*This is a guest blog post by Judy Ruttenberg, ARL program director for strategic initiatives.*
ARL’s mission is to catalyze the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. In celebration of Open Access Week 2018, “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge,” we’re sharing ARL’s programmatic priorities in supporting open scholarship in the coming year.
With a new focus area around open scholarship, ARL aims to shift the balance of library strategy, staffing, and budgets in favor of open content and what we are calling academy-owned infrastructure (also known as scholar-owned or scholar-led). The Association is looking at initiatives in support of this big bet in order to support member libraries in:
- Increasing their purchasing and investment power to support the full range of their collections and research priorities
- Making informed decisions about where to invest in new forms of open content and infrastructure based on shared criteria and local interests
- Partnering in the research enterprise within their institutions in a range of activities from data curation and management to publishing
The past several years have seen a decisive global trend among funding bodies, government agencies, and research communities to accelerate scholarly discovery and improve its effectiveness through open practices (such as data sharing and large-scale collaboration) and digital technology. At the same time, some scholarly communities are pushing for greater experimentation and transparency in peer review (ASAPBio), sharing preprints (arXiv, bioRXiv, and many others), and deploying open annotation (hypothes.is) that show a glimpse of what the future of scholarly communication could look like post-journal formats—accessible, dynamic, and networked. Research libraries are positioned to lead in this transformation when deeply engaged in research and scholarly communities and when a shared understanding and commitment exists to collectively steward the full scholarly record. ARL is positioned to broker a shared agenda with scholarly and learned societies and communities, along with academic leadership and US federal agencies, and partners in Canada, the EU, Australia, and the UK in support of equitable and open knowledge.
More recently, US research library leaders participated in crafting the recommendations of the AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group and the National Academies Open Science by Design, consensus report. As an Association, ARL looks forward to working with the membership, partners, and stakeholder communities on implementing their recommendations. Our colleagues in Canada provided similar feedback through Portage to the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy and CARL will be a key partner in these initiatives.
By strengthening open research practices, policies, and standards, we strengthen libraries’ ability to support local research, scholarship, and collections priorities of all kinds in order to meet their missions.