Rowland Lorimer, director of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, announced the beginning of a new journal called Scholarly Research and Communication at the Public Knowledge Project conference this afternoon. Lorimer’s closing keynote for the conference was a pretty rousing tour of the history of scholarly publishing and the emergence of the major commercial publishers, especially in Science, Technical, and Medical (STM) publishing, following the Second World War. He described the impact of major commercial publishers as a “distortion” of scholarly communication and higher learning that eventually led to the Budapest Declaration on Open Access in 2001.
Most of the audience at the conference was likely already sympathetic to Lorimer’s argument, but it was nice to have someone outline some of the historical origins of the open access movement and the philosophical foundation for this new journal. Hopefully publications like Scholarly Research and Communications and all of the impressive initiatives that were showcased this week at the PKP conference will help achieve Lorimer’s hope that, “scholarly communication must escape from the copyright rubric.”
I’m sure other conference participants would agree that the 2009 PKP conference was a success. As an observer, I know that I learned a lot and I certainly discovered a very deep well of resources for Notes on Knowledge Mobilization. Please check there in the next week or so for updates and a more complete report on the PKP conference and how it relates to scholars researching in the fields of Canadian and environmental history.
If you were unable to attend, you can catch many of the talks from the conference on the PKP video archive.