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Scholarly Communications & Publishing: Getting Started

Have questions about writing, citing, submitting, publishing, or sharing your scholarly work? This guide can help!

How to Use this Guide

This guide contains the following pages:

  • Writing: This page offers resources to help you write your literature review, as well as structural and stylistic tips.
  • Reading: This page offers tips on how to read scholarly articles effectively.
  • Citing: This page provides guidance on common citation styles and citation management software.
  • Submitting: This page contains advice on choosing a journal and best practices for submitting to a journal.
  • Publishing: This page offers resources to help you navigate publishing agreements or self-publish, as well as information about publishing monographs.
  • Sharing: This page provides suggestions on how to share your work  and how to track the attention it receives.
  • Related topics: This page offers links to resources on copyright, open access, digital humanities, digital preservation, and research data management.

Scholarship as a Conversation

In 2003, ACRL defined 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." Scholarly communication is frequently defined or depicted as a lifecycle documenting the steps involved in the creation, publication, dissemination and discovery of a piece of scholarly research. 

scholarly communications lifecycle

Scholarly Communications & Publishing Vocabulary

  • ACRL: The Association of College & Research Libraries
  • Altmetrics: The practice of tracking mentions in social, online, and traditional popular media to determine the impact of a scholarly work
  • Author addendum: A document that you can add to your publishing agreement to help you retain additional copyright-related permissions.
  • Authors’ rights: The copyright-related permissions that an author retains after signing a publishing agreement
  • Bibliometrics: The practice of tracking citations to determine the impact of a scholarly work
  • Data management: Strategies for storing data in ways that make it easy to use and protect confidentiality
  • Digital humanities: The practice of applying computational tools and methods to humanities disciplines such as literature, history, and philosophy
  • Digital preservation: Practices ensuring that digital information remains accessible regardless of technology changes over time
  • Literature review: A critical analysis of existing scholarship around a subject
  • Open access: A descriptor applied to journals that can be read without purchasing a subscription
  • Scholarly communications: The network created by scholars through conversation in journals and other scholarly channels
  • Zotero: Free, open-source software for keeping track of your information sources and generating citations