Accelerating Scholarly Communications and Dissemination



Given the rise of remote working and international collaboration, it’s not surprising that so many researchers have expanded their use of applications like Slack, Mastodon, or Zoom. But what is the potential impact on scholarly communications? What are some of the ways in which we can improve dissemination of meaningful work? Do different disciplines require different approaches? How can we enhance discoverability in a world of preprint servers, institutional repositories, etc.? What systems, what resources are most needed? This roundtable discussion offers the opportunity for those supporting researchers in a variety of settings to brainstorm the use of these new communication tools, and to envision what the long-term benefits and drawbacks might be.

Confirmed participants include Kristin Antelman, University Librarian, UC-Santa Barbara; David Crotty, Senior Consultant, Clarke and Esposito; Kaia Motter, Senior Manager, Open Access Policy, Wiley; and Mark Phillips, Associate Dean for Digital Libraries, University of North Texas.

Event Sessions

Roundtable Discussion


Mark Phillips

Associate Dean for Digital Libraries
University of North Texas

This Roundtable Discussion is moderated by Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of NISO. 

The discussion by participants touched on the following:

When we talk about communication, we really mean the exchange of both new information and what may be thoroughly synthesized information – established knowledge. In an age where rumors may be shared device to device in seconds but where (as an example) communication of verifiable research findings requires a more careful and deliberate approach to dissemination, How is that impacting stakeholders? Are expectations of specific roles changing?

Has there been a shift in scholarly communication that you specifically attribute to the pandemic?

Do you see any emerging shifts in how researchers themselves are thinking about their output? Is there a consultative benefit that libraries or publishing organizations might provide to the research community in that context?

There are a number of operational (back-office) ways in which dissemination may be sped along. That may happen in incremental time periods (of seconds) or longer time spans (weeks). What are some of the ways in which publishers and libraries are currently facilitating acceleration of scholarly communication?

Thinking about the infrastructure needed in support of publishing, dissemination and preservation of content, do you see changes that are happening or that should be happening? How and where does metadata fit into this discussion?

In a recent Roundtable hosted by NISO, a participant noted that, in her role, she saw a growing need for systems to be able to integrate connections between content hosted across multiple platforms. An article may reside on a publisher’s platform, but an earlier preprint may be available on a discipline-specific community server, an associated data set may be hosted on Figshare and/or code on Github. Are there ways in which publishers and libraries might collaborate to overcome some of the fragmentation that we see?

We’ve addressed some of the “invisible” ways in which distinct stakeholder groups may be working internally to enhance the process of dissemination. Are there more visible shifts, collaborative approaches that are worthy of note? How do publishers and libraries make clear their added value in this process?

Researchers and faculty complain that keeping up-to-date with what’s happening in their field is virtually impossible and that it is an inefficient use of time for them to attempt to drink from any outpouring from the information firehose. What gaps or vulnerabilities do you see in this context? Is discovery a problem and, if so, for which set of stakeholders?

How does all of this impact staffing needs or numbers? What are the new skill sets currently required in the workforce?

What do you see as being strategic and economic priorities moving forward? Where are the opportunities for the various stakeholder groups?

Resources, literature, and more!

Research Activity Identifier (RAiD) -  a unique and persistent identifier for research projects. It acts as a container for research project activities by collecting identifiers for the people, publications, instruments and institutions that are involved.  Hosted by Australian Research Data Commons *and* National Research Infrastructure for Australia.

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