Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the BulletSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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The community of information "creators" for scholarly or research content include individuals, the academy, and other research investors such as for-profit companies with their own research labs. These stakeholders are crucially interested in the values-based set of social practices defining intellectual property and its ownership. These values have been evolving both as modern societies depend increasingly on intellectual capital for wealth creation, and as digital information technology leads to changes in distribution, collection and information management practices. Institutional adaptation to changes in these social and technological forces has created significant volatility within the world of scholarly communication.
For example, the academy has been revisiting and re-conceiving institutional intellectual property policies, often prompted by explorations of new distance-independent venues for courses (Knight Higher Education Collaborative, 2002). At the same time legislatures have been modifying copyright law. Although largely driven by mass-market commercial interests, the legal changes have important implications for scholarly communication. In response to these stakeholder pressures for institutional change, some universities and other organizations have boldly launched new services for managing and disseminating information.
A related trend is the emergence of open paradigms, which are realized as codifications of principles and social norms for interactions between creators and other stakeholders. These developing norms also result from the interplay of changing values, technologies, and social needs. Just as the open software movement is defined by collaborative development, programs such as the Open Knowledge Initiative (for sharing learning resources), Open Archives Initiative (for sharing research content), and the Open Access movement for journals embrace collaboration and a more open exchange of goods and services. These initiatives are challenging institutionalized practices surrounding the flow of information.