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Journal of Scholarly Publishing 37.4 (2006) 288-306
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Recent Trends in Scholarly Communications:
Albert N. Greco
A review of the impressive outpouring of journal articles and books on scholarly communications, covering the years 2001–2005, provides readers with a substantive understanding of the pivotal issues, concerns, and problems confronting a wide array of academics, administrators, and librarians in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. While much of this scholarly literature addresses 'traditional' issues and problems confronting academics in the humanities, the social sciences, and the diverse scientific–technological areas, an extraordinary number of these papers deals with the nature of 'change,' specifically the changing world of research and libraries, the transformation of information, and the rapid emergence of the Open Access movement.
Some of the major research studies and themes in this bibliography include the following:
Numerous papers confronting the often daunting (if not downright convoluted) problem of the price of information were rather intriguing. Anglada and Comellas pondered the issue of "fairness" in the prevalent pricing models of journals in an electronic era, issues also addressed successfully by Ball as well as Lawal; McCabe's work on this issue is especially noteworthy because of his analysis of substantive issues.
The evaluation of a scholar's output was a frequent and intriguing thread in the literature. Baumgartner and Pieters evaluated the use and usefulness of journal citation indices, issues also addressed: by Hamermesh and Oster; by Norris and Oppenheim; and by Goodrum, McCain, Lawrence, and Giles. Erkut seeks to evaluate the research output of Canadian academics. Cronin, on the other hand, grapples with the thorny issue of effective academic writing. While Peters studies usage statistics and Rowlands concentrates on research [End Page 288] productivity, White's attempts to grasp the importance of an author's co-citation analysis broaden our understanding of a fairly complex, but significant, issue, as does the probing work of White, Wellman, and Nazer.
The changing nature of the 'traditional' library in the academic life of the academy was a major theme in this period, and one that will remain at the forefront of a growing body of the literature. Afifi analyses collection development in an electronic era. The work of Bjorneborn and Ingwersen on 'webometrics' is revealing, and the article by Fosmire, along with two articles by Gladwin, Dixon, and Wilson, emphasizes the issue of electronic expectations in the scientific–technical arena. Economic issues are appraised in a sizeable number of studies, notably by Katsirikou; Labriga; O'Connor; Oppenheim and Stuart; Goldschmitt; and Nfila and Darko-Ampem.
European issues are studied by a growing cluster of researchers, including Norma McDermott (Ireland) and SreÐko JelusiÐ(Central Europe).
Issues of concern, and obviously growing concern, to members of the diverse scientific–technical fields centre on the transformation of scholarly communications from a print-only format to a combined print and electronic format to, ultimately, an electronic-only format, including important studies by Meadows; Björk and Hedlund; Mendelsohn; and Jepsen, Seiden, Ingwersen, Björneborn, and Borlund.
The growing interest, and at times vitriolic debate, over copyright protection and Open Access issues deserves special mention, including the studies of Tam and Robertson; Sweeney; Seadle; Stewart and Cervone; Cawkell; and Coonin. It is likely that future versions of this bibliography will contain a larger number of articles in this critical area of research.
The Bibliography of Scholarly Communications
Afifi, Marianne. Review of Electronic Collection Development: A Practical Guide by Stuart D. Lee. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 54, 6 (April 2003): 588–9. [End Page 289]
Agosto, Denise E. 'Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet.' Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 55, 11 (September 2004): 1025–6.
Anglada, Lluis, and Nuria Comellas. 'What's Fair? Pricing Models in an Electronic Era.' Library Management 23, 4/5 (2002): 227–33.
Baker, David. 'Document Delivery: A New Paradigm?' Interlending and Document Supply 31, 2 (February 2003): 104–10.
Ball, David. 'What's the "Big Deal," and Why Is It Bad...