Stuart Shieber, Harvard's Scholarly Communications Director, to Speak at Geisel Library Nov.1

Stuart Shieber, the director of Harvard University’s Office of Scholarly Communication, will give a talk on “Publishing Distress in the Sciences and Humanities: Two Problems in Scholarly Communication and How to Solve Them.” The talk, which is sponsored by the UC San Diego Center for the Humanities and the UC San Diego Library, will take place in the Seuss Room in Geisel Library from 3:30-5:00 p.m. with a reception following from 5:00-6:00 pm. The talk is free and open to members of the campus community.

In providing a backdrop to his talk, Shieber explained that while in the sciences, research results are disseminated through the journal article, in the humanities, scholarly monographs are the predominant medium. Both distribution systems, he said, are exhibiting severe signs of distress, but the sources of the problems are quite different. “I will describe the symptoms in the two modes of scholarly communication, diagnose the underlying problems, and propose treatments, some proven and some speculative,” he added.

Shieber’s work on open access and scholarly communication policy, especially his development of Harvard’s open-access policies, led to his appointment as the first director of the university’s Office for Scholarly Communication, where he oversees initiatives to open, share, and preserve scholarship.

Shieber is the James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of computer science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. His primary research field is computational linguistics, the study of human languages from the perspective of computer science. His research contributions have extended beyond that field as well, to theoretical linguistics, natural-language processing, computer-human interaction, automated graphic design, the philosophy of artificial intelligence, computer privacy and security, and computational biology. He is the founding director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society and a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

He received an AB in applied mathematics summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1989. He was awarded a Presidential Young Investigator award in 1991, and was named a Presidential Faculty Fellow in 1993, one of only thirty in the country in all areas of science and engineering. He has been awarded two honorary chairs: the John L. Loeb Associate Professorship in Natural Sciences in 1993 and the Harvard College Professorship in 2001. He was named a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 2004, and the Benjamin White Whitney Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for 2006-07.

The UCSD Center for the Humanities was established in 1996 to promote research and other activities in the Humanities. The Center promotes advanced research and interdisciplinary study of the humanities, fosters innovative teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and facilitates a diverse and intensified dialogue of related academic, social, and cultural issues. The Center encourages dialogue between humanities and the arts, social sciences, and the sciences and engineering.

About the UC San Diego Library

Ranked among the nation’s top public academic research libraries, the UC San Diego Library plays an integral role in advancing and supporting the university’s research, teaching, and public service missions. As the intellectual heart of the UC San Diego campus, the university library provides access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge and information needs of faculty, students, and members of the public. Each day, the Library’s vast resources are accessed nearly 90,000 times through the Library’s main Web site. For more information:

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