With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Scholarly Communication Institute (SCI) was hosted from 2003 through 2013 at the University of Virginia, and provided opportunities for leaders in scholarly disciplines, academic libraries, advanced technologies, and higher education administration to study, develop, and implement creative and innovative strategies to advance scholarly communication in the context of the ongoing digital revolution. The uvasci.org web site documents the activities and participants of the first decade of the Scholarly Communication Institute.
In 2014, supported by a new grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Duke University Libraries, the SCI transitioned to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.
The Triangle SCI aims to bring together groups of scholars, information scientists, librarians, publishers, technologists, and others from both inside and outside academia (i.e., journalists, industry, non-profit organizations, museums, independent researchers) to articulate and begin to address needs and opportunities in the domain of scholarly communications.
The SCI is not a traditional conference, but rather a forum for teams of individuals from diverse backgrounds to devote concentrated time to defining shared challenges, exploring creative strategies, and forging new collaborations, in a spirit of bold and open experimentation, and focused on one or more of a set of annually changing themes.
Applicants to each year’s Institute will propose a Working Group of 3 to 8 individuals who together bring a diverse range of perspectives to a particular theme. Each year the SCI will accept 3 to 5 Working Groups which, over the course of four days, will help shape the agenda, creating space for both discussing and doing, in large groups and small, and for fruitful dialogue both within and across Working Groups, in a mix of structured and informal settings. The SCI will in effect host a set of concurrent and cross-pollinating seminars or development sprints on related themes.
The SCI is neither a venue for showcasing past successes, or implementing projects that are already on the drawing board; nor is it an occasion for invitees to speak to an agenda predetermined by a conference organizer. Rather, the SCI will offer the time, freedom, and diversity of participants to foster intellectual risk taking, collaborative and creative speculation, bridging of institutional divides, germination of actionable ideas, cultivation of new networks, discovery of common ground, all without fear of failure or the burden of having to produce immediate, concrete, sustainable deliverables.