According to the Association of College & Research Libraries, scholarly publishing has evolved in its 350+ year history “from formal publication of discoveries by elite members of scholarly societies to open dissemination of scholarly research through new technological platforms that is increasingly subject to new and emerging forms of peer review and measured for impact by traditional and alternative metrics.” (Association of College & Research Libraries, “Overview of Scholarly Publishing,” 2018)
Generally speaking, scholarly publishing refers to the system in which scholarly articles are created to convey research results. By publishing scholarly articles, authors are able to:
- describe their research
- evaluate the reliability, repeatability, and reproducibility of their study and findings
- distribute the research to the scholarly community through different channels
- preserve the research for future use
Publishing is important to scholars for a multitude of professional reasons, beyond releasing the results of their research. In many academic institutions, a faculty member may be evaluated (during contract renewal and the tenure & promotion process) on the quantity and quality of her publications. So it’s important to know how the scholarly publishing process works and the variety of resources that are available to assist you.
In general terms, there are two main publishing models: Traditional Publishing and Open-Access Publishing.
- Traditional publishing target a specific and limited community. This model can be viewed as problematic because it limits access to those who subscribe to the content for a (usually hefty) fee and the publishers have a monopoly over research that they didn’t create so subscription costs continually rise.
- Open-access publishing models were developed as a response and offer varying types of access. A few of the elements to note are how much freedom others have to access a particular work, which entity absorbs the article processing charges, and whether there is an embargo.
After securing funding, conducting research, and writing a manuscript, the next step in the process is selecting a suitable publisher. There are numerous factors to consider, starting with:
- The journal’s ranking in comparison to other journals.
- Acceptance rates.
- Availability of the journal.
Journals that do not meet these criteria should be viewed with suspicion. Predatory journals do exist, so it’s important to carefully select a suitable publication for your work.
Publishing Undergraduate Research
Are you a UHWO student interested in publishing your original research? If so, please know that there are numerous publications that enable you to share your scholarly work with the rest of the academic community. Publishing as an undergraduate provides you with great experience and exposure, and ultimately strengthens your résumé /CV. Click on the button below to view a list of potential journals for your research. Most of those journals charge no fees, but it’s important to note that each journal has its own submission and evaluation process, so carefully evaluate their policies to ensure that your manuscript has the best possible chance of being published.
It’s important for authors to understand their rights. Unless the copyright was transferred or the work was done for-hire (in which case the employer owns the copyright), the author of the work owns the copyright.
Retaining Your Rights
When considering the impact an article will have on the scholarly community, the extent of its distribution plays a key role. Previously, this was done primarily by print publication. In today’s technological – and increasingly open – world, authors have other options to increase distribution. One example is online archiving, through the author’s website or their institution’s repository.
In many instances, publishers make it difficult for authors who want to reuse and/or share their work. By negotiating changes to standard publishing agreements, authors can avoid dealing with the significant barriers that limit their ability to reuse and/or share the content.
There is considerable variation among publisher policies. Visit the SHERPA/RoMEO database to get a summary of publisher copyright policies, including whether authors can archive the pre and post print copies. Please keep in mind that publisher policies are continually changing, and that the information on their website might vary from the agreement sent to you. It is thus imperative that you closely read the agreement itself.
Consider an Addendum
Submitting an addendum is a convenient way to start the discussion with publishers, in an attempt to protect the author’s rights. Although some publishers will not accept the addendum, they might be open to negotiating and send you a second publishing contract that offers you more rights than the original contract.
Citation metrics offer insight into the impact a work has on the scholarly community.
Enhance Author Impact
Expanding your online profile and engagement, as it will likely positively influence the impact of your research. Maximizing the impact of your research serves as an asset, and will benefit you during the tenure process.
Registering for a persistent digital author identifier ensures that you get credit for your research. This is especially helpful when other authors have similar names, or if it appears differently depending on publication. There are numerous author IDs that are tied to particular publishers or databases. The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), though, is universal so it will follow your research throughout your career. ORCID is a non-profit institution that is sustained by fees from their member organizations. Its ultimate goal is to create and maintain an international system of researcher IDs, increasing access to scholarship worldwide.
After your account has been created, you can add your scholarly works to the ORCID record and turn on notification settings. Authors should get into the practice of using their ORCID by adding it to your website and including it when applying for grants or submitting publications.
Social Networks for Researchers
Adding your work to free social networking sites like Research Gate or Academia shares it with a vast network of researchers, educators, and students. This improves your discoverability chances, which can boost your citations. In addition to sharing your publications, you can:
- track statistics concerning who is reading and citing your work
- access publications that others have uploaded
- connect with researchers around the world and follow their work