use either free software like that provided by Google Groups, or were created
with mailing-list capability provided by a scholar’s institution, and others were
supported with mailing-list tools provided by a scholarly society or association.
H-France, for example, spends a few hundred dollars per year on Web site
hosting, and is able to cover these costs from small grants and member
donations One notable exception to this among the discussion lists is H-Net;
it combines university support, grant support, donations, and some revenue
from click-through book sales to support the organizational structure that
houses many lists.
Some innovative discussion forums are starting to take advantage of social
networking technology. Emerging Scholars Interdisciplinary Network includes
a “Scholars Only Lounge” where members can discuss issues, share
information, and read news alerts. The resource also allows members to create
personal profiles, and to develop their own mini-networks around topics of
interest. While resources like this suggest that Web 2.0 technology will enable
new forms of scholarly exchange and interaction in the future, this study
indicates that there is still a place for more traditional e-mail lists and
discussion forums in the academy today.
Professional and Academic Hubs (34 resources)
While the majority of resources faculty mentioned focused on delivering one
type of content, such as journal articles or data, a group of resources stood out
for combining a wide range of content types in a single site. These “hubs,”
which are often the digital portal for a scholarly society or professional
organization, may offer e-only journals, reviews, access to preprints and
conference papers, gray literature, blogs or newsletters that disseminate timely
content, and functionality for networking with other scholars. Faculty find
them useful as portals, or “one-stop shops” for information. Large sites such as
these require many resources to build and update regularly. Because many of
these sites are built as the portal or Web-presence for a scholarly society, that
society’s membership fees help to finance the sites. Perhaps because these large
sites likely attract large audiences, they frequently support themselves in part
with advertising or corporate sponsorships, as well.
RLI 263 18
Digital Scholarly Communication: A Snapshot of Current Trends
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C O N T I N U E D
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APRIL 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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