Scholarly and Research Communication, Vol 4, No 1 (2013)

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Digital Developments in Libraries, Journals, and Monograph Publishing: Emerging Pitfalls, Practices, and Possibilities

Rowland Lorimer

Abstract


As the budget increases of the post-World War II era that favoured science and education were being rolled back in the 1970s, information and communicational technological (ICT) development began to be rolled out. Research libraries responded by developing data systems and expertise that led eventually to new services such as institutional repositories and journal hosting. Twenty years later, continued ICT development encouraged entrepreneurship in digital journal publishing among a variety of scholars in Canada and elsewhere. Globally, public and private sector funded digital projects emerged aimed at regime change in the circulation of research knowledge. These dramatic developments are noteworthy for themselves as well as in recognition of valuable library/researcher partnerships that leave content to scholars and administration to libraries. On the whole, these partnerships have not been extended to university press-based monograph publishing with the presses joining as a third partner. Instead calls for reorganization verge on subordinating university presses to institutional mandates that could well diminish freedom of inquiry. A three-way partnership among scholars, libraries and publishing professionals has much to recommend it. Such a partnership, cast as constructivist inquiry, or social science and humanities R&D, would encourage extensive public sector participation scholarly publishing and open a long-overdue dynamic into the social science and humanities research.

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