Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications | A Call for Action!
– Kathleen Shearer, COAR -Confederation of Open Access Repositories
– Leslie Chan, Centre for Critical Development, University of Toronto Scarborough
– Iryna Kuchma, EIFL -Electronic Information for Libraries
– Pierre Mounier, EHESS/OpenEdition, OPERAS
– Peter Suber, Harvard Library
– Jean Claude Guédon, University of Montreal
April 15, 2020
Diversity is an important characteristic of any healthy ecosystem, including scholarly communications. Diversity in services and platforms, funding mechanisms, and evaluation measures will allow the scholarly communication system to accommodate the different workflows, languages, publication outputs, and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of different research communities. In addition, diversity reduces the risk of vendor lock-in, which inevitably leads to monopoly, monoculture, and high prices.
Bibliodiversity has been in steady decline for decades. Lipscomb, Carolyn E. Mergers in the publishing industry. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association. 2001 Jul; 89(3):307–308. Far from promoting diversity, the dominant “ecosystem” of scholarly publishing today increasingly resembles what Vandana Shiva (1993) has called the “monocultures of the mind” Shiva, Vandana, Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology. Zed Books Ltd., 1993., characterized by the homogenization of publication formats and outlets that are largely owned by a small number of multinational publishers who are far more interested in profit maximization than the health of the system. Yet, a diverse scholarly communications system is essential for addressing the complex challenges we face.
As we transition to open access and open science, there is an opportunity to reverse this decline and foster greater diversity in scholarly communications; what the Jussieu Call refers to as bibliodiversity Jussieu Call for Open science and bibliodiversity. (2017, October 10). https://jussieucall.org/jussieu-call/. Bibliodiversity, by its nature, cannot be pursued through a single, unified approach, however it does require strong coordination in order to avoid a fragmented and siloed ecosystem. Building on the principles outlined in the Jussieu Call, this paper explores the current state of diversity in scholarly communications, and issues a call for action, specifying what each community can do individually and collectively to support greater bibliodiversity in a more intentional fashion.
|↑1||Lipscomb, Carolyn E. Mergers in the publishing industry. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association. 2001 Jul; 89(3):307–308.|
|↑2||Shiva, Vandana, Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology. Zed Books Ltd., 1993.|
|↑3||Jussieu Call for Open science and bibliodiversity. (2017, October 10). https://jussieucall.org/jussieu-call/|