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For Faculty: Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communication

Academic librarians are very connected to the landscape of scholarly communication and academic publishing. In addition to helping the TLU community find and access scholarly work, we can help faculty think through decisions about sharing their scholarly work. 

How can I see where my publications have been cited?

Use the Cited By feature in Google Scholar. Click on "Cited by..." to see a list of citing articles. Some subject-specific databases, including PsycINFO and CINAHL, also have Cited Reference Search features - look in the top toolbar of the database. Any of these lists may be incomplete - there is no single search engine that captures all scholarly work. 

You can set up an account in Google Scholar and receive an email alert whenever Google finds an article that appears to have cited you.


When I am selecting a journal to submit to, how can I see where it is indexed?

By publishing in a journal that is indexed in your field's major databases, you can increase the chances of your research being seen. Some newer or smaller journals may not be indexed in major databases. Most databases keep a list of the journals they index. For example, this website contains links to the title lists of EBSCO databases like Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, and MEDLINE. 

Where should I publish my research?

As a scholar, when it comes time to share your research with other scholars, you will submit your work to journals or submit your proposal or manuscript to book publishers. Your decision about which journal or publisher to target will be heavily influenced by your knowledge of the field and your colleagues in the field. For journal articles, you may have the choice of traditional publishing, "gold open access," or "green open access" (explained below.) For books, you may have the choice of traditional publishing, self-publishing, or open access publishing. 

What is Open Access?

In traditional scholarly publishing, journals keep articles behind paywalls. Advocates for Open Access want to restructure the scholarly publishing system to remove those paywalls. In "Gold Open Access," articles are published online with no cost. In "Green Open Access," the publisher's official version is kept behind a paywall, but the author is given permission to post their own version on their website or in an institutional repository. Often, articles posted by authors are "postprints," which do include the revisions from the peer review process but do not include the publisher's final pagination.


Why do librarians advocate for Open Access?

As stated by the Association of College and Research Libraries:

"Libraries and the faculty and institutions they serve are participants in the unusual business model that funds traditional scholarly publishing. Faculty produce and edit, typically without any direct financial advantage, the content that publishers then evaluate, assemble, publish and distribute. The colleges and universities that employ these faculty authors/editors then purchase, through their libraries, that packaged content back at exorbitant prices for use by those same faculty and their students. This unusual business model where the 'necessary inputs' are provided free of cost to publishers who then in return sell that 'input' back to the institutions that pay the salaries of the persons producing it has given rise to an unsustainable system begging for transformation. 

The subscription prices charged to institutions has far outpaced the budgets of the institutions' libraries who are responsible for paying those bills. Years of stagnant university funding and the economic downturn rendered many library budgets flat, while journal pricing continued to rise. This problem became known as the 'serials crisis.'"


Are Open Access journals high-quality?

Many Open Access journals are high-quality. They have an extensive editorial process and peer review. However, low-quality, predatory, and "fake" Open Access journals do exist. "Fake" journals do not employ sufficient scrutiny. Visit this page from Washington University for more information about evaluating the quality of journals, conferences, and publishers. 


Where can I learn more about scholarly communication?

Try the Scholarly Communication Toolkit from the Association of College and Research Libraries. 

Books on Scholarly Writing

Citation Management