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Reason, Risk, and Reward: Models for Libraries and Other Stakeholders in an Evolving Scholarly Publishing Ecosystem

By Paolo Mangiafico, Kevin L. Smith

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Cite As:
Mangiafico, Paolo, and Kevin Smith. 2014. “Reason, Risk, and Reward: Models for Libraries and Other Stakeholders in an Evolving Scholarly Publishing Ecosystem”. Cultural Anthropology 29 (2), 216-35. https://doi.org/10.14506/ca29.2.03.

Abstract

Scholarly publishing, and scholarly communication more generally, are based on patterns established over many decades and even centuries. Some of these patterns are clearly valuable and intimately related to core values of the academy, but others were based on the exigencies of the past, and new opportunities have brought into question whether it makes sense to persist in supporting old models. New technologies and new publishing models raise the question of how we should fund and operate scholarly publishing and scholarly communication in the future, moving away from a scarcity model based on the exchange of physical goods that restricts access to scholarly literature unless a market-based exchange takes place. This essay describes emerging models that attempt to shift scholarly communication to a more open-access and mission-based approach and that try to retain control of scholarship by academics and the institutions and scholarly societies that support them. It explores changing practices for funding scholarly journals and changing services provided by academic libraries, changes instituted with the end goal of providing more access to more readers, stimulating new scholarship, and removing inefficiencies from a system ready for change.

Keywords

scholarly publishing; scholarly communication; open access; libraries