KU faculty and librarians to participate at 2016 Scholarly Communication Institute

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An interdisciplinary proposal by KU faculty and librarians has been selected for inclusion in the prestigious 2016 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Scholarly Communication Institute. The highly competitive annual “Triangle” Institute at the University of North Carolina accepted five proposals that explore “creative strategies, and [forge] new collaborations, in a spirit of bold and open experimentation in the realm of scholarly communication and publishing.” The theme of this year’s Institute is Incentives, Economics, and Values: Changing the Political Economy of Scholarly Publishing.

The KU Proposal, "Global Voices in Developing a Sustainable, Equitable Open Access Future," coordinated by Ada Emmett, librarian and director of the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, provides an opportunity for the team to examine new and evolving models that attempt to overcome global barriers in open access. By investigating these models and initiatives in detail, and from the perspective of scholars from both underfunded and better funded regions of the globe, the team hopes to identify best practices and principles of an open, global, inclusive and equitable publishing system.

“Our KU team of faculty and librarians has been focused on examining these issues in symposia- and fora-style venues for several years. The future of open access publishing is bright, particularly if its future is developed with input from scholars, publishers, universities and librarians from around the world,” said Emmett. “It is necessary that we work to design a future system where access to the open publishing is free for both readers and authors around the world. We are excited to join this year’s SCI and have the time and resources to explore together and with other teams these questions.”

KU has a long-standing commitment to open access, becoming the first public university in the US to have its faculty senate adopt an open access policy. KU Libraries have been a staunch supporter of such faculty endeavors.

During the proposal writing and collaboration process, current and former KU faculty experts lent support, including, from KU, Kevin L. Smith, dean of libraries; Distinguished Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Town Peterson; Director of the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures Marc L. Greenberg; and, along with Emmett, librarians Brian Rosenblum and Josh Bolick. Outside of KU, contributing scholars included Lorraine Haricombe, vice provost and director of libraries at the University of Texas, and Raym Crow, senior consultant at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

In addition to Emmett, the proposal team members attending the Institute include Peterson and former KU provost, economist and senior fellow at the Association of Public and Land Grant Institutions, David Shulenburger. Other team members include Kamal Bawa, distinguished professor at University of Massachusetts, Boston; Rosario Rogel-Salazar, professor of political and social sciences at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México; and Tetiana Yaroshenko, vice president for Research and Informatization at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Ukraine.

“This team possesses a wealth of knowledge, and I am very pleased that KU will be represented at the Scholarly Communication Institute this year,” said Erin Ellis, assistant dean of the Research & Learning Division at KU Libraries. “At KU, Ada and Town have long been committed to seeking equitable solutions that enable open access to all, regardless of geographic location, economic circumstances or affiliation. The SCI provides an excellent forum to explore and develop strategies that get us closer to a truly open system of scholarly communication.”

“We feel exceptionally fortunate to have put together such an international team—from diverse disciplinary and professional backgrounds—who are able to develop an imaginative and forward-looking proposal to meet  the needs of a global community of scholars and authors,” concluded Emmett.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—a philanthropic organization strongly vested in supporting higher education in general and with a commitment to advances in scholarly communication—has provided significant funding for the Scholarly Communication Institute. For more information on the Institute, visit their webpage. 

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