106 · Representative Documents: Committee/Unit Charge
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University Scholarly Communications Group Statement of Purpose
June 2008
Washington University Scholarly Communications Group
Statement of Purpose
Scholarly communications pertains to the creation, transformation, dissemination and preservation of
knowledge. It encompasses both teaching (the promotion and transmission of knowledge) and research
(the creation of new knowledge). In essence, scholarly communications is at the heart of Washington
University’s mission.
In recent years, changes in the process of communicating and disseminating research findings have created
challenges for teaching, conducting research, and providing library services to students and faculty. Some
of these challenges include:
Changes in information technology
The use of the internet as the primary distribution method in many fields
The transition from print to digital formats
The complexity of research in the 21st century
The evolution and transformation of traditional publishing models
Library users’ increased expectations for access
The costs of access outpacing inflation
To meet these challenges, the Washington University Libraries, composed of the Danforth Campus Libraries
and Bernard Becker Medical Library, have developed a joint scholarly communications program. We strive
to serve the entire Washington University community by providing reliable and unbiased services,
resources, and information related to scholarly communications issues. With our campus partners, we will
be an active and visible player in exploring the dynamics of scholarly communication at Washington
University. A group comprising representation from a broad section of the WU academic community will
also be involved in this effort, forming the Washington University Scholarly Communications Group.
The Washington University Scholarly Communications Group at Washington University in St. Louis aims to:
Increase awareness of the issues related to scholarly communications.
Encourage discussion on scholarly communications issues at WU and in the broader community.
Foster and promote traditional and alternative methods for dissemination and preservation of the
scholarly output of WU.
Provide author tools that will enable WU faculty, researchers, scientists and students to efficiently
access, share, and transform content that results in new scholarly output.
Develop programs to preserve licensed, owned and locally created digital content to ensure
permanent and stable access.
Reduce barriers caused by publisher‐imposed licensing restrictions.
Gather and address concerns/questions from the WU community regarding copyright, author rights
and author publication agreements distribution and preservation of digital works open access
issues public access mandates self‐archiving options digital repositories data retention and
storage publication practices funding policies and other scholarly communications issues.
In response to changes in law, custom and technology, develop and maintain informational content
on the joint Scholarly Communications Group website.
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