In the summer of 2014, both Mellon and an AAU-ARL Task Force on Scholarly Communication announced proposals designed to seek innovative ways that “digital technologies can increase access to and reduce the cost of scholarly communications” (AAU-ARL) and to discover “opportunities to shape knowledge formation and dissemination to emerging needs and media” (Mellon). Concern over issues of cost, access, the free-rider problem, and ongoing sustainability for scholarly monographs and their sponsoring publishers (often university presses) are not new issues, but the announcement of these large-scale initiatives have the potential to change the conversation and develop some viable solutions and new thinking in the research publication value chain. The AAU-ARL initiative seeks to address the problems of the tenure monograph, while Mellon also aspires to make digital publishing “a first-class means” of dissemination and to encourage scholars to “participate more fully in the interactive Web.”
Critical to both these initiatives will be the involvement of university presses, for the processes of selection, development, vetting, and publication of monographs, and libraries as partners in developing new hosting capabilities and channels of dissemination. This plenary will gather representatives from the ARL, AAU, and scholarly publishers to discuss recent developments with the proposed projects and how such ecosystem partnerships might function in the years to come.This roundtable discussion will be followed by an open Q&A to engage with members of the audience.