By firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric Schnell) on communications
One of my more recent hot topics is the need for librarians to expand how we define our own scholarly communications to keep up with changes in the practice of librarianship. A new report by the Ithaka Group being distributed by ARL explores how (non-librarian) faculty / scholars are making use of digital scholarly resources in the course of research. In the report entitled Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication, authors Nancy Maron and Kirby Smith detail the various digital resources that expands the definition of what is a scholarly resource. Such resources include electronic-only data, e-journals, and blogs.
The report states that blogs are “being put to interesting use by scholars” and contribute to scholarship by providing a forum for discussion. Faculty acknowledge that blog postings allow scholars to share research findings and open up a dialog that can help to further shape and refine their ideas. Blogs can add a layer of commentary to published literature and can give frequent updates of researchers’ opinions rather than just facts and can also attract well established, well known writers in specific disciplines.
While any scholar can use digital communications tools to post their ideas and share them with others, old traditions of establishing scholarly legitimacy through credentialing, peer review, and citation metrics still remain paramount. Although there have been many innovations such as open peer-review, many scholars still choose not to take advantage of these new innovations and continue to publish traditional articles.Issues of informality and not having a traditional peer-review process are still keeping blogs and scholarly social networks from being accepted as creditable scholarly communication. Still, blogs still can offer faculty / scholars the lowest cost model for quickly communicating their ideas and to receive quick feedback.