The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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Earlier this (Northern Hemisphere) spring, the FORCE11 Board elected a new slate of leaders for the organization. This change comes after a year of strategic planning, consideration of FORCE11’s mission and goals, as well as navigating the pandemic environment. Joining me in the leadership of FORCE11 are: Osman Aldirdiri as Vice President, Stephanie Hagstrom as Treasurer, and Heather Piwowar will continue in the position of Secretary, with me serving as President. We all thank the entire Board for placing its trust in us as we move forward into FORCE11’s next phase in its work.

The four of us, along with other members of the Board have been meeting for several months to discuss the best way to manage and improve our efficiency in support of the FORCE11 community. This is part of a larger Board of FORCE11 effort developing a strategic planning initiative over the past year — looking at what directions it should take, where its focus should be, and what constituencies FORCE11 serves. Using the It Takes A Village Framework, under the guidance of previous Co-President, Violeta Ilik, the Board is pleased to release its report on that review. The insights the Board gleaned from this review has positioned our work on organization and our planning moving forward, particularly as it relates to how we engage our community and how the engagement serves our mission.

In 2021 FORCE11 launched a new website, a new community discussion Forum, and hosted an incredibly successful online FORCE21 conference in December.  This year, the Board has been focused internally on getting the house in order and putting an organizational plan into place as we look to invigorate the community interested in our goals.

Thanks are certainly due to Violeta Ilik and John Chodacki, who served as Co-Presidents of FORCE11 over the last two years. They managed FORCE11 through a particularly challenging period for reasons I’m sure you don’t need reminding. What may not be obvious is how difficult the past two years have been for all convening organizations, like FORCE11, since convening to discuss challenges, ideas, and drive forward change is very difficult to accomplish virtually.  Despite this, our successes during this time include pivoting to a successful virtual conference and the continuation of FSCI online.  We’ve also continued our work on community guidance, such as the release of work on Reimagining Educational Practices for Open (REPO), progress on implementation of software citation, and the publication of research data publishing ethics guidance, and the most recent announcement of the completion of work on FAIR4RS.

What we hope to accomplish in the next year is to: engage our community, put into place plans for reconvening the FORCE11 conference in person in 2023, and continue to help guide the community in changing the status quo of scholarly communications. To do this, we will need your involvement and engagement.  In the coming weeks and months, we will be issuing a variety of calls for volunteers to support the work of FORCE11. We’re also going to be canvassing the community for ideas, needs, and challenges towards which we should turn the energy of our community. FORCE11 has been most successful when it has harnessed the energy of its membership and catalyzed ideas to innovate. FORCE11 has had a great impact and we expect it to continue under the guidance of this new leadership.

Over the next few weeks, I will be communicating more about our progress on several fronts, including organizing our teams of committees, advancing a support infrastructure, and the various ways we will reach out and engage you all.  We will be seeking out your ideas, your feedback, and your engagement as we move the transformation of scholarly communications forward. As a completely volunteer effort, FORCE11 relies on your participation and that of your colleagues. We hope our work will make it clearer how to contribute, and how your ideas can shape our collective future.


Todd A. Carpenter

President, FORCE11

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