To support the establishment of an Office of Scholarly Communication to ensure the participation of humanities scholars in decisions involving major technological changes in the system of scholarly communication.
The American Council of Learned Societies proposes to
establish an Office on Scholarly Communication and Technology to ensure the
participation of the scholarly community in the crucial decisions which major
technological change requires be systemic decisions. The real danger is that
the scholarly community will discover that a system of scholarly communication,
designed to serve scholars, will prove to be administratively and technically
feasible but not intellectually desirable.
The Office will have two major purposes: (1) to disseminate
information effectively about major changes in the system and to ensure that
the perspective of practicing scholars be brought to bear upon them; (2) to
generate participation by scholars in choices which must be made both on
individual campuses and through emerging national networks.
The President of ACLS has attended conferences held by
research libraries, university presses, scholarly journals, technologists and
others on the way in which technology is transforming the environment in which
scholars do their work. The one constituency rarely present is the scholars
themselves. Leaders in other sectors of the system of scholarly communication
have strongly urged the ACLS itself to establish an Office on Scholarly
Communication because, as the national organization for the advancement of
humanistic scholarship in all fields of knowledge, it is best situated to
involve scholars in the changes which affect the conditions of their own lives.
The ACLS plans to begin the work of the Office on Scholarly
Communication and Technology on September 1, 1984.