LPForum 2019 Vancouver

Friday, May 10, 2:30-3:30pm
Room: RBC Dominion Securities Executive Meeting Room (2200)

Presenters: Brandon Butler, Director of Information Policy, University of Virginia Library; Chip German, Senior Director for Scholarly Communication, University of Virginia Library; Craig Van Dyck, Executive Director, CLOCKSS Archive

Description: Published products are key factors in the professional lives of faculty and core elements of scholarly communication. That said, how we should define a published scholarly product in our rapidly changing digital-information environment? Experiments of just a few years ago have now become standard means of presenting new knowledge, while increased emphasis on reproducibility in scientific research means that documented methodological steps in the research process are as important as the results themselves. Pre-prints are increasingly important factors in the rapid dissemination of discoveries.

Examples are everywhere. The interactivity that was novel in the Valley of the Shadow project at the University of Virginia in the 1990s surprises no one in more recent scholarly works such as Enchanting the Desert from Stanford University Press and A Mid-Republican House from Gabii and Animal Acts from the University of Michigan Press. Post-publication comments can add significant value in scholarly discourse, a point not lost on Rockefeller University Press and eLife, each of which formally enables them for journal articles. Code Ocean publishes software code in functional capsules, as data sets are increasingly considered just as important as the article. Jupyter Notebook has rapidly become a common tool for documentation of research processes.  Are results that support the null hypothesis disseminated as fully as they should be? Are all of these published scholarly products?  What characteristics should be considered in categorizing them as such? Who owns them? How is each uniquely identified? How do P&T committees value these faculty products? What responsibilities for discoverability and long-term access should their publishers assume? Should they be preserved with the same rigor we use in preserving other components of the digital scholarly record? How can recognizing the value of these kinds of products help overcome structural shortcomings in traditional scholarly publishing?

In the first half of our presentation, we’ll examine these questions from our different perspectives, and in the second half we’ll work with attendees to suggest a framework of analysis that helps us continuously update our definition of published scholarly products to reflect current academic practice.