Information Access Seminar

Organizing Information Infrastructure for Academia

Friday, April 4, 2008
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Roger Schonfeld, Manager of Research, Ithaka
Questions of organizational design weigh heavily on our academic community, where incentives sometimes misalign with community-wide goals, yielding externalities. These misaligned incentives pose challenges in the digital transition that is all around us in academia today. This fundamental concern links together several issues we have been working on recently, for example, in the dissemination of scholarship; in storage and preservation of library resources; in access to undergraduate education; and elsewhere. I plan to focus briefly on a specific episode to organize shared library infrastructure in the 1950s and use this as a jumping-off point to consider organizational issues that we face, not only in the library realm but in other aspects of the digital transition for higher education as well.

Roger Schonfeld leads the research group at Ithaka, where he analyzes the impacts that new technologies are having on higher education to help the community respond strategically. His recent work has focused on the transition to an electronic-only environment for scholarly resources, faculty attitudes and research patterns in this emerging environment, and the history and future of preservation and book survivability. Roger currently serves on the NSF Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access.

Previously, Roger was a research associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. There, he collaborated on The Game of Life: College Sports and Academic Values with James Shulman and William G. Bowen (Princeton University Press, 2000), principally performing statistical and financial analysis. He also wrote JSTOR: A History (Princeton University Press, 2003), which examines business models for the shift to an online environment for scholarly texts by focusing on how JSTOR developed into a self-sustaining not-for-profit organization. Roger has a BA in English Literature from Yale University.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015