models? Publishers cannot ask scholars to assume the costs of production? 2. Reputation and prestige remain important considerations among senior and young scholars alike. Filtering good work from bad is important in the digital environment. 3. Field and sub-field specific solutions are needed. More detail on these can be found in our report: Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines 4. Thorny problems of Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing. See our recently posted Working Papers on the issue. All publications available at: http://cshe.berkeley.edu/research/scholarlycommunication