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John B. Coleman Library Ask A Librarian

Scholarly Communication & Institutional Repository: Scholarly Publishing

Scholarly communication(SC) is the process by which academics, scholars, and researchers share and publish their research findings so that they are available to the wider academic community and beyond.

The Scholarly Publishing


Scholarly communication can be thought of as the system through which research and scholarship is created, evaluated, distributed, and preserved. (Association of College & Research Libraries, Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication 1.)

This system includes traditional or formal publications, such as scholarly journal articles, scholarly chapters or monographs (single-volume books offering research into a specialized area of knowledge), and conference proceedings. It also includes continually emerging publications, such as data sets, data visualizations, working papers, and blogs. 

What scholarly communications issues require support?

There are many aspects of scholarly publishing -- and many points within the publication lifecycle, from the rudiments of a research idea to a final publication -- at which researchers may need support.

For instance, facilitating the dissemination of scholarly writings means having to consider issues like:

  • What models or platforms exist for the funding, distribution, and discovery of scholarship?
  • How are these publications evaluated or measured for impact?
  • Who has access to creating and reading publications, and how is access provided?  What access barriers exist?
  • Who “owns” or controls the content, and how can the content be used?

The answers to all of these questions are changing. UC Berkeley’s Office of Scholarly Communication Services (OSCS) assists scholars in navigating this developing field.  

With OSCS’ services, the Library aims to support effective, efficient, sustainable, and economically viable systems for the creation, discovery, dissemination, and preservation of scholarship—particularly through systems that provide barrier-free access to quality information.

Scholarly Communication Lifecycle Diagram, from U. Winnipeg

Scholarly Publication System, courtesy University of Winnipeg

How to get published


This 25-minute video provides an overview of the process of getting an article published in a peer-reviewed journal, as well as great advice to authors. The video was produced by Taylor & Francis, which is a major UK publishing company.

Learn more


Avoid predatory publishers


Predatory publishers charge exorbitant article processing fees without conducting any editing or peer-review work, often preying on inexperienced or desperate authors. Journals owned by such publishers can either be closed or open access, although the latter is more common.

When you're evaluating a journal- open access or not-  to determine if your article is a good fit for the publication, remember to spend some time evaluating the journal/publisher to make sure that the goal of the publication is to share high-quality research which advances scholarship versus solely to make a profit. 

Adapted from Canadian Association of Research Libraries.

John B. Coleman Library
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 519, MS 1040, Prairie View, Texas 77446
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