W&M joins other VA universities to host Sustainable Scholarship Virtual Forum

Representatives from William & Mary, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University and James Madison University will soon be in contract negotiations with Elsevier, the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarly publisher. Working as a group, they will be discussing the unsustainable cost of accessing Elsevier’s academic journals and options to make their public universities’ research more accessible to the public that paid for it.

On Oct. 2 at 9:30 a.m., the group will host a Sustainable Scholarship Virtual Forum to share information about the group’s collective priorities concerning equity, accessibility, and costs of bundled scholarly journal packages. Forum moderator Brandon Butler, the University of Virginia Library’s director of Information Policy, will also pose questions to the panel for discussion.

Registration is open to all interested faculty, staff, students, and community members. Attendees can submit questions or discussion topics surrounding negotiation priorities and sustainable scholarship in advance through the forum’s registration site

“This is an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming negotiations, the libraries’ priorities surrounding equitable access to scholarship, the impact of changing models on access to research, and why the costs of large bundled journal packages are unsustainable. We will also discuss the possible futures of scholarly publishing,” said Butler. “As a group, we are working together to find the best solutions to continue to be responsible stewards of state funds while providing our faculty and students with the informational resources they need to research, teach, and learn.”

Carrie Cooper, dean of university libraries at W&M, added, “I urge our campus to be attentive to the changing scholarly communications ecosystem and to participate in this statewide conversation. Without a change, Virginia Universities are scheduled to pay over $10 million to Elsevier in 2021. While our libraries can’t afford the same access we have today, our commitment to providing access to the journals you need remains a priority.”

Panelists include:
Carrie Cooper, Dean of University Libraries, William and Mary
Stuart Frazer, Interim University Librarian, Old Dominion University
Teresa L. Knott, Interim Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University
Bethany Nowviskie, Dean of Libraries, James Madison University
John Unsworth, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, University of Virginia
Tyler Walters, Dean of University Libraries, Virginia Tech
John Zenelis, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, George Mason University

All interested faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to register and attend the forum.