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Academy, Library Leaders Identify Actions to Promote Open Scholarship in Social Sciences


image CC-BY by Jer Thorp

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) gathered more than 30 leaders of scholarly communities, research libraries, and funding organizations in December 2018 to identify a shared agenda and collaborative actions for promoting a more equitable, open, scholarly publishing infrastructure.

Participants included:

  • Scholarly society and professional association leadership from the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the American Sociological Association (ASA), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the Association of University Presses (AUPresses), the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), and the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS)
  • Library deans and directors from five ARL member institutions—MIT Libraries, NYU Libraries, UCLA Library, University of Arizona Libraries, and The University of Kansas Libraries
  • Individual scholars passionate about open scholarly practices
  • Funders from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Staff from ARL, the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), and the SSRC

By the end of the meeting, five group projects were proposed, with commitments from various participants to lead them. The projects will:

  1. Conduct an authoritative investigation into scholarly society finances by a trusted third party, as the basis for financial and business model conversations with societies and external stakeholders
  2. Commission a paper on the role of scholarly societies and scholarly affiliation in a post-subscription environment
  3. Conduct a case study pilot on linguistics promotion-and-tenure (P&T)
  4. Explore implementing peer review in SocArXiv and PsyArXiv
  5. Assess the impact of the reporting relationship between university presses and university libraries

Read the full report on the meeting, which describes the presentations given and the themes that emerged in discussion around shared interests, challenges to openness, and conditions for successful action.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

About the Social Science Research Council

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, international non-profit with the mission of mobilizing social science for the public good. Founded in 1923, the SSRC fosters research innovation, nurtures new generations of researchers, deepens inquiry within and across disciplines and sectors, and mobilizes necessary knowledge on important public issues. Based in Brooklyn, NY, the SSRC currently administers 22 programs in the US and around the world. For more information on the SSRC and its programs, please visit www.ssrc.org.

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