Establishing a Research Agenda for Scholarly Communication: A Call for Community Engagement
Released November 2007
By ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee
The system of scholarly communication – which allows research results and scholarship to be registered, evaluated for quality, disseminated, and preserved – is rapidly evolving. Academic libraries and their parent institutions are adopting strategies, making plans, and taking action to respond to the changing environment and to influence its development. Believing that meaningful research can inform and assist the entire academic community in influencing and managing this evolution, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) convened an invitational meeting on July 21, 2007, to collectively brainstorm the evidence needed to inform strategic planning for scholarly communication programs.
Influencing a system as complex and dynamic as scholarly communication requires broad and deep understanding. The issues for investigation that emerged at the meeting range from cyberinfrastructure to changing academic organizational models to public policy. This report thematically summarizes and synthesizes the meeting’s rich discussion, framing eight essential research challenges and opportunities. We invite those engaged in creating, supporting, and distributing scholarship to comment and extend the issues and possible research initiatives. Without substantive comment from librarians and their partners, the goal of outlining a community research agenda cannot be considered complete.
Themes and Research Opportunities:
Participants identified eight themes characterizing the changes transforming scholarly communications. Developing a deeper understanding of these challenges through research can enable academic stakeholders to influence and construct scholarly communication systems that optimally support the academic enterprise and the communities it serves.