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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

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ARL Strategic Plan 2010–2012

Strategic Direction: Advancing Scholarly Communication: Outcomes & Strategies

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Advancing Scholarly Communication

In an environment that is increasingly global, ARL’s leadership and initiatives will advance effective, extensible, sustainable, and economically viable models of scholarly communication that provide barrier-free access to quality information and will nurture new modes of scholarship that demonstrate promise for the future.


As ARL moves forward in this strategic direction, some expected outcomes by the end of 2013 include:

Outcome A: ARL will be a leader in analyzing and characterizing the dynamic and diverse system of scholarly communication to ensure a continuing dialogue among its many stakeholders.

Outcome B: ARL members will be leaders in developing, implementing and actively supporting selected new models and tools of scholarly communication.

Outcome C: ARL will aggressively develop and pursue new strategies to advance fair pricing and the terms and conditions under which content is made available and preserved, including openness and transparency in contract agreements.


Strategies that ARL may pursue in moving forward include:

Strategy 1: Identify, incentivize and facilitate alliances with and among groups of research institutions, other organizations serving research libraries and their institutions, like-minded for-profit and nonprofit publishing sectors, and university presses and scholarly societies. Build and strengthen new relationships to create a shared agenda and pursue joint actions that advance development of new functionally complete systems of scholarly communication that serve their communities.

Leverage current relationships with partners such as the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries), Association of American University Presses (AAUP), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) , and other organizations that share common interests in influencing the changing environment of scholarly communication.

Strategy 2: Sponsor, conduct, and promote research that will lead to the development and assessments of new models of scholarly communication. Develop projects and activities that address scholarly communication issues such as cost and use/impact of open-access articles and licensed journals, future of the extended argument and changing trends for the scholarly monograph, continuing access to data and other varieties of content beyond traditional published literature, and linked digital repositories for managing scholarly output. Engage the broader community in discussion of the life-cycle and dissemination of scholarship and about policies regarding the creation and ownership of scholarly work, especially author rights and rights associated with the collaborative creation of new types of complex media.

Strategy 3: Develop and promote appropriate responses to unacceptable business practices that skew the marketplace and reduce the purchasing and negotiating power of libraries. This may include developing and assessing strategies that libraries could take in the marketplace that are within acceptable legal practice, monitoring faculty actions, broadening the cadre of economists and legal antitrust scholars undertaking research on new pricing models, assessing consequences of bundling, and developing principles and best practices around licensing terms.

Strategy 4: Accelerate and enhance outreach and communication efforts to inform and induce change among the educational and research communities based on trends, findings, opportunities and their impact on faculty assessment processes. Information and strategies may address promotion and tenure, post tenure review, annual review, impact factors, and new models of peer review for research and teaching as well as evolving university budget and financial planning, and strategic visioning. Identify strategies and provide materials and that support outreach and communication efforts to educate new scholars and graduate students about scholarly communication systems and their roles as researchers authors, reviewers, and editors.

Updated: June 4, 2012