Encouraging Adherence to Values and Principles in Scholarly Publishing: A Case for Assessment Strategies. By Katherine Skinner and Sarah Wipperman. Educopia Institute. 2020.
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March 12, 2020

Encouraging Adherence to Values and Principles in Scholarly Publishing

A case for assessment strategies

Through the Next Generation Library Publishing project (2019-2022), Educopia Institute, California Digital Library, and Stratos, in close collaboration with COAR, LYRASIS, and Longleaf Services, seek to improve the publishing pathways and choices available to authors, editors, and readers through strengthening, integrating, and scaling up scholarly publishing infrastructures to support library publishers. In addition to building publishing tools and workflows, our team is exploring how to create community hosting models that align explicitly and demonstratively with academic values. 

This White Paper is available both as a PDF (the “download” link to the left) and as a GoogleDoc for comment until March 30, 2020. Please weigh in with your thoughts! We invite feedback and engagement with these ideas and with this work. 

About the paper:

This white paper explores the relationship between today’s varied scholarly publishing service providers and the academic values that we believe should guide their work. We begin with a brief definition of the academic mission and then probe how profit motivations have come to dominate the current scholarly publishing marketplace. We then consider and analyze how academic players from a range of stakeholder backgrounds have produced a broad range of more than 100 “values and principles” statements, documents, and manifestos in hopes of recalibrating the scholarly publishing landscape. 

We close with a recommendation that academic stakeholders more concretely define their values and principles in terms of measurable actions, so these statements can be readily assessed and audited. We propose a methodology for auditing publishing service providers to ensure adherence to agreed-upon academic values and principles, with the dual goals of helping to guide values-informed decision making by academic stakeholders and encouraging values alignment efforts by infrastructure providers. We also explore ways to structure this assessment framework both to avoid barriers to entry and to discourage the kinds of “gaming the system” activities that so often accompany audits and ranking mechanisms.