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Symposium Aims to Encourage Campus-Wide Conversation on Publishing Landscape

October 21, 2014

shutterstock_185325812The model of scholarly publication has remained largely unchanged for nearly four centuries – but the next decade is expected to bring significant changes. With revolutionary shifts on the horizon, the University of Wisconsin–Madison is looking to help lead the conversation about the 21st century publishing outlook. On October 30, that discussion will break open, with the inaugural Scholarly Publishing Symposium at the Pyle Center.

Nearly 200 participants are expected to take part in the symposium, intended to kick start a campus-wide conversation about today’s publishing landscape. The event will place emphasis on the challenges and opportunities graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty face as they approach publishing decisions for their works. It will also open the door for a greater discussion on open access. Ed Van Gemert, UW–Madison Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian, says this event is the start of an ongoing effort to continue to engender academic discourse around publishing and research.

“We recognize this needs to be a continued conversation that involves a great number of important stakeholders, including, but not limited to the campus and academic communities,” Van Gemert said. “This event will engage the people who will be significantly impacted by the changing practices, highlight knowledge from topic experts, and begin the discussion of how to navigate this new era in publishing.”

Helping lead the symposium will be Peter Binfield, co-founder of open access publisher PeerJ and expert in the world of academic publishing. His keynote speech will address the pressing issues in research communication, recent developments, and provide a look into the future overhaul of the journal model in the coming decade.

“The symposium will touch on key issues in scholarly publishing. A theme throughout is how the economics of publishing affect the pace of change and publishing’s many stakeholders: authors, publishers, libraries and readers,” said Eileen Callahan, Graduate School Director of Professional Development. “We know that getting the first book published is a concern among graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and new faculty. And the changing landscape of publishing means that scholars and researchers are thinking about other issues, too, like open-access journals and archives, and participation by scholars in online social networks.”

In addition to Binfield’s address, the symposium will feature several breakout sessions to provide participants the opportunity to discuss publishing and open access issues related to a broad spectrum of topics and perspectives.

“We are already seeing significant interest in this event from across campus – graduate students, faculty, postdocs, and staff alike – and anticipate a lively discussion on October 30,” said Alissa Ewer, Assistant Dean for Professional Development and Communications with the Graduate School.

Speakers and panelists leading this conversation include Peter Binfield; Karl Broman, Professor of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics at UW–Madison; Brad Fenwick, Professor of Pathobiology and Microbiology, and Senior Vice President Global Strategic Alliance with Elsevier; Caroline Levine, Professor of English and Department Chair at UW–Madison; Gita Manaktala, Editorial Director at MIT Press; Aaron McCollough, Editorial Director for the University of Michigan Press and Michigan Publishing; and Gillian Rodger, Associate Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Sponsorship for the event is provided by the UW–Madison Graduate School, UW–Madison Libraries, Office of the Provost, and the School of Library & Information Studies, with intention of encouraging and supporting research at UW–Madison.

*Registration for this event is currently full, but we encourage you to stay tuned to our website, as we will provide materials and presentations from our speakers following the event.