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New at the Library

Faculty, Researchers Invited to Library’s Digital Futures Forum

‘Scholarly Communication in the Digital Age’
A faculty member posts preliminary research results on the Web and gets four million hits. Later the research is published as an article in a scholarly journal whose publishers require her to take down the Web site. The journal reaches far fewer people because it has only 15,000 subscribers.  

Another faculty member learns from his university library that it may not be able to afford the high subscription rate for the journal that published his research and the library may have to pay additional fees to post his articles on electronic reserve for students.

A new government regulation requires researchers who are funded by the National Institutes of Health to make their medical research freely accessible within 12 months through PubMed, a free, open access database.

Harvard University initiates an open access publication model; faculty in the arts and sciences voted to make their work available on the Web.

These are actual scenarios of challenges facing scholarly communication in the digital age. New open access publication models and new ways of managing intellectual property are helping to address some of the challenges and assist in disseminating crucial information to those who need it. Open access sources are usually free and may include online open access journals such as Plos (the Public Library of Science) or institutional repositories on the Web. These issues will be addressed at the AU Library’s second annual Digital Futures Forum to be held on March 31, 3–5 p.m., MGC, 4-5.

Three distinguished panelists will review new options for sharing research and managing intellectual property, such as digital repositories, open access journals, and Web information commons. Also on the agenda are how faculty can both manage their copyright and provide access to their research, as well as Harvard University’s recent initiative to expand access to faculty publications.

Panelists: Julia Blixrud, assistant director of public programs, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries that works to encourage the growth of new publication models that expand dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries.

Michael Carroll, professor at Villanova University School of Law, is currently on leave and teaching at WCL. Carroll serves on the Board of Directors of the Creative Commons and is the author of the faculty addendum.

Stuart Shieber, James O. Welch Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Sciences and director of the Office for Scholarly Communication, Harvard University. Shieber led the groundbreaking initiative at Harvard in which the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted unanimously to commit to an open access policy.

Reception will follow. For more information or to register, call 885-3847 or e-mail

Diana Vogelsong contributed this column.