Reforming Scholarly Communication

April 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

Should the academy worry about the current “system” of scholarly communication? The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) together with many institutions of higher education say, “Yes!”. What is scholarly communication? According to ACRL, it is the,

“system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs.”

Monographs and similar bodies of work are also a part of this “system”.
ACRL cautions that,

“the formal system of scholarly communication is showing numerous signs of stress and crisis. Throughout the second half of the 20th century commercial firms have assumed increasing control over the scholarly journals market, particularly in scientific, technical, and medical fields. The journal publishing industry has also become increasingly consolidated and is now dominated by a small number of international conglomerates. Prices for scholarly journals have risen at rates well above general inflation in the economy and also above the rate of increase of library budgets.” (

What is being done to address the problem? Some professional organizations, special interest groups, and institutions of higher learning have responded by convening taskforces, organizing conferences, and offering workshops that analyze and deconstruct the issues and propose solutions. See how Cornell University Library has depicted the issue in its well-written web article, “Transforming Scholarly Communication and Writing.”

Posted by Karen Terrell Pardue,
Colorado State University – Pueblo.


Entry filed under: Copyright, notable news. Tags: .

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