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Número: 71
Año: 2002
Autor: Johann Van Reenen, Editor
Título: Digital Libraries and Virtual Workplaces. Important Initiatives for Latin America in the Information Age

I end this chapter as I began it, with a set of principles. In this case they are guiding principles for the reinvention of scholarly publication. The Principles for Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing (at http://www.arl.org/scomm/tempe.html) were developed in the United States as a result of a meeting held in Tempe, Arizona, on March 2-4, 2000. The meeting were sponsored by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Merrill Advanced Studies Center of the University of Kansas. The aim was to facilitate discussion among the various academic stakeholders in the scholarly publishing process and to build consensus for these principles that could guide the transformation of the scholarly publishing system. All present agreed that the

“creation, dissemination, and application of new knowledge are fundamental to the development of an informed citizenry and a healthy global economy. Institutions of higher education exist to fulfill these functions. From the lab to the classroom to industry to the public, the advancement of knowledge through research and teaching is an invaluable contribution made by higher education to the public good. Scholarly publishing is the process through which newly discovered knowledge is refined, certified, distributed to, and preserved for researchers, professors, students and the public.”

While the principles and their explanations reflect a North American perspective, the participants recognized that the advancement of knowledge and scholarly publishing are international enterprises. While the academic community in North America may agree on collective action, international discussion and support will be needed for the success of any new systems. The principles apply equally to countries in Latin America and are so important conceptually, that I have abstracted the major points below:

1. The cost to the academy of published research should be contained so that access to relevant research publications for faculty and students can be maintained and even expanded. Members of the university community should collaborate to develop strategies that further this end. Faculty participation is essential to the success of this process.

2. Electronic capabilities should be used, among other things, to: provide wide access to scholarship, encourage interdisciplinary research, and enhance interoperability and searchability. Development of common standards will be particularly important in the electronic environment.

3. Scholarly publications must be archived in a secure manner so as to remain permanently available and, in the case of electronic works, a permanent identifier for citation and linking should be provided. The advancement of knowledge is dependent on access to prior scholarship. Electronic publishing adds yet another set of complex issues to the archiving and preservation of scholarly works. With libraries no longer owning copies and with the fragility of the electronic media, questions of what should be archived by whom and how are critical issues that need to be addressed.

4. The system of scholarly publication must continue to include processes for evaluating the quality of scholarly work and every publication should provide the reader with information about evaluation the work has undergone.

5. The academic community embraces the concepts of copyright and fair use and seeks a balance in the interest of owners and users in the digital environment. Universities, colleges, and especially their faculties should manage copyright and its limitations and exceptions in a manner that assures the faculty access to and use of their own published works in their research and teaching. The role of copyright is central to the academic community’s mission of advancing knowledge. Members of the community are both creators and consumers of scholarly publications.

6. In negotiating publishing agreements, faculty should assign the rights to their work in a manner that promotes the ready use of their work and choose journals that support the goal of making scholarly publications available at reasonable cost.

7. The time from submission to publication should be sped up by electronic submission, editing and posting. If published scholarship is to be a useful building block, it is imperative that the lag between submission and publication be shortened as much as possible for each field. While a number of factors contribute to the lag–peer review, author’s changes, back and forth with editors–and are important to the quality of the final work, technology should be exploited to speed up the process where possible.

8. To assure quality and reduce proliferation of publications, the evaluation of faculty should place a greater emphasis on quality of publications and a reduced emphasis on quantity. While a fundamental factor contributing to the rapid increase in the volume of published research is the rapid expansion of knowledge, the academic credentialing system encourages faculty to publish some work that may add little to the body of knowledge.

9. In electronic as well as print environments, scholars and students should be assured privacy with regard to their use of materials.