With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Scholarly Communication Institute (SCI) began in 2003 with the goal of providing an opportunity for scholars and leaders in scholarly disciplines and societies, academic libraries, information technology, and higher education administration to design, test, and implement strategies that advance the humanities through the use of innovative technologies. Each Institute has explored scholarly communication through a focus on one or more of four core topics:
- scholarly practices—the research, analysis, presentation, vetting, publication, and teaching by which scholars advance knowledge and inquiry;
- organizational models—the departments, disciplines, learned societies, and humanities research centers that act as sites of scholarly practices;
- infrastructure—the human and technical capacities that support scholarship locally and among institutions; and
- modes of working—the methods of inquiry that emerge from use of new technologies, such as collaborative investigation, virtual modeling, and Web-based informal discourse; and, recursively, how these new modes affect scholarly behaviors, organizational models, and infrastructure.
Dr. Abby Smith Rumsey directs the Scholarly Communication Institute. Dr. Bethany Nowviskie serves as associate director, and Dr. Katina Rogers is senior research specialist for SCI. The Scholarly Communication Institute is advised by a Steering Committee, whose members are leaders in the academic, digital humanities, and research library communities.
From its inception, SCI has focused on cultivating leadership and encouraging and enabling the integration of new technologies into scholarship. SCI 1 assembled a group of pioneers in digital scholarly communication to review progress over the last two decades and lessons learned, and to identify strategies for continuing progress in the arts and humanities. The reflections of early participants set the stage for eight subsequent institutes. These Institutes have focused on several scholarly disciplines, the nature and potential of collaborative working structures, critical questions surrounding the use of new media technologies to advance scholarship in unique and innovative ways, and the institutional infrastructure essential to enable digital scholarly communication.
SCI’s leadership is committed to assisting participants develop real and reasonable goals that can be accomplished. Theoretical and practical discussions are designed to lead to an action agenda. To this end, SCI have worked closely with scholars and their partners from previous Institutes including practical ethicists, architectural historians, visual studies scholars, and leading humanities research centers. Information on past institutes can be found on our website.
SCI’s programs through 2013 focus on scholarly production, graduate education, and support for the humanities, as described in more detail under “Current Work.”