1.5 Role of Stakeholders
There are different stakeholders involved in the scholarly communication process. The major stakeholders can be categorized as:
Researchers are the primary component of the scholarly communication process. They are not only the creators of the scholarly knowledge base but also act as the consumers and quality controller. As a creator they contribute by sharing their research work in the form of research data, published articles, blogs, discussion forums etc. As a consumer they consult existing publications and data both as testimony of the current state of art or even as direct or indirect input for the establishment of new results. By intervening at each stage of the research lifecycle, where evaluation is required, such as to peer review a submitted paper or to assess the work of a research entity they act as quality controller of the research work.
The publisher’s role in the scholarly communication process is not limited to mere dissemination of scholarly work. The elements of quality assurance and filtration, enhancement of presentation, creation of metadata, archiving of validated and authoritative versions of the research publication, meeting market demand, promotion of scholarly publication, outreach services and connecting scholars and scholarship are essential elements of the effective scholarly communication process wherein the publishers are the main drivers.
Librarians play a part in supporting faculty engaged in Research. This has traditionally involved preserving the institution’s research output, organising resources, and assisting researchers with locating and accessing information relevant to their needs. Information discovery process is part of the first step in the research lifecycle—the development and exploration of ideas. In recent years however libraries have begun to move beyond this traditional role and to support researchers during other steps in the research lifecycle. The emerging role that libraries are playing includes- data management, creation of metadata for research data and partnering with them in publishing journals. The scholarly publishing landscape itself is also evolving in response to many forces impinging upon the research and academic landscape, including the emergence of public policies mandating open access to publications arising from government-funded research. As a result researchers are seeking an open access publication outlet. Libraries already promoting open access options are getting opportunity to take on the actual publisher role. Hahn (2008) reports on a 2007 survey involving 80 member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) which found that 44% of respondents were involved in publishing, with 88% of these libraries involved in journal publishing. A later survey conducted with 43 ARL members in 2010 found that 55% of respondents were publishing or interested to do so (Crow et al., 2012).
In the pre-web age publishers were essential for the scholarly ecosystem. The scholarly community were dependent on the publishers to see their work disseminated. With Web 2.0 tools academia has got empowered both from the access and publishing point of view and the role of the publishers seem to diminish. Rather libraries need to gear up in providing value added services to the scholarly community. With the changing scenario following major areas of interventions are seen for the libraries in the research life cycle:
- support scholarly community by creating institutional repositories as containers for the universe of digital materials produced through research and scholarship, not just the published record;
- help in searching relevant research data and published articles filtering and repackaging the same for better user experience;
- provide platform for self-archiving and self-publishing by scholarly community;
- take up the role of publisher through publication of e-journals and promotion and dissemination of the same;
- designing and maintaining institutional repositories for archiving research output of the institution.
With the advent of state-of-the art technologies there seems to be a major change in the scholarly communication process and the role of the stakeholders in the process is getting redefined.