Brief Thoughts on the Changing Nature of Scholarship by ProQuest


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									18        InformationToday
January 2010

               Intellectual Property

     Brief Thoughts on the Changing Nature of Scholarship
     by K. MATTHEW DAMES            |                                                                                                                 rent Copyright Act,
                                                                                                                                                      these rights always

               s we enter the second decade of                                                                                                        include reproduction,
               the 21st century, we continue                                                                                                          creation of derivative
               to witness how the digital, net-                                                                                                       works, and distribu-
     worked ecosystem we inhabit disrupts                                                                                                             tion, and they may
     traditional ways of communicating in in-                                                                                                         also include public
     formation-intensive industries. Scholar-                                                                                                         performance and pub-
     ship is no different. Yet, academics them-                                                                                                       lic display depend-
     selves seem not to realize how these                                                                                                             ing upon the type of K. Matthew Dames
     changes are affecting their research,                                                                                                            work. This system
     their writings, and ultimately, their route                                                                                                      where authors surrender their rights in
     to tenure.                                                                                                                                       exchange for citation rarely was chal-
                                                                                                                                                      lenged, partly because few alternative
                                                                                                                                                      avenues existed for distributing scholar-
     Reputations at Stake                                                                                                                             ship to the public or an author’s profes-
        In the 20th century, a scholar built                                                                                                          sional network. Under the traditional sys-
     his or her academic status almost ex-                                                                                                            tem, the creator of the scholarly work and
     clusively through citation. Publication in                                                                                                       owner of the rights in that work rarely
     select journals not only was promoted, it                                                                                                        were the same person.
     was expected. The tenets of this model of                                                                                                            However, in the new model of schol-
     scholarship are that the work is bound,                                                                                                          arship, scholars are more likely to retain
     made available exclusively in print, and                                                                                                         many of the rights to their work for con-
     the author cedes rights to a publisher as                                                                                                        siderably longer periods of time. By mov-
     a condition of publication.                                                                                                                      ing formal journal publication and cita-
        This model no longer is tenable for             In short, building a vibrant reputation          In this new model, publication in a          tion to the end of the scholarship pro-
     several reasons. First, the traditional         within several networks (the World Wide         print journal moves from a primary step          duction cycle, a savvy scholar uses his
     journal publication process takes too           Web, listservs, social networks such as         in the production process to one of the last     or her retained rights to make multiple
     long, given the speed with which con-           Twitter and Facebook, blogs, and profes-        steps in the production process, one that        copies of his or her work available, cre-
     sumers expect information to travel. In         sional networks that cater to one’s spe-        is taken pretty much to appease the de-          ate adaptations of his or her work to fit
     fact, a submission to a traditional, peer-      cialty) is as important to 21st-century         mands of tenure committees whose mem-            different audiences, and distribute those
     reviewed, print journal may not get pub-        scholars as citation in print journals.         bers still consider traditional journal pub-     multiple copies or adaptations to a vari-
     lished for 18 months. In an analog world                                                        lication the ultimate measure of scholarly       ety of applicable fora. This means that
     where information was subject to gate-                                                          credibility. (If print citation is not desired   authorship and copyright ownership re-
     keepers and production resources were
                                                     Publication, Anyone?                            or required, it is possible for a schola
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