On “How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative,” by Dorothea Salo

On “How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative,” by Dorothea Salo

In “How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative,” Dorothea Salo offers a tongue-in-cheek accounting of the various ways one could systematically destroy a scholarly communication initiative–especially an OA scholarly communication initiative. She writes from the library perspective, but her comments resonate across those who are involved with scholarly communication in any role. Salo’s satire is poignant because it is so relatable; among her suggestions for destroying a schol comm initiative are:

  • not investing in an initiative in the longterm, but rather setting it up and walking away;
  • including people on the initiative’s planning committee that are not scholarly communication specialists and are in fact invested in the status quo;
  • avoiding researching the initiative, or doing any pilot projects;
  • having a vague and impossible to measure mission and vision;
  • minimizing dedicated resources;
  • choosing a software package prior to making any concrete decisions about the initiative;
  • setting up dysfunctional committees;
  • making it impossible for staff to succeed, etc.

Beyond the comedy of this piece, Salo’s article provides useful guidelines for what not to do in pursuing scholarly communication initiatives.


Work cited

Salo, Dorothea. 2013. “How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative.” Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 1(4): n.p. http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1075



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