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Promotion of the “Scholarship of Publishing”- A Sustainable Future for Scholarly Communication

20 October 2009


The technology of open access journals is a key piece to the puzzle of sustainable scholarship, however this technology alone will not precipitate a new paradigm shift in scholarly publishing. This presentation will engage the audience in learning how the promotion of the “scholarship of publishing” among academic faculty combined with a cooperative business model could sustain scholarly publishing in the future.

What is the “scholarship of publishing”? Currently, as part of the promotion and tenure process many faculty “work” in the publishing business. We write the articles that are published, we serve as reviewers and editors of scholarly publications, and we manage the open access software for journals or repositories in many academic institutions worldwide. While those who work in these areas do get credit for their work under the rubric of “community service” it does not rise to the recognition of their work as a “scholarship of publishing”. This new scholarship would be true scholarship in that faculty would be teaching others at conferences and workshops, via training opportunities, and through scholarly writing as well. Promoting this “scholarship of publishing” would at once both recognize much of what we already do, and it would also help to spread best practices in the cooperative publishing field as well, thereby furthering the success of this movement.

The other key component for successful sustainability is a sound and proven not-for- profit business model – that of the cooperative business. The modern cooperative business structure has been in existence for over 160 years. This model, applied to so many other sectors of business, can be easily adapted for the business of scholarly publishing. These cooperative not-for-profit principles are the catalysts that will make academic publishing thrive.


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