A Collaborative Imperative? Libraries and the Emerging Scholarly Communication Future

by | Nov 14, 2019 | 0 comments

(L–R) Jason Price, Alicia Wise, Lorcan Dempsey

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, Membership and Research, Chief Strategist, OCLC, began with an overview of three contextual areas where our environment is changing: colleges, consortia, collections. Libraries are not ends in themselves. A shift from a collection-centric to an engagement-centric model supports goals of its institutions: research, careers, and education. New skills involve backgrounds and stakeholders. Many institutions are sharpening their focus: increasing emphasis on consortia tradeoffs between autonomy and consolidation. More consolidation leads to a better user experience. Optimization is better done locally because it is possible to get close to users. Because libraries are driven by local concerns, they can have control.

Alicia Wise, Director & Consultant, Information Power Ltd. focused on our open future and asked how we can make it work. We need to pool creativity and risk. The key to getting there: more money, cancelling big deals, rising university presses, community infrastructure. People are the key: come together to craft something new and fresh. We need a diverse array of opinions. Societies are feeling pressured because of inadequate resources. Publishers are interested in learning about the challenges and find a way through them.

Jason Price, Director of Licensing Services, SCELC Library Consortium, said that moving to OA will save 70% of costs. We need to change how the money flows. A huge challenge for the future of scholarly publishing is the “read to publish funding gap”. More content that libraries paid for is becoming open access; some estimates are that 50% of the articles will increase to OA. Who will pay for the gap? Not authors! The best strategy is to collaborate or do it alone.

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