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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: March 17, 2003
Volume 38, Number 16

Campus explores crisis in scholarly communication
Emerging technologies among alternatives

By Carolyn Gonzales

Library Dean Camila Alire and UNM Press director Luther Wilson discuss scholarly communication options for UNM. Photo by Carolyn Gonzales.

The UNM General Library recently hosted “Scholarly Communications and the Common Good,” a symposium designed to assess and address the crisis libraries face in providing journals that continue to skyrocket in cost.

Alternatives to purchasing expensive journals include developing partnerships between professional societies, libraries, publishers and universities, said national expert Alan Covich, professor, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University.

Another idea, put forth to the group of faculty and administrators, is that because research is funded with public dollars it is a “public good.” Disseminating research findings should also be considered a public good; therefore it should be required by law that all journal articles arising from federally funded research must be made freely available to the public six months after initial publication, said David Shulenburger, provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas.

“Because of emerging technologies in electronic publishing as well as other alternatives currently available or becoming available for the scholar to share his/her work, now is the time for UNM faculty to start the dialogue about what alternatives we can or should consider at UNM.  Within that dialogue, we also need to deal with the challenges these alternatives would bring,” said Camila Alire, UNM General Library dean.

The library received feedback from symposium participants. They want more dialogue and discussions on this topic to take place at the university. “Continued conversations within the academy is one of the outcomes we are hoping for. We all need to pursue that,” Alire said.