By the Milne Library Scholarly Communication Team
Kate Pitcher, Chair, Liz Argentieri, Sue Ann Brainard, Joe Easterly, Kim Hoffman, Tracy Paradis, Bonnie Swoger
By Sue Ann Brainard
Recent developments in academic research and publishing have presented faculty with many challenges and opportunities. Technology has impacted how research is conducted, how data is archived, how scholars communicate with each other, and how research is published, accessed, and promoted. Changing attitudes about free access to information have also influenced scholars; a mandate requiring federal grant recipients to digitally disseminate the results of their research has impacted decisions about where to publish. Traditional scholarly processes such as peer review and journal impact factors have had to be reexamined in light of the digital world. Finally, the movement to increase student involvement in faculty research and publishing has presented its own challenges and opportunities.
As Geneseo faculty sought help from Milne librarians on these issues, it became apparent that if we wanted to meet faculty needs we had to investigate how faculty were researching and publishing in the changing environment. Were they struggling with digital projects? Participating in open access opportunities? Archiving their data? Co-authoring with students? Our goal in answering these questions was to create library services that will help faculty with these publishing endeavors.
To answer these questions, librarians from Milne interviewed eighty-seven Geneseo professors during the 2010-2011 academic year. We talked to faculty from every academic department, both experienced scholars and newer faculty. Although we understand that these are somewhat arbitrary, for the purposes of our analyses we grouped departments into three broad disciplinary categories:
We interviewed twenty-five professors from the sciences, thirty-five from the social sciences, and twenty-seven from the humanities. The interviews were conducted in person for the most part, with follow up via email as necessary in some cases.
The responses were compiled and analyzed after identifying information was removed. Librarians at Milne are preparing reports focused on overarching themes that surfaced again and again in the interviews: Undergraduate Research, Digital Scholarship, Open Access, Scholarly Communications and Output, Peer Review, and Data Management. We will be releasing reports on the topics listed above over the next few months.
We look forward to sharing with you the sometimes surprising projects, approaches, attitudes, and observations that faculty communicated to us. We hope this snapshot of how faculty at Geneseo navigate the new landscape of scholarly publishing will inspire you to open a dialogue with colleagues in and out of your department on these important issues.