Scholarly Communication & Publishing

Scholarly Communication is the means by which scholars record contributions and communicate research findings. It is the way by which we document the progression of knowledge within and across disciplines to form the knowledge record. In general, this phrase refers to formal means of communication, such as publishing in journals, books, conference proceedings and elsewhere, and includes the processes of creating, evaluating, editing, distributing, organizing and accessing information.

Scholarly Communication Initiatives

Open Access

A term used to represent both an idea, that the results of publicly funded research be freely available, and a movement, characterized by various initiatives to make published scholarly literature freely available on the web.

Institutional and Disciplinary Repositories

Institutional repositories are digital collections capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multiple-university community. Typically universities are the hosts of repositories, but some scholarly societies have developed disciplinary specific repositories. They have been established to provide Open Access to research output. Repositories adhere to an internationally-agreed set of technical standards that means that they expose the metadata (the bibliographic details such as author names, institutional affiliation, date, titles of the article, abstract and so forth) of each item in their contents on the Web in the same basic way. In other words, they are ‘interoperable’. This common protocol to which they all adhere is called the open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The contents of all repositories are then indexed by Web search engines such as Google and Google Scholar, creating online Open Access databases of freely-available global research. As the level of self-archiving (the process by which authors deposit their work in repositories) grows the Open Access corpus will represent an increasingly large proportion of the scholarly literature.

Portland State University’s institutional repository, PDXScholar, provides open access to a diverse collection of academic, scholarly, scientific and creative content produced by faculty, students and staff. PDXScholar increases the visibility of authors’ works, maximizes research impact, facilitates interdisciplinary research, and provides regional and global communities with immediate and permanent access.

The Registry of Open Access Repositories maintains a directory of repositories worldwide.

Open Access Resolutions and Mandates

In order to facilitate the widest distribution of knowledge and remove paywall barriers to research findings, many institutions, units within institutions, and funding agencies have developed policies directing their researchers to either publish in open access journals or to practice self-archiving which makes their work available in open access repositories.  Some examples of those mandates are listed below:

  • In June 2013, Oregon State University adopted a university-wide open access mandate.
  • On July 24, 2013, the Academic Senate of the University of California passed an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge.
  • On February 14, 2012, the PSU Library faculty adopted a resolution calling for open access publishing of their scholarship. The first implemented open access resolution at PSU, it is hoped that this step can provide a model for other resolutions on the campus and further the goal of providing worldwide open access to PSU scholarship.

ROARMAP: Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies
An international directory of institutional open access mandates.