Open Scholarship in the Social Sciences

The SSRC, SocArXiv, and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) jointly convened a high-level discussion among societies, research libraries, and funders—together with developers, nonprofit publishers, and platform-builders—to focus on the shared values and distinct roles and requirements of societies, libraries, and individual scholars to contribute to sustainable open scholarship. This convening built on the SSRC’s work on Curating Knowledge Under Digital Conditions, the SocArXiv Steering Committee’s strategic priorities, ARL’s Academy-Owned Open Access initiative, and the MIT Grand Challenges in Information Science and Scholarly Communication summit.

The diverse group of stakeholders met over two days in Washington, DC, to discuss persistent problems in open scholarship and possible collaborative efforts toward solving them. Elizabeth Popp Berman—author of Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine and the forthcoming How Economics Won—framed the proceedings with her keynote on the history of economics and how the discipline shaped the language of public policy, offering a case study in balancing open publishing models, aggressive outreach, and intense, closed curatorial standards.

The next day included brief presentations on new approaches to incentivizing peer review and overcoming risk for scholarly societies in adopting open publishing models. Most of the event was shaped around intensive discussion sessions aimed at assessing challenges to sustainable open scholarship and finding collaborative solutions to those problems. Participants identified key priorities for their stakeholder groups in order to advance the overall health of the academy while creating sustainable pathways to foster open scholarship.