This week, the first ARCS (Advancing Research Communication and Scholarship) conference was held in Philadelphia.
Robin Champieux, Scholarly Communication Librarian at OHSU, was the driving force behind the new meeting; she was joined on the 2015 advisory board by other Oregon librarians from OHSU, PSU, and Pacific University. Unlike other conferences that focus on scholarly communication, one of the primary goals of ARCS is to cut across community and disciplinary boundaries to bring together the entire spectrum of people and organizations — “librarians, technology providers, researchers, students, professional societies, and publishers” — that “influence and advance knowledge communication in the digital age.” (For the source of these quotes, an interview with Robin and Jill Emery (PSU) about ARCS, please visit the Scholarly Kitchen blog). If the response from conference attendees is any indication, ARCS was successful in gathering a diverse community of stakeholders with an interest in transforming scholarly and scientific communication:
— biochem belle (@biochembelle) April 29, 2015
Of course, the goal of the conference was not only to bring together this “blended” community, but to initiate dialogue and collaborations that will improve the ways in which scholarship is developed, endorsed, and shared. A first night hackathon devoted to hacking not just technological, but also human/cultural issues related to publishing, helped set the tone:
— Charlie Rapple (@charlierapple) April 26, 2015
Really excited about our hackathon conversations about how to aggregate IR content and make it more discoverable #arcs2015
— sarah v melton (@SVMelton) April 27, 2015
The variety of ideas explored in the hackathon — from making green OA resources more discoverable, to aligning the efforts of university presses and library publishers, to creating more transparent OA publishing fees, to best practices for introducing OA and OERs to administrators, to “hacking” the existing model of promotion and tenure to better reward open practices, to making the humanities research process more transparent — carried over into the full conference program as researchers, librarians, publishers, and developers (primarily for alt metric tools) shared strategies and tools for making the creation and sharing of research more open, collaborative, efficient, and impactful. It was a unique conference experience, and one that I hope will be repeated next year (all signs point to yes). So watch out for ARCS 2016 announcements — and you can be part of this next year:
(And if you weren’t able to be there this year, don’t worry — the Pacific University Libraries will be partnering with ARCS to publish the proceedings).
~ Isaac Gilman, ACRL-OR Past President (2014-2015)
Scholarly Communications & Research Services Librarian