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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).

Modifying Publisher Agreements

Once an article or a book has been accepted for publication, the publisher usually provides an agreement to the author in which all or some of the author's copyrights are transferred to the publisher.  It's important to read these agreements before signing them.  You might want to look at the section of this guide on author's rights for guidance.  If you don't completely understand the terms of the agreement, feel free to contact  If you decide you want to change the terms of the agreement but arean't quite sure how to change them, consider using SPARC's authors' addendum  or the Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine to generate an addendum appropriate for your needs.  SPARC also provides useful information to authors regarding their rights.

Citation Analysis of Open Access Works

Below are a few research-based articles that address whether or not articles in an open access environment are cited more than those behind a paywall.  For a fuller list of resources on this topic, see "The Effect of Open Access and Downloads ('Hits') on Citation Impact: A Bibliography of Studies", which is maintained by the OpCit Project.

Craiga, Iain D., et. al. "Do Open Access Articles Have Greater Citation Impact?: A Critical Review of the Literature." Journal of Informetrics 1:3 (2007): 239-248.

Harnard, Stevan, and Tim Brody. "Comparing the Impact of Open Access (OA) vs. Non-OA Articles in the Same Journals." D-Lib Magazine 10:6 (2004).

Kayvan, Kousha, and Abdoli Mahshid. "The Citation Impact Of Open Access Agricultural Research: A Comparison Between OA And Non-OA Publications." Online Information Review 34.5 (2010): 772-785.

Thiesen, Alexander. "Steady Impact Factor Growth for MDPI Open Access Journals." Molecules Sept. 2012: 10971+.

Xia, Jingfeng, and Katie Nakanishi. "Self-Selection And The Citation Advantage Of Open Access Articles." Online Information Review 36.1 (2012): 40-51. 

Open Access Journals

Open access journals are defined as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. From the BOAI definition of "open access" we take the right of users to "read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles" as mandatory for a journal to be included in the directory (

Below are some resources for Open Access Journals.

Payment Models for Open Access Journals

Approaches for funding and financing Open Access vary. Listed below are some articles and websites with insight into current practices. 

Policy for Baylor-sponsored Academic Journals

More and more, faculty are finding it both beneficial and viable to start a peer-reviewed scholarly journal in a niche and/or up-and-coming research field -- one that is not clearly represented in the current literature in the field.  Becasue of Baylor's membership in the Texas Digital Library, Baylor faculty can with with library staff to establish an online, open access journal at the Texas Digital Library using their implementation of the Open Journal Systems.  Before doing this, Baylor faculty should read the University Policy for Baylor-Sponsored Academic Journals and submit the appropriate response document to the appropriate department chairperson for approval by the University.  Additional informaiton on establishing an open access journal can be found in this Online Guide to Open Access Journal Publishing, provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Predatory Journals

Avoiding Predatory Journal Publishers

Predatory journal publishers are not necessarily a new phenomenon, but they appear to be more prevalent – in part because of the sometimes seemingly relentless pressure to publish in order to meet tenure and promotion requirements and in part because of the apparent increasing ease of publishing in an online environment, i.e. setting up an online journal for little cost.  Historically, many publishers – often in the sciences, but not always – have charged authors “page fees” or “color printing fees” or other fees once their articles have been accepted for publication.  It is common enough practice that some authors, knowing this, build this cost into their grant proposals.

Online open access journals that are available at no cost to the end user do have costs associated with them – the costs of managing and maintaining the journal.  Consequently a variety of funding models for open access journals are emerging, and one of them is the use of an author-pays or an institution-pays model – after the manuscript has gone through peer review and been revised and accepted for publication.  This fee can be very modest, only a few hundred dollars, or quite significant $1,000-$2,000.  This fee is needed to sustain the open access journal for the long term.  Even commercial publishers like Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley are using a variation on this model by making some of their journals open as long as authors’ fees are paid or by giving the author a choice to make an article in a subscription journal open by paying a fee to “support” the open access.

On March 4, 2012, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article, “‘Predatory’ Online Journals Lure Scholars Who are Eager to Publish” (  In 2010, Jeffrey Beall (referenced in the Chronicle article) published an initial review of predatory open-access publishers and an update in the April and July issues of The Charleston Advisor ( 

Mr. Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver, now maintains a list of predatory, open-access publishers ( and journals (  From his articles in The Charleston Advisor and his web site, one can discern some characteristics of predatory open-access journals:

  • Spam professional email lists, broadly soliciting article submissions
  • Have a low article acceptance threshold
  • Provide a false-front or non-existent peer review process
  • Examination of journal content shows no or very few published articles
  • No identifiable editorial board

There are many outstanding author-pays, peer-reviewed, open access journals.  Many of them – but not all of them – are members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association ( which has a clearly defined Code of Conduct (  So, the issue is, how do scholars know that they are submitting articles to trustworthy author-pays, peer-reviewed, open access journals?  If the journal that an author is considering for article submission is one that is unknown to the author, then the author should do a modicum of investigation before submitting the article – something the author referenced in the Chronicle article did not do. 

