Intersections of Scholarly Information and Communication
The turmoil in scholarly publishing is a symptom of the significant challenges to the established model of scholarly publishing. These challenges include the proliferation of digital information technologies and growing requirements for scholarly output to have a broader impact and therefore be more open for use and reuse. The current model of scholarly publishing is decidedly unsustainable.
The “serials crisis,” which describes the results of declining library budgets and rising subscription costs, has given rise to a steadily growing movement on the part of librarians, faculty, and students to reinvent scholarly publishing and to retain more control over the results of faculty and student output. Some publishers are experimenting with newbusiness models for open access publishing, includingusing article processing fees as a source of financial support, while others are embracing alternative methods to meet the desire for greater access to scholarship. New venues for open access publishing for both journals and monographs are becoming available (such as PeerJ and Open Humanities Press), but no one model has emerged as the solution to the major issues in publishing. In this era of rapid change and experimentation, all stakeholders need to grapple with the difficult questions about the sustainability of traditional and new models of scholarly communication. Business models, such as subscriptions for journals, that made sense when the means of distribution were expensive and scarce may prove quite inefficient in a digital environment. The most efficient and sustainable models will certainly not emerge quickly, and so we are likely to see many different experiments for the foreseeable future. Read more here.