Special Initiative: Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing

March 2-4, 2000

Librarians, university presidents, and representatives from the scholarly associations met in Tempe, Arizona at the Merrill conference on Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing, and reached consensus on the following set of principles. The Tempe Principles were subsequently adopted by the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of American Universities. The Principles have been discussed on campuses throughout the United States and are beginning to change the way scientific research is published.

The complete text and a list of signatories is available through the Association of Research Libraries.

Principles for Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing (a.k.a. the Tempe Principles):

  1. The cost to the academy of published research should be contained so that access to relevant research publications for faculty and students can be maintained and even expanded. Members of the university community should collaborate to develop strategies that further this end. Faculty participation is essential to the success of this process.
  2. Electronic capabilities should be used, among other things, to: provide wide access to scholarship, encourage interdisciplinary research, and enhance interoperability and searchability. Development of common standards will be particularly important in the electronic environment.
  3. Scholarly publications must be archived in a secure manner so as to remain permanently available and, in the case of electronic works, a permanent identifier for citation and linking should be provided.
  4. The system of scholarly publication must continue to include processes for evaluating the quality of scholarly work and every publication should provide the reader with information about evaluation the work has undergone.
  5. The academic community embraces the concepts of copyright and fair use and seeks a balance in the interest of owners and users in the digital environment. Universities, colleges, and especially their faculties should manage copyright and its limitations and exceptions in a manner that assures the faculty access to and use of their own published works in their research and teaching.
  6. In negotiating publishing agreements, faculty should assign the rights to their work in a manner that promotes the ready use of their work and choose journals that support the goal of making scholarly publications available at reasonable cost.
  7. The time from submission to publication should be reduced in a manner consistent with the requirements for quality control.
  8. To assure quality and reduce proliferation of publications, the evaluation of faculty should place a greater emphasis on quality of publications and a reduced emphasis on quantity.
  9. In electronic as well as print environments, scholars and students should be assured privacy with regard to their use of materials.

Conference Participants


  • Douglas Bennett, President, Earlham College – Indiana
  • Myles Brand, President, Indiana University
  • Gerhard Casper, President, Stanford University
  • Stanley Chodorow, President’s Office, University of California – La Jolla 
  • Ron Douglas, Executive Vice President & Provost, Texas A&M University
  • Rodney Erickson, Exec. Vice President & Provost, Pennsylvania State University
  • Rory Hume, Executive Vice Chancellor, UCLA
  • James V. Maher, Provost & Senior Vice Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
  • Peggy Meszaros, Senior Vice President & Provost, Virginia Polytechnic and State University
  • Charles Phelps, Provost, University of Rochester – New York


  • Shirley Baker, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology & Dean of University Libraries, Washington University – St. Louis, Missouri
  • Jerry Campbell, University Librarian & Dean of Libraries, University of Southern California
  • David Ferriero, Vice Provost for Library Affairs & University Librarian, Duke University
  • Ken Frazier, Director of Libraries, University of Wisconsin
  • Frederick Friend, Director of Scholarly Communication, University College London
  • Rush Miller, University Librarian and Director of the Library System, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jim Neal, Dean of University Libraries, Johns Hopkins University
  • Keith Russell, Dean of Libraries, University of Kansas
  • Carla Stoffle, Dean of Libraries, University of Arizona
  • Suzanne Thorin, Dean of University Libraries, Indiana University
  • Herbert van de Sompel, University of Ghent Library – Belgium


  • Daryle Busch, President, American Chemical Society – University of Kansas
  • Felix Browder, President, American Mathematical Society – Rutgers University
  • Alan P. Covich, President, American Institute of Biological Sciences – Colorado State University
  • Mark Frankel, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Joanne Jessen, Publications, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Arnita Jones, Executive Director, American Historical Association
  • Bernard Rous, Director of Publications, Association for Computing Machinery

University Presses

  • Peter Givler, Executive Director, Association of American University Presses
  • Marlie Wasserman, Director, Rutgers University Press


  • Rick Johnson, SPARC Enterprise Director, Association of Research Libraries
  • Clifford Lynch, Exec. Director, Coalition for Networked Information – Washington, D.C.

Conference Steering Committee

  • Mary Case, Director, Scholarly Communication, Association of Research Libraries
  • David Shulenburger, Provost, University of Kansas
  • John Vaughn, Executive Vice President, Association of American Universities
  • Duane Webster, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries

Merrill Center Board of Directors at the University of Kansas

  • Bob Barnhill, Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Fred and Virginia Merrill
  • Melinda Merrill
  • Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, Associate Provost
  • Mabel Rice, Director, Merrill Advanced Studies Center
  • Dick Schiefelbusch, Director Emeritus, Life Span Institute
  • Steve Schroeder, Director, Life Span Institute
  • Joy Simpson, Program Administrator, Merrill Advanced Studies Center


Mission Tempe Palms, Phoenix, AZ

March 2-4, 2000

Thursday, March 2


Welcome – Myles Brand, President, Indiana University

Presentation of the Issues

  • David Shulenburger, Provost, University of Kansas
  • Duane Webster, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries

Round-Table Discussion


Friday, March 3


Characterizing the Problem

The first half of the draft policy paper describes the problems confronting scholarly communication. Is this description a fair reflection of the problems? Are there other factors or nuances that need to be considered to ensure a fuller understanding of the context?


The Principles - Part I

The draft policy paper outlines seven principles that should undergird any system of scholarly communication. Are these principles appropriate, practical? Should any be modified, eliminated, new ones added? The discussion will address each of the principles in turn.


The Principles - Part II


Strategies for Implementation

If we can agree on a collective set of characteristics for any future system of scholarly communication, what steps can we take to incorporate these characteristics into new forms of scholarly communication that better meet the needs of the academic community? More succinctly, how can we move from discussion to collective action? Is a plan of collective action feasible or desirable? Should we instead maintain a laissez-faire stance as a community and let the market select from the range of activities that are underway?


Saturday, March 4


Reflections on Prior Day’s Discussion

Saturday will begin with an opportunity for community observations on Friday’s discussions.

Advancing the Principles

The group will review where it is in terms of agreement on the principles. If there is agreement, how should the principles be promoted and advanced? If there is not agreement, might there be with more time and discussion? What might the next steps be?


Implementation: Where Do We Go From Here?

Given our day and a half of discussions, where do we go from here? What are the next action steps, if any, that we should be taking as a community? Are there activities that individual sectors of the community should undertake?