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Scholarly Communication

Information of interest to faculty, students, administration, and librarians concerning the process of communicating research and scholarly work in the academic press (print or online; journals, books, abstracts, and conference proceedings).


Scholarly communication (SC) is "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use." (Association of College and Research Libraries) This guide will provide information on the field of scholarly communication and related topics such as open access publishing, authors' rights, and copyright/intellectual property.


Many new and familiar phrases and concepts are associated with scholarly communication.  Some terms and definitions are provided below.  A more detailed glossary can be found at the University of Illinois.

  • Box -- A cloud-based, network file storage system that provides faculty, staff and students with secure storage of files that includes mobile access. Online workspaces are easily setup for collaboration and file sharing, with the ability to designate different levels of access.   More...
  • BEARdocs -- Baylor's institutional repository stores, provides access to, and preserves the scholarly output of faculty, students and staff at Baylor University -- most of it openly accessible.  BEARdocs currently includes all theses and dissertations since Fall 2005, as well as a variety of conference presentations, preprints and/or post-prints, technical reports, and working papers
  • CLOCKSS -- Controlled LOCKSS, a dark archive that is "a not for profit joint venture between the world’s leading academic publishers and research libraries whose mission is to build a sustainable, geographically distributed dark archive with which to ensure the long-term survival of Web-based scholarly publications for the benefit of the greater global research community" (  More...
  • Dark Archive -- A preservation archive to which there is extremely limited or no access to the digital content and exists expressly to protect and preserve digital content and serve as a failsafe during disaster recovery.
  • Data Management Plan -- A formal document that outlines how researchers will handle data both during research and after projects are completed (University of Virginia).
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI) -- A character string used to uniquely identify an object such as an e-journal article or a chapter in an e-book.  The DOI for a document is permanent, whereas its location and other metadata may change (Wikipedia).
  • Digital Humanities -- An area of research, teaching, and creation concerned with the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities.  Digital humanities embraces a variety of topics ranging from curating online collections to data mining large cultural data sets (Wikipedia). See also, Defining the Digital Humanities at CUNY.
  • Digital Repository -- An online, searchable, web-accessible database containing works of research deposited by scholars and/or digital collections from the print collections found in libraries and institutions. The purpose is increased access to scholarship and content in special collections as well as long-term preservation.  Currently the Baylor Libraries have two digital repositories -- BEARdocs (repository of Baylor's scholarly output) and Digital Collections (repository of digitized content from the Baylor Libraries and Archives print collections).  Content from digital repositories is findable from Google and other serach engines.  Additionally, some digital repositories are harvested by resources such as OAIster or Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).
  • e-Science -- e-Science refers to the large-scale science that will increasingly be carried out through distributed global collaborations enabled by the Internet. Typically, a feature of such collaborative scientific enterprises is that they will require access to very large data collections, very large scale computing resources and high performance visualisation back to the individual user scientists (National e-Science Centre).
  • Embargo -- A time period that is set (usually by the copyright holder) during which there is no access to digital content.  For example, at Baylor University, graduate students can choose to embargo access to their theses in BEARdocs for 2 years or 5 years.  In another example, sometimes the full text content for journals to which the Baylor Libraries do not have subscriptions will have a 6-month or 12 month embargo on current content.
  • LOCKSS -- Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe, a dark archive and predecessor of CLOCKSS. LOCKSS member libraries maintain a low-level server (LOCKSS box) that holds copies of e-journal content to which they have subscriptions.  The LOCKSS software enables the LOCKSS boxes to communicate with each other, examine the comparable data they have stored, and identify and replace data that appears to be corrupted.  If a triggering event takes place and the content is no longer available from the publisher, those libraries with subscriptions continue to have access via the content that has been preserved in their LOCKSS box.  More...
  • Knowledge Unlatched -- A collaborative, not-for-profit initiative based in London. By working with libraries, publishers, researcher funders, and foundations, Knowledge Unlatched seeks to make scholarly books freely available to readers on an open access license, while retaining the best aspects of the existing publishing system. The initiative enables libraries to work together to reach a sustainable open future for specialist academic books. Knoweldge Unlatched has partnerned with Portico to insure the preservation of the materials published through this project.  The Baylor University Libraries have joined the Knowledge Unlatched pilot project. View this list to see others who have also joined the partnership.
  • ORCID -- Open Researcher and Contributor ID, an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors and national boundaries. It is a hub that connects researchers and research through the embedding of ORCID identifiers in key workflows, such as research profile maintenance, manuscript submissions, grant applications, and patent applications. More...
  • Open Access -- "Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions" (Peter Suber's Open Access Overview).
    • Green Open Access -- An article that has been deposited into a repository such as a university archive or subject respositories such as PubMed (University of Illinois).  It may be a preprint or a post-print.
    • Gold Open Access -- A journal charges authors to make a particular article OA. The article will be peer-reviewed, and the article will be OA from the time that it is published (University of Illinois).
  • Open Access Mandate -- A policy -- adopted by a research institution, research funder, or government -- that requires researchers (e.g., university faculty or research grant recipients) to make their published, peer-reviewed journal and conference papers open access (OA) by self-archiving their final, peer-reviewed drafts in a freely accessible central or institutional repository (Wikipedia). The ROARmap (Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies) maintains a list of institutions that have adopted open access policies.
  • Open Peer Review -- The reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports, and if the manuscript is published, the reports are made available online along with the final version of the manuscript (BioMed Central).
  • Open Review -- A creator's work is placed in an environment where other scholars in the field provide comment and feedback -- "scholarly crowd sourcing".  "Open Review: A Study of Contexts and Practices", is currently in draft stage (undergoing "open review") and is the primary outcome of a Mellon Foundation grant received by MediaCommons and NYU Press with the intent of studying open review practices and possibilities, espeically in the humanities.  Other participants in the development of this paper include: Modern Language Association, NYU Libraries, and academics from a variety of colleges and universities.
  • Portico -- A not-for-profit organization "founded to build a sustainable digital archive to serve the academic community and to enable publishers and libraries to feel secure and to realize tangible benefits as they transitioned to greater reliance on digital content" (  A triggering event will make the content available.  Portico is certified by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) to be a trusted, reliable digital preservation solution.  The Baylor University Libraries are a Portico Member.  More...
  • Predatory Journal/Publisher -- A publisher or journal with the main goal of generating profits rather than promoting academic scholarship.  Predatory publishers "add little value to scholarship, pay little attention to digital preservation, and operate using fly-by-night, unsustainable business models" (Chronicle of Higher Education).
  • Preprint -- A scholarly article that has not yet passed the peer review/refereeing process. See also the Sherpa definition (University of Illinois).
  • Post-print -- A scholarly article in its final form, after it has gone through the peer review/refereeing process. See also the Sherpa definition (University of Illinois).
  • SCOAP3 -- Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics, a one-of-its-kind partnership of thousands of libraries and key funding agencies and research centers in two dozen countries. Working with leading publishers, SCOAP3 is converting key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics to Open Access at no cost for authors. SCOAP3 is centrally paying publishers for the costs involved in providing Open Access, publishers in turn reduce subscription fees to their customers, who contribute to SCOAP3.  The Baylor University Libraries recently joined this initiative.

Scholarly Communication at Baylor

Scholarly Communication Task Force Members

Scholarly Communication Task Force Representatives

  • Jenny Hunt, Baylor University Press
  • Hope Johnston, English
  • Lorin Matthews, Physics
  • Byron Newberry, Mechanical Engineering
  • Steve Reid, Truett Seminary
  • Touradj Solouki, Chemistry
  • William Weaver, Honors College


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