You are probably well aware that scholarly communication and publishing, particularly in STEM disciplines, have been in a challenging state for some years. Many of our peers have begun to explore other models—cancelling large bundled packages, pursuing so-called “publish and read” agreements (e.g., the University of California system), but Tulane has had few campus-wide discussions about these issues.
A separate but related issue is faculty publishing choices. The measured impact of Tulane’s published research is lower than our peers’. Tulane-authored publications remain largely behind publisher paywalls, often inaccessible to a truly global body of researchers, reducing their audience and impact. Open Access (OA) alternatives are numerous, but many faculty are understandably baffled by the terminology and competing options in OA and fear the consequences of publishing their work in this way. The Supporting Impactful Publications (SIP) program recently launched by David Banush and me is one partial imperfect response to these questions.
To foster university-wide dialog on these issues, I am charging a task force to build consensus on actions for developing a sustainable, active path forward for Tulane to manage its scholarly communications and publishing challenges. The full charge with further details is attached to this message.
I am inviting you to join this group, which will be co-chaired by David Banush, Dean of Libraries, and Giovanni Piedimonte, Vice President for Research. The group’s work will begin as soon as feasible, with a report and recommendations due for fall 2020. Your participation in this effort would be most helpful. Please let me or David know if you have any questions or concerns.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Professor of Mathematics
6823 St. Charles Avenue
200 Gibson Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118