Strategies for Supporting
New Genres of Scholarship
Karla Hahn, Assistant Executive Director, Transforming Research
Library Roles in Research, Teaching, and Learning, ARL
he availability of the ARL-Ithaka report described in the preceding
article by Maron and Smith offers an opportunity for librarians to
out to faculty and other campus leaders to increase awareness
of new models of digital scholarship and the roles these models are playing in
their disciplines’ communication systems; to learn how faculty are engaging in
creating new model works and contributing content; and to seek opportunities
for libraries to provide services that support creation, adoption, and recognition
of new models.
Three observations based on the study findings are
especially important for librarians, scholars, and
researchers to understand:
New kinds of works appear to have become established in nearly every
discipline across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Yet the extent
of this shift is often unrecognized by scholars and researchers. One study
librarian reported a common experience, “It wasn’t until we had a fairly
unstructured conversation that many faculty remembered sites they use.
Initially several said they didn’t use newer modes of scholarly
communication, when in fact they did.” Recognizing the significance
of new kinds of works is a vital first step to acknowledging scholars’
contributions and developing appropriate support for new models.

Senior scholars and researchers seem to be quite aware of and engaged in
supporting many of the examples identified for the study. Contrary to
many popular perceptions, interest in new kinds of scholarly works is
not limited to junior scholars. Many senior scholars are well positioned to
appreciate the opportunities provided by new models, to command
resources for experimentation, and to tolerate the risks that may
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