These are the conclusions that we’ve come to at the Convocation on Scholarly Communication, as I hear them:
We, the faculty, have a lot of power. We need to get off our asses and change how we do things.
Tenured faculty have to get off their asses especially. They owe it to their untenured junior colleagues, or they’ll very soon find themselves without any junior colleagues.
We have to actually pay attention to the quality of scholarship & not just quantity.
We have to change how we do things or we’re scrod in the long run. It may not even be very long.
Change isn’t enough: we have to forcibly wrest control from the clenched fist of our corporate overlords.
We’re all a bunch of communists: we believe that what we’re doing is a social good & that what we’re producing should be available for free, for everyone, forever.
We may be communists, but we’re also elitists: we believe that what we’re doing is valuable & that the processes we employ to produce it adds value, & it’s reasonable to charge something for that.
Technology is easy, policy is hard.
All of the above is true as long as it doesn’t interfere with our having conferences in cool places & going to good parties.
Update, later that same evening: Paul has a far better summary of the Convocation on his blog than I do. This was just me being punchy and filtering the conversation in real-time as I was hearing it, at the end of an intellectually exhausting day. Paul’s summary is actually content-ful. Thank goodness one of us was actually taking notes.