Scholarly Sharing Explained

Matt McKayOn these websites, millions of registered users around the world share published materials, argue and collaborate, or just form communities of common interests.  The domain names, though, are ones you may not be familiar with.  Don’t think Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.  Think ResearchGate, Mendeley, and Academia.edu.

Scholarly collaboration networks, known as SCNs, have received much credit from academics and scientists for bringing research into the digital age.  Publishers and institutional librarians, though, also recognize that everyday activity across SCNs raises questions about the proper sharing of materials.

Now there’s a website for getting answers to those questions – www.howcanishareit.com.

“What we really need to do is to work with publishers to make sure that their licensing and copyright information is as clear and simple as possible, and likewise does address sharing specifically as one means of distribution,” Matt McKay, director of communication and events for the STM Association, the leading global trade association for academic and professional publishers.

STM over the last two years has undertaken a thorough look at the current landscape of article sharing through scholarly collaboration networks and sites, and has sought to clarify how, where, and what content should be shared using these networks and sites.

“So it’s quite a big body of work, not only to start looking at building those tools to help people, but also working with publishers to make that process as simple and as streamlined as possible,” McKay tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

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