The University of California's Office of Scholarly Communication has just released a new report that is the result of a faculty survey designed to help UC understand trends in scholarly publishing. Perhaps not surprisingly, the survey shows a gap between attitudes and behaviors. Although UC faculty widely express concerns about the need for changes in the current systems of scholarly communication, they largely conform to conventional behavior. Faculty consistently identify the obstacle to change as the existing reward systems of tenure, promotion, and grant-making, which favor traditional publishing forms and venues.
UC faculty appear to be under-informed on a range of issues and initiatives designed to foster innovation in scholarly communication, including some that emanate from their own governance structure and from UC's programs and services. And although they tend to agree that management of copyright is an important factor in the evolution of scholarly publishing, fewer than half of the respondents report that it is an important factor in their own scholarly publishing, and even fewer take action to retain copyright rights.
The report reaches two counter-intuitive conclusions: that the arts and humanities disciplines may be the most fertile disciplines for university-sponsored initiatives in scholarly communication and that senior faculty may be the most fertile targets for innovation in scholarly communication.
Posted by P. Kaufman at September 4, 2007 7:43 AM