Be suspicious if:

  • You encountered the journal through a generic e-mail message that is soliciting contributions.
  • The journal or publisher is listed on Beall’s web site (  
  • The journal is from a publisher that is a not a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (
  • The publisher is asking for payment of a fee early in the process, even before the article goes through peer review.
  • A check of the domain on “Whois” ( yields information that seems significantly different from the publisher’s “About Us” or “Contact Us” information on their web site.
  • If there is no easily identifiable editorial board, and if there is an editorial board, contact some of the people listed regarding their participation with the journal.  Even if they are well-known in the field, contact them.
  • The journal isn’t indexed in Google Scholar ( or listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (
  • The journal isn’t indexed in any traditional databases, like Web of Knowledge, Scopus, or databases specific to the subject area.

Last, don’t hesitate to contact your department’s library consultant ( for assistance.


Repositories -- especially institutional repositories -- are digital collections that capture and preserve the intellectual output of academic/research communities.  Repositories are often sponsored by institutions (i.e. Universities) for the use of their faculty, students, and staff, but can also be sponsored by other entitities or be open to a larger population (usually based by discipline) for the storage of their materials.  Repositories are more than back-up storage facilities for digital research content.  Most are accessible to Internet search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) and have their own search capabilities that allow researchers to locate specific resources within repositories.  Repositories can hold any digital material including text-based files, images, executable files, audio, video, data, etc.  Some repositories hold a variety of formats, while other repositories may contain only one type of format (e.g., data repositories). 

Many repositories contain preprints or post-prints of published journal articles -- making this research accessible to researchers who may not have access to the published content.  Preprints are articles in their submitted form before the peer-review process; post-prints are the articles after the peer-review process but before the publisher's final editing.  Generally, PDFs of the final published version of the paper cannot be deposited in the repository without the publisher's permission.  However, often the metadata associated with the deposited paper will provide the citation for the formally published work.  Scholars who make use of documents deposited in repositories need to be cognizant of the differnet versions -- pre-print, postprint, final published version -- when they use and/or cite content in repositories.  Likewise, many repositories contain theses and dissertations.  Like pre-prints and postprints, theses and dissertations may not be the final published research.  Individual articles or books may result from the initial research performed in a thesis. 

Data repositories allow researchers to store their research data and make it accessible for others to download, reuse, and reanalyze.  These data are a great boon to those who cannot afford to collect their own data.  Many data repositories are open for anybody to use, but some do have restricted access on either some or all of the data.  Often data repositories list papers that are associated with the data and give suggestions on how the data should be cited.  If you do use data from a repository, be sure to cite it properly and let the repository know about your paper once it has been published so that they can associate it with the dataset.  If you wish deposit data in a repository, most discipline-based repositories have a set of procedures you must follow to ensure that the data is properly scrubbed or anonymized.  They will also encourage you to describe the data in a certain manner to make finding the data easier.  At this time, institutional repositories tend to have fewer procedures to follow when depositing data.

What are the advantages to placing research content into an institutional repository?

  • Research is preserved for the future;
  • Research is more findable and accessible;
  • Because research is more accessible, citation rates could increase;
  • Links to research are permanent and can be placed in CVs or on web pages.

Listed below are a few well-known repositories, as well as Baylor's institutional repository:

Texas Digital Library

Baylor University is a member of the Texas Digital Library.  The library is a consortium of Texas higher education institutions that support shared services for teaching and research.  Although they have a number of initiatives, the most important services available from TDL for Baylor are:

  • Digital Preservation Network -- The Digital Preservation Network is being created by research-intensive universities to ensure long-term preservation of the complete digital scholarly record. TDL serves as a node on the digital preservation network.  UT-Austin and the Texas Digital Library are closely aligned with this project.
  • DSpace -- Baylor's institutional repository, BEARdocs, uses the DSpace software to create, manage, and make discoverable collections of resources that reflect the intellectual artifacts produced by Baylor faculty and students, with the largest collection being all electronic theses and dissertations produced at Baylor since Fall 2005.
  • Open Journal System -- Software that manages the set-up and maintenance of an online journal, including online submission, blind peer review, manuscript revisions, and final publication.
  • Texas Data Repository -- Launching in fall 2016, the Texas Data Repository was created using Harvard's Dataverse software and is a platform for publishing and archiving datasets (and other data products) created by faculty, staff, and students at Texas higher education institutions -- in part to fulfill data management plans that require open access to research data.
  • Vireo -- Software that effectively manages the submission of electronic theses and dissertations to institutional repositories, from the student's inital submission to the final release of the ETD in the repository.

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