Information Update - Fall 2000

From the Library Director

Scholarly communication refers to the formal and informal processes by which the research and scholarship of faculty, researchers and independent scholars are created, evaluated, edited, formatted, distributed, organized, made accessible, archived, used and transformed.
 
Publishing is the formal system whose key players include faculty, publishers (including scholarly societies), and libraries. Building on the works of others, faculty first create and then give their research to publishers; publishers manage peer review and provide editorial improvement and wide distribution; libraries acquire, organize and provide access to primary resources and new materials and preserve them for future generations of scholars.
 
The current system of scholarly communication is changing. Libraries and their institutions can no longer keep up with the increasing volume and cost of scholarly resources. The promise of the digital revolution to decrease costs and increase access has been threatened by commercial publishers intent on maximizing revenues through raising prices and restricting use. Projects and proposals to transform the system are being shaped primarily by stakeholders outside of the faculty - publishers, librarians, administrators, state legislators and information technologists. Involvement by faculty is critical in ensuring a new system that meets your needs and those of future scholars.
 
One of the most promising new projects is SPARC, a worldwide alliance of research institutions, libraries and organizations that encourages competition in the scholarly communications market. SPARC introduces new solutions to scientific journal publishing, facilitates the use of technology to expand access and partners with publishers that bring top-quality, low-cost research to a greater audience. SPARC strives to return science to scientists. Please check out the SPARC website at http://www.createchange.org.
 
Both The Keystone Principles mentioned in another article and the creation of SPARC demonstrate an exciting vision for 21st century academic libraries. I am pleased that the Weinberg Memorial Library has endorsed these projects and that The University of Scranton is a supporting member of SPARC.
Charles E. Kratz
Library Director
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