Main Nav

E-Research and E-Scholarship: Enabling the Scholarly Communication of the Future - Notes from a Midwest Regional Discussion Session March 2009

E-Research and E-Scholarship: Enabling the Scholarly Communication of the Future

EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference, March 24, 2009

Notes provided by Dorette Kerian

Melissa Woo, facilitator

Discussion participants were Librarians, Faculty members, Instructional Technologists, Information technologists, combinations of these roles and others.

Art and Humanities faculty are taking advantage of, and seeking more, digitization of content including text, video, audio and rich media.  Their research and scholarly efforts include searching, analyzing and ‘publishing’ findings.

Some of the challenges they face are digitized resources are difficult to find; available and affordable storage is insufficient; search and analysis tools that are easy to use, powerful and sustainable are not readily available.

Arts and Humanities researchers and scholars find inertia in academic credentialing.  They are wondering about the impact of these activities on tenure given peer review and publishing requirements.

Social Science researchers have similar challenges.  In addition to digitized content, they use, and sometimes create, large datasets to which they apply statistics and analysis.

Librarians need to define their role in data curation from and for research and scholarship.  Digital materials are dynamic and interactive —living data that’s created, changed and in which the context may be needed to add to the analysis and interpretation.  No one is taking ownership of this problem though groups such as the Coalition for Networked Information are describing the issues and seeking solutions.   Solutions must be sought in collaboration among institutions sharing in research and scholarship and among a university’s researchers, scholars, librarians, and information technologists.    

There are increasing expectations of partnerships across disciplines within an institution and across institutions in science, social science and arts and humanities.  These consortia relationships raise additional issues of tenure credit, researcher or university responsibility for sustained access, data curation, and related funding in support of shared activities,   Data created or gathered in one discipline or context could as likely have value in other unknown future use.  That potential must be considered in answering the question of who is responsible for long term maintenance and availability of the data. 


Neither librarians nor IT professionals are in a position to value data to determine what should be retained and how.  They do have roles in helping to store, manage and provide access to it.  These service areas must learn more about research and scholarly purposes and requirements for data and sit down with principals to collaborate in order to find solutions.   The need to fund solutions and/or reallocate resources must be on the table.  Researchers and scholars will find a way to accomplish their goals independently if these interactions do not occur. 

Librarians seek to identify principles of involvement in digital resource management. 

Instructional technologists and designers have a role in designing human centered information and access and systems of inquiry.

Key take-aways from the discussion are:

·         Use e-research and e-scholarship to communicate and partner across silos—library, academic disciplines, information technology, research divisions, academic divisions.

·         Develop partnerships to help create, store, manage and provide access to information.

·         Principles should  be established and roles defined for each digital player.

Tags from the EDUCAUSE Library