Senate Select Committee on Scholarly Communication

The Select committee has concluded its work.  The information below is given for archival purposes.

The Faculty Senate Select Committee on Scholarly Communication was established in September 2019.  Three broad goals were identified:

  1. Explore how the Penn community defines “scholarly communication,” review the environment, and identify critical issues in these areas.
  2. Make recommendations to the University and the Library on its future contracts with companies that publish scholarly journals.
  3. Identify broader trends in scholarly communications and issues that are emerging (e.g.: the impact of publishers on scholarship, partnership agreements, achieving “open access,” and copyright retention).  

General Charge

The Faculty Senate's Select Committee on Scholarly Communication will convene for the 2019/20 and 20/21 academic years (and renewed for the 2021/22 and 22/23 academic years) with a focus on deliberating on current issues in the publisher ecosystem and the dissemination of scholarly research. Specifically, the committee will evaluate how publishers are influencing, and at times inhibiting, the production of and access to information resources and explore opportunities to form unique partnerships and transformative agreements. The Committee will also address overarching issues (e.g., publisher influence, partnerships and publisher agreements, open access/scholarship, copyright and retention of author’s rights, privacy, new and experimental models for publishing, the production and dissemination of information), broadly disseminating a common understanding of the scholarly resource landscape and developments within it. 

The Select Committee’s work will be prioritized by the group to keep interests aligned with the priorities of the Senate. The Committee may review some of the current topics and engender greater collective awareness of the issues involved. The Committee may delve into practices of the faculty in their various roles in scholarly production (e.g., as authors, editors, reviewers) and consider how, as a University, we can support greater dispersal of information resources developed and managed at Penn.

The Committee shall have power to present reports and recommendations on any matter relating to scholarly communications to the Senate. The Committee shall be governed in its responsibilities and procedures by rules established by the Faculty Senate. The Committee’s work will be reviewed on a yearly basis by the Senate Executive Committee.


  • William Braham (Faculty Senate Past Chair and Professor of Architecture)
  • Vivian Gadsden (Faculty Senate Chair and William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Education)
  • Tulia Falleti (Faculty Senate Chair-Elect and Class of 1965 Endowed Term Professor of Political Science)
  • Emma Hart (Professor of History)
  • Jerry Jacobs (Professor of Sociology)
  • Lewis Kaplan (Professor of Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Veterans Administration Medical Center)
  • Eileen Lake (Professor of Nursing)
  • Rebecka Peebles (Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • Kathy Peiss (Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor Emerita of American History)
  • Daniel Raff (Associate Professor of Management), Chair
  • Non-voting members:
    • Mary Francis (Director of the University of Pennsylvania Press)
    • Aishwarya Pawar (GAPSA representative, Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. candidate)
    • Brigitte Weinsteiger (Gershwind and Bennett Family Senior Associate Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communication)


Committee Reports


Historical Information

A Committee on Open Access Publishing was appointed by the Provost and Senior Vice Provost for Research in December 2009 to examine the status of open access publishing practices and to make recommendations for establishing procedures to promote open access that better serve the Penn community and the general public. In May 2010 the Committee presented its recommendations to the Provost, the Senior Vice Provost for Research and the Council of Deans. Between September 2010 and April 2011 these recommendations were discussed with the faculty of the schools across the University. In May 2011, the recommendations in the form of a Statement of Principles were endorsed by the Faculty Senate.