The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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Recently, I announced the election of a new leadership of FORCE11 and the release of the Board’s strategic vision work. This month, I would like to issue a call to the members of the FORCE11 community to engage in our organizational work and advance the ideas that make our community strong.

FORCE11 has always been driven by the enthusiasm of its membership.  One of the things I appreciate most about FORCE11 is the breadth of our community engaged in our work. No other organization in scholarly communications regularly brings together scholars, publishers, librarians, and software providers to address pressing issues we are facing.  It has been a fertile environment for idea exchange, with a practical bent.

Like so many volunteer organizations, FORCE11 relies on engagement from its membership.  What is critical to push this forward is that we need a structure that provides a level of support, without burdening people with too much overhead distracting them from the real work of transforming Research Communications and E-scholarship. 

To support our community, we need an understandable, light-weight structure that provides FORCE11 with the resources it needs to function. We also need to ensure that we populate that infrastructure with key people who can contribute meaningfully to our success. A subgroup of the Board of FORCE11 has developed a model to accomplish both of these things.

Each leadership committee will have a simple charge, a clear set of responsibilities, and a management connection to the FORCE11 Board.  These are now publicly available on the FORCE11 website for the most critical committees to support our functioning.  A couple more are envisioned, without becoming too bureaucratic.  

What we need now is for some of you to reach out to express your willingness and interest in participating in this structure. There are many ways to engage.  For example, if you have experience in communications or fundraising, or would like to improve your skills in that area, we would welcome your engagement. For those earlier in your careers, this could be an opportunity for you to gain valuable skills that could advance your career. Perhaps you have an interest in gaining experience in how to prepare grant proposals, or build your network with funding organizations in our space.  Alternatively, if you would like to build your professional network by interacting with speakers and thought leaders, you might want to engage in the programming committees.  

As someone who benefited tremendously through my volunteer efforts at another organization earlier in my career, I cannot stress more the potential value of these engagement opportunities.  There is a form where you can express your interests in participation at various levels. 

I do hope you will become a more active member of the FORCE11 community and help us achieve our mission of transforming scholarly communications together.

Sincerely,

Todd Carpenter

FORCE11 President

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