January 28, 2022

A New Issue of ARL’s “Research Library Issues” Looks at the Transformation of Scholarly Communication

ARL’s Research Library Issues (No. 287) is now available online.  A PDF of the complete issue is also available.

From a Summary of the Issue:

Rikk Mulligan offers an overview of the history of scholarly communication from its beginnings in the 17th century to recent innovations in digital and hybrid publishing.

The first piece in this issue of RLI provides a brief background and context to frame the formation of the first academic journals and monographs, the rapid growth in scholarly publications after World War II, and more recent hurdles faced by serial and book publishing over the past 30 years, with more attention to the changes resulting from the invention of the World Wide Web.

The second article considers in more detail the scholarly journal and article, experiments in digitization to provide online access beginning with JSTOR and Project Muse in the 1990s, and more recent innovations to meet increasing demands for broader and more open access to journal articles and other short-form scholarship.

The third piece examines longer formats of scholarship. This article frames the crisis in monograph publishing along with responses that include digitized books, born-digital ePubs, and current efforts to attempt alternative forms of funding and to strengthen the infrastructure for electronic publishing and support innovations in format that promote greater discoverability, accessibility, and use of long-form scholarship.

These articles provide the background for ARL strategic initiatives that are focused on promoting wide-reaching and sustainable publication of research and scholarship. A final discussion forthcoming this fall will build on these three pieces to describe emerging forms of digital research and scholarship that derive from the article and book but enhance and extend these modes of discourse far beyond their current states.

Editors Note and Articles (RLI, No. 287; 2015)

Direct to PDF of Complete Issue

See Also: Rikk Mulligan Appointed ARL Program Officer for Scholarly Publishing, ACLS Public Fellow (June 2014)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.