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Scholarly Communications Group

The Scholarly Communications Group was initiated in Spring 2007 and is represented by librarians from the Danforth Campus Libraries and the Becker Medical Library. Members from Danforth Campus Libraries include Phil Berwick (Law Library, through 2013), Ruth Lewis (co-chair), Rob McFarland, Andrew Rouner, Melissa Vetter, and Barbara Rehkop (through 2013). Members from Becker Medical Library include Bob Engeszer and Cathy Sarli (co-chair).

Scholarly communications encompasses the creation, transformation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge. Changes in scholarly communications are creating challenges for teaching, conducting research, and providing library services to students, faculty and researchers. Some of these challenges include the use of the Internet for primary distribution in many fields and the evolution and transformation of traditional publishing models.

Our joint efforts allow us to leverage opportunities for expertise and resource sharing to benefit faculty, students and staff involved with scholarly communications endeavors regardless of campus affiliation. We hope to involve other members of the WU community in the future, depending on specific campus issues and activities.

Statement of Purpose

Scholarly communications pertains to the creation, transformation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge. It encompasses both teaching (the promotion and transmission of knowledge) and research (the creation of new knowledge). In essence, scholarly communications is at the heart of Washington University’s mission.

In recent years, changes in the process of communicating and disseminating research findings have created challenges for teaching, conducting research, and providing library services to students and faculty. Some of these challenges include:

  • Changes in information technology
  • The use of the internet as the primary distribution method in many fields
  • The transition from print to digital formats
  • The complexity of research in the 21st century
  • The evolution and transformation of traditional publishing models
  • Library users’ increased expectations for access
  • The costs of access outpacing inflation

To meet these challenges, the Washington University Libraries, composed of the Danforth Campus Libraries and Bernard Becker Medical Library, have developed a joint scholarly communications program. We strive to serve the entire Washington University community by providing reliable and unbiased services, resources, and information related to scholarly communications issues. With our campus partners, we will be an active and visible player in exploring the dynamics of scholarly communication at Washington University. A group comprising representation from a broad section of the WU academic community will also be involved in this effort, forming the Washington University Scholarly Communications Group.

The Washington University Scholarly Communications Group at Washington University in St. Louis aims to:

  • Increase awareness of the issues related to scholarly communications.
  • Encourage discussion on scholarly communications issues at WU and in the broader community.
  • Foster and promote traditional and alternative methods for dissemination and preservation of the scholarly output of WU.
  • Provide author tools that will enable WU faculty, researchers, scientists and students to efficiently access, share, and transform content that results in new scholarly output.
  • Develop programs to preserve licensed, owned and locally created digital content to ensure permanent and stable access.
  • Reduce barriers caused by publisher-imposed licensing restrictions.
  • Gather and address concerns/questions from the WU community regarding copyright, author rights and author publication agreements; distribution and preservation of digital works; open access issues; public access mandates; self-archiving options; digital repositories; data retention and storage; publication practices; funding policies; and other scholarly communications issues.
  • In response to changes in law, custom and technology, develop and maintain informational content on the joint Scholarly Communications Group web site.

(PDF Version)

Presentations and Publications

Assessing Productivity and Impact Using Publication Data. 2012.

Building a Research Showcase: A Library-based Model for Enhancing Institutional Repository Utilization. Poster Presentation at the Medical Library Association Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2011.

Public Access Policy Support Programs at Libraries: A Roadmap for Success.” College and Research News, 2010.

ARL-ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication Webinar Series:” Program 2B: Translating Government Policy into Campus Services, May 20, 2010.

SPEC Kit 311: Public Access Policies.” Association of Research Libraries, August 2009.

Scholarly Communications 101: Starting with the Basics: New Modes & Models.” Scholarly Communication Road Show and Support for Authors Workshop, July 28, 2009.

Strategies for Engaging Authors.” Scholarly Communication Road Show and Support for Authors Workshop, July 28, 2009.

Subject Librarian Service Cards as a Tool for Author Outreach.” Scholarly Communication Road Show and Support for Authors Workshop, July 28, 2009.

Open or Shut: The Question of Public Access.Off the Shelf, June 2008.

Forging New Directions: Launching a Scholarly Communications Initiative.”┬áPoster Presentation at the Medical Library Association Conference in Chicago, IL, May 2008.

Promotion of Responsible Authorship & Publication Practices: a Library Role.” Poster presentation at the 1st Biennial Responsible Conduct of Research, Education, Instruction and Training Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, April 2008.

Projects

Open Scholarship

Digital Library Services launched a digital repository, Open Scholarship, for the scholarly output of faculty, staff, and students from Washington University in St. Louis

ARL-DLF E-Science Institute

A team from Washington University is participating in the ARL-DLF (Association of Research Libraries - Digital Library Federation) E-Science Institute , July, 2011-January, 2012.

Digital Commons@Becker

Becker Medical Library launched a digital repository, Digital Commons@Becker, for hosting scholarly work created at Washington University School of Medicine. Administered and maintained by the Bernard Becker Medical Library, Digital Commons@Becker provides groups, departments, centers, divisions, or programs at the School of Medicine with a platform for creating customized collections that reflect the wide range of their scholarly output.

Public Access Mandates SPEC Kit

Ellen Dubinsky, Bob Engeszer, Ruth Lewis and Cathy Sarli co-authored an ARL (Association of Research Libraries) SPEC kit on Public Access Policies. See Presentations and Publications above.

ACRL “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” Workshop

Washington University Libraries recently hosted the ACRL “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” workshop. The workshop was presented on the Washington University West Campus on July 28, 2009. Our partner institutions were University of Missouri, Columbia and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Copyright Taskforce Project

The Copyright Taskforce Project was formed in fall 2007.

Our mission is to develop and maintain a series of “best practices” tailored for the WU community for management of copyright issues taking into account the copyright law, industry guidance and practices and technology. Our goal is to disseminate accurate and reliable information and resources about copyright law and issues.

Please see Copyright for more information.

Joint Scholarly Communications Web Site Subcommittee

The Joint Scholarly Communications web site subcommittee was formed in spring 2008. Representing the Danforth Campus Libraries are Carol Antoniewicz, Ruth Lewis, and Andrew Rouner with Ellen Dubinsky and Cathy Sarli from Becker Medical Library. The subcommittee’s efforts are directed towards development and maintenance of a joint web site to provide services and resources to WU faculty, students and staff involved with scholarly communications endeavors.

Electronic Archiving Subcommittee

The Electronic Archiving (EA) subcommittee was formed in spring 2007. Representing the Danforth Campus Libraries were Ruth Lewis, Bill Wibbing and Rob McFarland, with Betsy Kelly and Cathy Sarli from the Becker Medical Library. The EA subcommittee focused on three electronic archiving options with a specific emphasis on electronic content from journals. These were: Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe (LOCKSS); Controlled LOCKSS, (CLOCKSS); and Portico.

A report was issued in January 2008 with options and recommendations to ensure permanent and stable access to digital journal content.

 

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