The Future of Scholarly Communication
With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center is continuing its research into the most pressing issues faced by universities as new forms of publication and scholarly communication emerge. Our work includes a number of past and present activities:
An Investigation of Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Its Meaning, Locus, and Future
This project is under the direction of principal investigator Diane Harley.
In 2009 and 2010, we hosted a number of meetings with experts to explore how peer review relates to scholarly communication and academic values. The topics covered included assessing various forms of peer review and which are needed for specific academic purposes (e.g., advancement, publishing, extramural funding, national and international stature). Additionally, a considerable amount of time was spent discussing the perception that, although peer review represents the best available system, there are nonetheless a multitude of problems with it.
Flowing from our research and discussions was a proposal that it would be useful to examine how separating the peer review process from publication, and vice versa, might most effectively and practicably be accomplished given the currently entrenched system of peer review (which is organized primarily by publishers but carried out by faculty). In October 2009, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded CSHE a grant to explore the ramifications of separating these activities and, perhaps, creating a research dissemination system that is informed by, but not necessarily fully combined to, its own formal peer review system. The report from this research is published here.
Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An In-depth Study of Faculty Needs in Seven Disciplines
In addition to the final report published in 2010, Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines (2010), a summary of the original project proposal and an Interim Report: Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication, published in 2007, are available online.
This project, which extended and complemented our first phase of research discussed below, focused on fine-grained analyses of faculty values and behaviors throughout the scholarly communication lifecycle, including career advancement, sharing, collaborating, publishing, resource generation, and engaging with the public. The goals of this project, conducted between 2007 and 2009, were to map and assess systematically:
The current and evolving scholarly communication needs of researchers in seven selected academic fields: archaeology, astrophysics, biology, economics, history, music, and political science. Our focus is on assessing scholars’ attitudes and needs as both authors and users of research results;
The capabilities of various traditional and emerging models of scholarly communication and publication for meeting those needs; and
The likely future scenarios for scholarly communication (by field), and how those scenarios might be best supported by institutional organizations and units (e.g., departments, libraries, commercial publishers, societies, etc.).
The research is based on the responses of 160 interviewees across 45, mostly elite, institutions in the seven fields. The report includes an overview of our results and conclusions and seven thickly described case studies corresponding to the seven disciplines. Each of the case studies is further divided into six broad and overlapping sections: tenure and promotion, publishing practices, sharing, collaboration, generation and use of resources, and public engagement.
The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices
Our planning grant, overseen by principal investigator Jud King and Principal author and researcher, Diane Harley, focused on the importance of faculty values and the vital role of peer review in faculty attitudes and actual publishing behavior. The materials emanating from the first phase of the research (which investigated Anthropology, Biostatistics, Chemical Engineering, English Language Literature, and Law and Economics) are available online:
Publications include a Final Report: Scholarly Communication: Academic Values and Sustainable Models, and a Planning Proposal (pdf)
CSHE hosts talks and seminars on this topic regularly. If you are interested in being added to CSHE's events announcement list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- C. Judson King (Principal Investigator), Director, Center for Studies in Higher Education. Provost and Senior Vice President - Academic Affairs (UC System) Emeritus. Professor of Chemical Engineering Emeritus. Former Provost - Professional Schools and Colleges, Dean of the College of Chemistry and Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley
- Diane Harley (co-Principal investigator), Senior Researcher, Center for Studies in Higher Education.
- Ted Bergstrom, Aaron and Cherie Raznick Professor of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Aaron S. Edlin, Professor of Economics and Law, Co-founder and Principal, Berkeley Electronic Press
- Thomas Goldstein, Professor of Journalism and Director, Program in Mass Communication. Former Dean of Schools of Journalism at both Columbia and UC Berkeley.
- Daniel Greenstein, University Librarian, Vice Provost and Executive Director, California Digital Library, University of California.
- Benjamin E. Hermalin, Willis H. Booth Professor of Banking & Finance, Haas School of Business.
- Nicholas P. Jewell, Professor of Biostatistics and Statistics. Former Deputy Provost, UC Berkeley. Editor, Berkeley Electronic Press.
- Thomas C. Leonard, University Librarian, UC Berkeley. Professor of Journalism.
- John Lie, Dean, International & Area Studies. Professor of Sociology.
- Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information; Adjunct Professor, SIMS, UC Berkeley.
- John W. (Jack) McCredie, Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO, UC Berkeley.
- Daniel L. Rubinfeld, Robert L. Bridges Professor of Law and Professor Economics. Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust in the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Hal R. Varian, Professor of Information, Business, and Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Lynne E. Withey, Director, University of California Press.
Project Research Staff
The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices
The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices. Diane Harley, Sarah Earl-Novell, Jennifer Arter, Shannon Lawrence, C. Judson King. Journal of Electronic Publishing, vol. 10, no. 2 (Spring 2007)
This study reports on five disciplinary case studies that explore academic value systems as they influence publishing behavior and attitudes of University of California, Berkeley faculty. The case studies are based on direct interviews with relevant stakeholders — faculty, advancement reviewers, librarians, and editors — in five fields: chemical engineering, anthropology, law and economics, English-language literature, and biostatistics. The results of the study strongly confirm the vital role of peer review in faculty attitudes and actual publishing behavior. There is much more experimentation, however, with regard to means of in-progress communication, where single means of publication and communication are not fixed so deeply in values and tradition as they are for final, archival publication. We conclude that approaches that try to "move" faculty and deeply embedded value systems directly toward new forms of archival, "final" publication are destined largely to failure in the short-term. From our perspective, a more promising route is to (1) examine the needs of scholarly researchers for both final and in-progress communications, and (2) determine how those needs are likely to influence future scenarios in a range of disciplinary areas.
Ann Arbor, MI: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan, University Library
vol. 10, no. 2, Spring 2007
New version of CSHE.13.06 (September 2006).
I will offer reflections and speculations on the circumstances and prospects of universities (especially public flagships). How are we to understand the changes in the technical and political environments that seem to be putting the quality of U.S. public universities at risk, and what might we do about it? Answers to both of these questions will be incomplete and speculative (as we would expect from an experienced administrator) and will be informed by my experience as an economist, a provost, and a university librarian. The university librarian part turns out to be more important than one might think a priori, because changes in information technology and associated markets become apparent in the library before they become apparent in the Dean’s office. I hope to stimulate vigorous discussion of these and related matters. And I might also talk a little about the phenomenon that is known as grade inflation.
Paul N. Courant is the University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan. He is also Harold T. Shapiro Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Economics, Professor of Information, and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. From 2002-2005 he served as Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs, the chief academic officer and the chief budget officer of the University. He has also served as the Associate Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs, Chair of the Department of Economics and Director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies (which is now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy).
Courant has authored half a dozen books, and over seventy papers covering a broad range of topics in economics and public policy, including tax policy, state and local economic development, gender differences in pay, housing, radon and public health, relationships between economic growth and environmental policy, and university budgeting systems. More recently, he is studying the economics of universities, the economics of libraries and archives, and the changes in the system of scholarly communication that derive from new information technologies.
Paul Courant holds a BA in History from Swarthmore College (1968); an MA in Economics from Princeton University (1973); and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University (1974). He rides a BMW R1150R motorcycle.