Frederick J. Friend
New Models for Scholarly Communication

The purpose of scholarly communication is to communicate research results and teaching materials from author to reader. There has always been some direct communication from scholar to reader but most communication has been through intermediaries, particularly publishers and librarians. The networks provide an opportunity for communication between author and reader on a far greater scale than has been possible in the print era. The scenario of research papers and teaching materials being posted to open web-sites for all to read is a realistic scenario from a technical viewpoint. There are, however, factors in additional to the technical to enable a continuing role for publishers and librarians in an open access environment. Two factors influential in the current model will continue to be important in the era of networked content, viz. the assurance of quality and the academic reward system. The availability of so much content over the networks also reinforces the need for intermediaries to assist readers in identifying relevant content. It would be unrealistic to assume that the roles of intermediaries will not change, and the economic model for the new forms of scholarly communication will also change. The challenge will be to adapt to the new world of networked content, forming new relationships between authors, publishers, librarians and readers.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 12/19/2003