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Re: Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication:

This is indeed a study of significant proportions and should be 
commended for getting so many librarians at so many institutions 
to participate in the data-gathering.  On the other hand, there 
appears to be a logical problem in how "scholarly resource" was 
defined in this study. Even after training the librarians, over 
one-third of the responses needed to be omitted from the analysis 
on definitional grounds.

As I mentioned in my blog post 
<http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2008/11/11/ithaka-report/> a 
scholarly resource needs to be defined by scholars themselves and 
not by others who apply their own conception of what is scholarly 
upon them. There is no way such an approach can identify new and 
innovative resources.

--Phil Davis

Karla Hahn wrote:

> [Forwarding from ARL - Please excuse any duplication resulting from
> posting to multiple lists]
> For immediate release:
> November 10, 2008
> For more information, contact:
> Karla Hahn
> Association of Research Libraries
> 202-296-2296
> karla@arl.org
> Nancy L. Maron
> Ithaka
> 212-500-2349
> nancy.maron@ithaka.org
> Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication ARL Releases
> Final Report from Ithaka Study Washington DC--The Association of
> Research Libraries (ARL) has released the final report from a
> study that ARL commissioned Ithaka to conduct, Current Models of
> Digital Scholarly Communication, by Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby
> Smith, along with the database of exemplars that the study
> produced.
> In the spring of 2008, ARL engaged Ithaka's Strategic Services
> Group to conduct an investigation into the range of online
> resources valued by scholars, paying special attention to those
> projects that are pushing beyond the boundaries of traditional
> formats and are considered innovative by the faculty who use
> them. The networked digital environment has enabled the creation
> of many new kinds of works, and many of these resources have
> become essential tools for scholars conducting research, building
> scholarly networks, and disseminating their ideas and work, but
> the decentralized distribution of these new-model works has made
> it difficult to fully appreciate their scope and number.
> Ithaka's findings are based on a collection of resources
> identified by a volunteer field team of over 300 librarians at 46
> academic institutions in the US and Canada. Field librarians
> talked with faculty members on their campuses about the digital
> scholarly resources they find most useful and reported the works
> they identified. The authors evaluated each resource gathered by
> the field team and conducted interviews of project leaders of 11
> representative resources. Ultimately, 206 unique digital
> resources spanning eight formats were identified that met the
> study's criteria.
> The study's innovative qualitative approach yielded a rich cross-
> section of today's state of the art in digital scholarly
> resources. The report profiles each of the eight genres of
> resources, including discussion of how and why the faculty
> members reported using the resources for their work, how content
> is selected for the site, and what financial sustainability
> strategies the resources are employing. Each section draws from
> the in-depth interviews to provide illustrative anecdotes and
> representative examples.
> Highlights from the study's findings include:
> * While some disciplines seem to lend themselves to certain
> formats of digital resource more than others, examples of
> innovative resources can be found across the humanities, social
> sciences, and scientific/ technical/medical subject areas.
> * Of all the resources suggested by faculty, almost every one
> that contained an original scholarly work operates under some
> form of peer review or editorial oversight.
> * Some of the resources with greatest impact are those that have
> been around a long while.
> * While some resources serve very large audiences, many digital
> publications--capable of running on relatively small budgets--are
> tailored to small, niche audiences.
> * Innovations relating to multimedia content and Web 2.0
> functionality appear in some cases to blur the lines between
> resource types.
> * Projects of all sizes--especially open-access sites and
> publications--employ a range of support strategies in the search
> for financial sustainability.
> * The report is freely available on the ARL Web site at
> http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/current-models-report.pdf