The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices.

  • Harley D
  • Earl-Novell S
  • Arter J
 et al. 
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Abstract

This study reports on five disciplinary case studies that explore academic value systems as they influence publishing behavior and attitudes of University of California, Berkeley faculty. The case studies are based on direct interviews with relevant stakeholders — faculty, advancement reviewers, librarians, and editors — in five fields: chemical engineering, anthropology, law and economics, English-language literature, and biostatistics. The results of the study strongly confirm the vital role of peer review in the choices faculty make regarding their publishing behavior. The perceptions and realities of the reward system keep faculty strongly adhered to conventional, high-stature print publications (and their electronic surrogates) as the means of reporting research and having it institutionally evaluated. Perceptions of electronic-only publications are frequently negative because those venues are considered to lack strong peer review and are, consequently, believed to be of relatively lower quality. There is much more experimentation, however, with regard to means of in-progress communication, where single means of publication and communication are not fixed so deeply in values and tradition as they are for final, archival publication. We conclude that approaches that try to "move" faculty and deeply embedded value systems directly toward new forms of archival, "final" publication are destined largely to failure in the short-term. From our perspective, a more promising route is to (1) examine the needs of scholarly researchers for both final and in-progress communications, and (2) determine how those needs are likely to influence future scenarios in a range of disciplinary areas.

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Authors

  • Diane Harley

  • Sarah Earl-Novell

  • Jennifer Arter

  • Shannon Lawrence

  • C. Judson King

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