What is scholarly communication?

The Association of College and Research Libraries (2003) defines scholarly communication as “…the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs.”  

The University Library supports the scholarly communication activities of researchers, scholars and practitioners throughout the research lifecycle. Learn more about the key aspects of scholarly communication and how the library can support you.

Sustainable scholarship

Practicing sustainable scholarship is a way to counter the profit-driven marketplace for scholarly resources and promote a more affordable, transparent and open system of knowledge dissemination. Everyone from authors and researchers to faculty policymakers and instructors have the power to advocate for changes in the scholarly publishing system to make research and publications accessible to the broadest possible audience.

Find out how you can take action on sustainable scholarship. 

Open Access

Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the copyright holder.

Peter Suber's A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access.

Open access publishing has grown rapidly in recent years and is quickly becoming the default. Making your research openly available can:

Research data management

Research data management (RDM) refers to the storage, access and preservation of data produced during research. RDM practices cover the entire lifecycle of the data, from planning the investigation to conducting it, and from backing up data as it is created and used to the long-term preservation of data deliverables after the research investigation has concluded.

The recently released Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy requires that research data collected through tri-agency funding be responsibly and securely managed and available for reuse.

Predatory publishers

There has always been a spectrum of publisher quality, from high quality and/or prestigious to low quality and/or disreputable. Recently, a new kind of publisher has emerged: the predatory publisher. These deceptive entities take advantage of the author-pays business model of Open Access for their own gain. They publish articles with little or no peer review or editing.

Find out more about these scams and how to avoid them in our predatory publishers guide.

Research metrics

How do you know if your research has had an “impact”? Or what journals are the highest ranked in your field?

Research metrics/bibliometrics are attempts at measuring the impact of scholars (h-index), their papers (citations), or the outlets they publish in (journal impact factor). Altmetrics data tracks the attention research receives online.

Find out more about all of these different metrics in our research metrics guide.

Research profiles

A research profile showcases a researcher’s work online. Examples of research profile websites include author identifiers such as ORCID, academic social networks and departmental websites. Maintaining your online profiles can increase the visibility and reach of your research and ensure that you get credit for all your work.

Our guide on research profiles can get you started.


Connect with your librarian or contact DeDe Dawson, Science and Scholarly Communication Librarian.