DepositMediaCommons: Social Networking Tools for Digital Scholarly Communication

New York University, working with the Institute for the Future of the Book, seeks Level II funding in order build a working prototype of a set of networking tools that will serve as the membership system for MediaCommons, an all-electronic scholarly publishing network in the digital humanities. This set of tools, which one might imagine as bringing together the functionalities of e-portfolio software, social networking systems, and electronic publishing platforms, will enable the users of MediaCommons to find one another, collaborate, and disseminate their work in new ways. Within this social network, scholars would be able to make available a wide range of their work, including published texts ranging from the monograph to the article, works-in-progress, blogs and other more informal online writing, and other activities that often go unnoticed as forms of scholarly production, such as reviews of other scholars’ work, as well as syllabi and other teaching resources.

Deposit‘Total cost of ownership’ of scholarly communication: managing subscription and APC payments together

Managing subscription journals and open access charges together has created challenges which may in part be dealt with by offsetting the two revenue streams against each other. In order to do this, it is necessary to have reliable financial data about the extent of the two interacting markets. Jisc Collections has been undertaking data collection regarding universities’ article publication charge (APC) expenditure. This process is difficult without a standardized way of recording data, so Jisc Collections has developed a standard data collection template and is helping institutions to release data openly. If available data become more comprehensive and transparent, then all parties (libraries, publishers, research funders, and intermediaries) will have better knowledge of the APC market and can more accurately predict the effects of offsetting.

DepositComing in the Back Door: Leveraging Open Textbooks to Promote Scholarly Communications on Campus

Textbook affordability is a critical issue in higher education. Academic librarians have responded by creating programs to encourage faculty to become aware of the cost of textbooks and using open educational resources as an alternative. Another, less obvious reason to start a campus textbook affordability initiative is to establish a culture of openness for all types of open material. Faculty are often much more willing to confront textbook costs than they are costly, pay-walled journals. The author describes how he instituted a project to create more awareness of open content on his campus.

DepositScholarly Communications Shouldn’t Just Be Open, but Non-Profit Too

Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the “open” label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not only to be open but non-profit too. The profit motive is fundamentally misaligned with core values of academic life, potentially corroding ideals like unfettered inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and cooperative progress. There are obstacles to forging a non-profit alternative, from sustainable funding to entrenched cynicism, but such a goal is worthy and within reach.