Finding Our Way: A Snapshot of Scholarly Communication Practitioners' Duties & Training

Maria Bonn, Will Cross, Josh Bolick
2020 Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication  
INTRODUCTION Scholarly communication has arisen as a core academic librarianship competency, but formal training on scholarly communication topics in LIS is rare, leaving many early career practitioners underprepared for their work. METHODS Researchers surveyed practitioners of scholarly communication, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), regarding their attitudes toward and experiences with education in scholarly communication, job responsibilities, location
more » ... bilities, location within their academic libraries, and thoughts about emerging trends in scholarly communication librarianship. RESULTS Few scholarly communication practitioners felt well-prepared by their graduate training for the core set of primary and secondary scholarly communication responsibilities that have emerged. They deploy a range of strategies to fill the gap and would benefit from support in this area, from more robust education in graduate programs and through continued professional development. DISCUSSION The results of this survey support the assertion that as academic libraries and academic library work have increasingly recognized the importance of scholarly communication topics, library school curricula have not developed correspondingly. Respondents indicated a low level of formal pedagogy on scholarly communication topics and generally felt they were not well-prepared for scholarly communication work, coming at a significant opportunity cost. CONCLUSION Scholarly communication practitioners should create and curate open teaching and learning content on scholarly communication topics for both continuing education as well as adoption within LIS curricula, and LIS programs should develop accordingly, either through "topics" courses or by integrating scholarly communication into and across curricula as it intersects with existing courses. 1. New professionals may find they have not been adequately prepared for their scholarly communication responsibilities by their LIS education and should expect significant learning on the job. 2. Libraries may find it difficult to locate candidates for scholarly communications positions, who have undertaken formal study of the issues in this area, even as scholarly communication knowledge, skills, and experiences are ever more important. 3. As a result, academic libraries should expect to provide substantial support for ongoing education and training, particularly for new hires and among those seeking to emphasize scholarly communication topics and services. 4. Because scholarly communication training is rare and most often offered by well-resourced institutions, current hiring practices may reinforce traditional hierarchies that privilege wealthy, predominantly-white LIS applicants. 5. LIS educators should devote curricular attention to topics identified as areas of work by scholarly communication practitioners and partner with the community of practice to develop high quality, authentic, relevant pedagogical content.
doi:10.7710/2162-3309.2328 fatcat:xpobfdpaujbklgcabxqn2pbhoq