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ISSUES IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION:
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March 2, 2007

UC Berkeley Awarded A.W. Mellon Grant to Assess the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication

Berkeley, Calif., March 02, 2007 ­
The Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) of the University of California, Berkeley has been recently awarded a grant of more than $400,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue its research into the changing nature of scholarly communication and publication practices in the networked age. The new project, Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An In-depth Study of Faculty Needs and Ways of Meeting Them, under the direction of principal investigators Jud King and Diane Harley will extend and complement CSHE’s first phase of research, which considered the importance of faculty values and the vital role of peer review in faculty attitudes about their publishing behavior, especially as it relates to the viability of new electronic and open access publication models. Capabilities afforded by new technologies, pressures associated with the purchasing power of library budgets, challenges to economic viability for university presses, and the pricing structures of the publishing industry make this research especially timely for the academic and publication communities at large.

Many of those involved in supporting new publishing and communication ventures see “the lack of willingness of the faculty to change” as a key barrier to moving to more cost-effective publishing models in an environment of escalating costs and constrained resources. However, the planning study confirmed that, in order to be attracted to newer forms of communication, faculty need to view them as useful to their own careers­-both in making a name for themselves within their field and in gaining advancement at their university. Although faculty values and reward systems will still figure prominently, the new project will expand investigations to capture additional factors that affect faculty choice, in particular, what faculty members find to be most useful.

The new two-year research project will focus on the needs and desires of faculty for “in-progress” scholarly communication (i.e., forms of communication employed as research is being executed) as well as archival publication. A number of specific, different and complementary disciplines will be explored. The project posits that a broad understanding of the full array of activities related to the scholarly communication lifecycle and its intersection with scholarship itself will be needed to assess the future communication and publication landscape in universities. That includes what roles emerging and interactive electronic media will or will not play at various stages.  Further background, including the planning study report and research proposal, can be found online at: http://cshe.berkeley.edu/research/scholarlycommunication


Authors of announcement: C. Judson King, Provost and Senior Vice President – Academic Affairs, Emeritus of the University of California and Director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education on the Berkeley campus.

Diane Harley, senior researcher at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley.

Posted by Katie Newman at March 2, 2007 4:32 PM