Publication Date

January 2010

Abstract

For more than two decades visionary university administrators and librarians have urged the scholarly community to recognize the value of its intellectual capital beyond promotion, tenure, and academic prominence. Publishing in its broadest sense encompasses the production and dissemination of information for public access; scholarly publishing includes peer-reviewed literature in books and journals, as well as conference papers, technical reports, working papers, data sets and emerging forms of scholarship presented in numerous multimedia formats. Today’s academic publishing environment is a complex amalgam of technological capability, economic realities, and emerging social networking practices pushing the boundaries of the traditional scholarly publishing culture. Technology enables innovative scholarship and offers new options to access research results. The economy compels universities to scrutinize business models and evaluate return on investment. Subscriptions to expensive commercial publications are unsustainable, and resources devoted to costly journals reduce available funding to purchase monographs. This essay explores several strategies universities can take to retain control of a valuable commodity, the scholarship they produce. How can university administrators protect and promote intellectual assets produced at their institutions? One approach is to identify the various ways a university funds publishing, explore the convergence of publishing activities and functions within the university, and take steps to increase access to the wealth of published material generated by the academy.

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