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Scholarly Communication and Open Access

This guide offers information to support new modes of disseminating research via Open Access and new methods of measuring research impact.

What is Scholarly Communication?

Scholarly communication “… refers to the entire ecosystem for creating, registering, evaluating, disseminating, preserving, and reshaping research and scholarship, including intellectual property policies and the gamut of old and new publication types. Scholarly communications support students, teachers, researchers, and the advancement of knowledge. There is widespread belief that the traditional system for disseminating scholarship is broken.  Evolving systems present opportunities for research to be shared more broadly and rapidly.” -- Carnegie Mellon Libraries

What is Open Access?

  • Open Access refers to scholarly resources made freely and immediately available via the Internet; usually with minimal restrictions on reuse 
  • Open Access = higher citations – either via journal publishing or article archiving online
    • The Open Access Citation Advantage: studies demonstrating higher citation counts for Open Access articles
    • Open Access Citation Advantage is correlated with quality, just as citations are (the top 20% of articles receive about 80% of all citations)
  • Open Access comes in two flavours:
    • Gold – immediate publication in an Open Access journal
    • Green – material made openly available via an online archive; deposit may be immediate or delayed