Publishers are understandably concerned about piracy, but the STM/NISO initiative RA21 “to align and simplify pathways to subscribed content across participating scientific platforms” has scoped its problem the wrong way. Simply put: It’s not about security. It’s about identity. Every individual should be in control of their own identity. Can RA21 realize its potential to serve the broader interests of scientists and academia, not just the understandable objectives of publishers and vendors?

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Essential Transformations

The academic library is transforming. This diagram illustrates some of what I see as its most essential transformations. Libraries are transforming in terms of their collections – towards electronic collections, towards shared collections, towards open access, and towards distinctive holdings. Complexities abound for discovery, access, processing, and preservation. And libraries are also transforming beyond collections, towards a partnership with scholars and students in support of research, teaching, and learning workflows. This is the most important strategic shift. To achieve this shift, the nature of the librarian role is transforming, beyond a selector or provider and towards an enabler and a…

Research Infrastructure and the Strategic Decisions of Universities

For the past several years, I have been writing about the turn to research workflow tools. These tools reach deeply into the laboratory and are increasingly important to scientists and other scholars, and they impact the university research office and scholarly communications programs. Scholars need seamless end-to-end research solutions. Major publishers are making substantial investments in this area as they seek to pivot their businesses beyond content licensing. The strategic choices that universities make today will determine whether they are able to realize the economic & technical advantages in shared infrastructure that scales across institutional boundaries — or whether they…

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