University Publishing in a Digital Age

I haven’t gotten to read the full report yet, but the Chronicle’s article today on the release of the Ithaka report, University Publishing in a Digital Age, is extremely promising. The report calls universities to task for their failures to recognize the ways that digital modes of communication are reshaping the ways that scholarly communication takes place, resulting in, as they say, “a scholarly publishing industry that many in the university community find to be increasingly out of step with the important values of the academy.”

Perhaps I’ll find this when I read the full report, but it seems to me that the inverse is perversely true as well, that the stated “important values of the academy” — those that have us clinging to established models of authority as embodied in traditional publishing structures — are increasingly out of step with the ways scholarly communication actually takes place today, and the new modes of authority that the digital makes possible. This is the gap that MediaCommons hopes to bridge, not just updating the scholarly publishing industry, but updating the ways that academic assessments of authority are conducted.

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