The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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Aim: next draft of principles, representing both aspirational standards and specifications towards achieving those. This will be a working version that can be used but is also open to debate, refinement and change. [Helmsley goal: principles]

Format: 2-3 page document, containing Mertonian framing, structured set of principles and suggestions on how to use/proceed


  • Mertonian framing: preamble, framing the principles in light of Mertonian ideas developed in San Diego
  • Structured set of principles: hierarchical merging of the current set of 18 principles (including comments from San Diego) with Daniel O’Donnell’s set of 6/7 principes, or a derivative thereof, can function as setting the standard (what to aspire/ascribe to), and the 18 principles (some or all of them) could be considered as specifications/implementations/operationalizations (how to achieve that), with special consideration for the 4 themes R-O-S-E (research- and culture-led, open, sustainable, equitable)
  • Ideas on how to use/proceed: proposed use of the resulting version of the principles: try them out in practice for compliance checking (accounting for disciplinary differences, greyness and speed of change), hold them against other charters and declarations, assess them in different communities (including researchers!).

Summary of proposed activities:

  • Adapt current 18 principles based on San Diego comments. Restrict this to minor changes/improvements. This will ensure that this input is not lost and any major reworking of the principles can start from a comprehensive, up-to-date version of the current 18 principles. This is expected to take half a day.
  • Lay foundations for working towards a consistent, strong, attractive and instrumental set of principles for the Scholarly Commons:
  • Explore whether we can have Mertonian theory suggested at the San Diego workshop as framing for a set of principles
  • Explore whether the set of principles put forward by Daniel O’Donnell can function as a more concise set of principles of the Scholarly Commons. Do they cover everything? Do they solve the controversies in the 18? Can they be used for assessing compliance of practices and tools?
  • Explore whether, in that case, (some of) the current 18 principles and their annotations can function as rules, implications and guidelines for implementation. Will that combination be strong in outreach and instrumental in assessing compliance?

We need to describe these questions precisely and make an overview of the possibilities. This will take at least a full day of a few people. We are also looking for people willing to give detailed feedback on a draft where we address the issues above. At this stage, we intend to confine work to the material on the principles we have gathered so far.

The subsequent work might (partly) be carried out under the future SSHRC Development grant, if awarded.


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Bianca Kramer

Bianca Kramer

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