24:3 (2009:09) 24th Conference: Strategy Session: Chicago Collaborative

September 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Conference Reports, Strategy Sessions | Leave a comment

Chicago Collaborative

Patricia Thibodeau, Duke University Medical Center Library and Archives; John Tagler, Association of American Publishers/Professional and Scholarly Publishing
Reported by Selina Lin

As stated in its statement of purpose, the “Chicago Collaborative was created from a conviction that we are at a pivotal moment in the history of scholarly communication.”

The presenters began by giving the background of the Chicago Collaborative, followed by its challenges, strategies, and expected outcomes.

Recognizing that the stakeholders in scientific communication share the same ultimate goals – sharing and disseminating information and ensuring the users receive relevant, reliable and appropriate information – in October 2007 the Association of Academic Health Sciences Librarians’ (AAHSL) president and board of directors established a task force.  The task force was given the charge to “Establish an AAHSL Board strategy to promote direct ongoing dialog and examination of issues of joint concerns and importance to AAHSL and STM publishers, and to develop and promote a presence for AAHSL among STM publishers.”  In April 2008, the task force invited the leadership of various publishing and editorial organizations to a planning meeting in May 2008, which was held following the annual Medical Library Association meeting in Chicago.  The major consensus-driven recommendation coming from this meeting was to establish a working group to address the challenges of scientific communication.  The working group chose the name Chicago Collaborative to reflect the meeting place and the spirit of the meeting.

Several challenges were identified:

  • Preservation/archiving of journals
  • Effective STM authorship
  • Peer review/quality assurance
  • Dynamic content containers
  • Branding STM contents
  • Future of the journals
  • Mitigation of newer technology

The Chicago Collaborative strategies include:

  • Focus on association membership, rather than individual librarians, publishers or editors
  • Equal partnership in dialogs among members on broad higher-level scholarly communication issues and challenges
  • Share ideas and interests of representative organizations
  • Consensus-driven statements developed by members
  • Educate CC’s constituency (academic health care personnel: administrators, faculty, researchers, clinicians, students) regarding broader scientific communication topics (e.g., effective authorship, editorship, and the role of journal)
  • Develop a clearinghouse for educational materials regarding scholarly communication process
  • Conduct educational sessions with focus on factors affecting scholarly communication

The expected outcomes of the Chicago Collaborative are:

  • Research leading to position papers or statements on scholarly scientific communication issues
  • Dialogs with experts and broader constituents
  • Sustainable mechanisms for ongoing conversations and actions among members
  • Trusted venue to discuss broad scholarly communication challenges and opportunities among members

The founding members of Chicago Collaborative consist of associations of librarians, publishers and editors in the entire scholarly communication community, with emphasis on scientific, technical and medical fields.  They are:

  • Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
  • Association of American Medical Colleges, Council of Academic Societies
  • Association of American Publishers, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
  • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology/DC Principles
  • International Association of Science, Technical & Medical Publishers
  • International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
  • Society for Scholarly Publishing

A lively discussion followed the presentation. Several educational initiatives were mentioned:

  • Informational sessions at library conferences (at national and chapter levels, e.g., NASIG, MLA, ALA and SLA)
  • Educating authors (i.e., copyright and author rights issues)
  • Libraries 101 (a curriculum to be offered to publishers and publishing organizations)
  • Bio-medical publishing 101 (a curriculum to be offered to libraries and library organizations)

In conclusion, the presenters emphasized the challenges and the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders for the collaborative to succeed.


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