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Scholarly Communication: About


  • Association of Research Libraries - Scholarly Communication: Information and resources on key topics in scholarly communication.
  • Optimize Your Publishing, Maximize Your Impact (pdf): Information about the benefits of Open Access publishing.
  • Scholarly Communication Toolkit: A resource for education and advocacy efforts in transforming the scholarly communication landscape.
  • Journal Guide: Using keywords from your article, this free tool helps identify appropriate journals in which to publish.
  • Center for Open Science: Maintains free and open services to increase inclusivity and transparency of research, including the Open Science Framework to help researchers manage and archive their research.
  • Create Change: An educational initiative that examines new opportunities in scholarly communication, advocates changes that recognize the potential of the networked digital environment, and encourages active participation by scholars and researchers to guide the course of change.

What is Scholarly Communication?

"Scholarly communication” refers to all the processes involved in the creation, dissemination, use and preservation of knowledge related to research and teaching.  It includes:

  • formal channels of dissemination such as book and journal publishing
  • informal channels of dissemination such as blogs, listservs, and twitter
  • peer review systems and other ways of evaluating the quality of scholarly output
  • metrics for assessing the impact of scholarly works
  • means of preserving the scholarly record for the future


Changes in Scholarly Communication

Journal Costs

The rapidly increasing cost of journal subscriptions and the proliferation of new journals have compromised libraries' abilities to provide needed journal content to their communities.  These journal cost increases far outpace inflation and leave less and less of library budgets available for content in other formats.  The need for new publication models and sustainable publishing practices that serve the needs of researchers at all levels without sacrificing quality are driving many changes in scholarly communication.

2012 Study of Subscription Prices for Scholarly Society Journals by Kodi Tillery, Allen Press, Inc.


New Opportunities

Digital publishing creates new possibilities for many parts of the scholarly communication process, not only for dissemination of published work, but also for peer review, research impact metrics, data sharing, collaboration and teaching.  No longer constrained by the limitations of print, it is now possible to copy an article and distribute it globally at a marginal cost of zero.  Ancillary products of research and scholarship such as detailed procedures, datasets, and details of the peer review process are being shared to facilitate conversation, evaluation, replication, and reuse of data.  A profusion of new approaches to scholarship are being explored, including open access journals, self-archiving, Creative Commons licensing, new forms of peer review, and new metrics for measuring the impact of scholarly works.   


Contact Christin Wixson, Scholarly Communication Librarian if you have questions about

  • copyright
  • decisions about publishing options
  • open access
  • author rights
  • self-archiving
  • journal & article impact metrics
Creative Commons License
Scholarly Communication Guide by Christin Wixson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.