Critical Moments: Chance, Choice, and Change in Scholarly Publishing


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Ours is an era defined by speed: soundbites, quick transitions, and changing models. We all are both witnesses and participants in the now decades-long digital transformation of the intellectual landscape. The roles, infrastructures, and workflows that long undergirded the creation, dissemination, and preservation of scholarship have been disrupted, leaving open such questions as: what constitutes a “serial” or a “publication”? How is it reviewed and validated? How is it presented and disseminated? Who has access to it, and under what circumstances? And how will it persist? Dr. Katherine Skinner will consider the roles of chance, choice, and change in academic publishing. Using a sociology of culture lens, she will discuss this critical moment in information management and its implications for the future. She will consider current and prospective models for scholarship and knowledge dissemination, as well as the roles that key information stakeholders—academic, non-profit, government, and commercial—may play in the evolution of this field.

Katherine Skinner
Executive Director, Educopia Institute
Dr. Katherine Skinner is the Executive Director of the Educopia Institute, a not-for-profit educational organization that hosts inter-institutional, collaborative programs for the production, dissemination, and preservation of digital scholarship. She is the founding program director for the MetaArchive Cooperative, a community-owned and community-governed digital preservation network founded in 2004 that now has more than 50 member institutions in four countries. She also directs the Library Publishing Coalition project, a two-year initiative to create a new organization to support library publishing and scholarly communications activities in conjunction with more than 50 academic libraries.

Skinner received her Ph.D. from Emory University. She has co-edited three books and has authored and co-authored numerous reports and articles, including the recent ARL report: New Roles for New Times: Digital Curation for Preservation (2011). She regularly teaches graduate courses and workshops in digital librarianship topics and provides consultation services to groups that are planning or implementing digital scholarship and digital preservation programs.

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Critical Moments: Chance, Choice, and Change in Scholarly Publishing

  1. 1. Katherine  Skinner,  Executive  Director,  Educopia  Institute   NASIG  2014:     Taking  Stock  &  Taming  New  Frontiers   Ft.  Worth,  Texas   May  1,  2014  
  2. 2. Skinner  2014   The  Educopia  Institute   advances  cultural,  scientific,   and  scholarly  institutions  by   catalyzing  networks  and   collaborative  communities.      
  3. 3. Skinner  2014   Source:
  4. 4. “Density of increase of population of the United States 1890 to 1900.” Compiled by Henry Gannett, Geographer. (United States Census Office, 1903). Julius Bien & Co., N.Y.
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  6. 6. Skinner  2014   Dallas Elks parade, National Reunion, 1908, Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library
  7. 7.     Beware  changes  in  the  modes  of   communication…   Skinner  2014  
  8. 8. ¡  Gutenberg  image?   Source: Beware changes in the modes of communication!
  9. 9.     Innovations  don’t  come  from  the   center,  they  come  from  unexpected         locations   Skinner  2014  
  10. 10. Dog looking at and listening to a phonograph. Francis Barraud's 1895 painting of Nipper looking into an Edison Bell cylinder phonograph.
  11. 11.     Cultural  processes  of  production,   distribution,  and  reception     depend  upon…   Skinner  2014  
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  14. 14.     System-­‐wide  change  requires   system-­‐wide  involvement.  
  15. 15. Skinner  2014   Interdependence  of  systems  
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  21. 21.     With  evolution,  we  used  to  think  the   strongest  survive.  We  now  know  the   most  flexible  adapt.   Skinner  2014  
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  29. 29. Katherine Skinner 404 783 2534