Two headlines this week on the subject of scholarly publications grabbed my attention this week, so I thought I would share them with you.
The first was the article in Nature by Paul Ginspar. Anne Kenney, Cornell University Librarian, summed up the significance of his work perfectly:
In August 1991, physicist Paul Ginsparg began an electronic bulletin board for the rapid exchange among his peers in high energy physics of unpublished articles, which had until then been sent by post. The idea was to share and store the manuscripts until they were published, but the articles continued to be used post publication and the e-bulletin board soon morphed into a web repository known as arXiv.org. Ginsparg reflects on the past two decades in the August 11 issue of Nature http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v476/n7359/full/476145a.html. The phenomenal success of arXiv can be measured by the numbers: the submission rate has grown linearly since 1991, and arXiv now accepts about 6,000 submissions per month from over 100,000 registered users and contains nearly 700,000 e-prints.
This pioneering work answers the question of whether higher education can manage scholarly publications. While much work remains, the foundation has already been laid. In short, the answer is "yes." Can we collectively and through many disciplines work on how?
The second headline is in this publication today: British Libraries Push Back
My comment there remains here: Can U.S. academic libraries collaborate with those in the U.K.? Please do!
What's at stake? The future of not-for-profit higher education. Let's go!