Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Rethinking Scholarly Communication


Herbert Van de Sompel and the other authors of this opinion piece offer Roosendaal and Geurts articulation of five functions of any scholarly communication system as essential to maintain in a digital system of scholarly communication:

  • Registration, which allows claims of precedence for a scholarly finding.
  • Certification, which establishes the validity of a registered scholarly claim.
  • Awareness, which allows actors in the scholarly system to remain aware of new claims and findings.
  • Archiving, which preserves the scholarly record over time.
  • Rewarding, which rewards actors for their performance in the communication system based on metrics derived from that system.
They suggest a vision "based on our belief that the future scholarly communication system should closely resemble—and be intertwined with—the scholarly endeavor itself, rather than being its after-thought or annex."

This is an interesting proposition and the suggestions they make are intriguing. It is largely based around a scientific model for scholarly communication. I wonder if it is appropriate for the humanities, or in particular for theology?