Document Type

Working Paper




Scholarly communication, libraries, academia, journal publishing, marketplace, research




Library and Information Science


For more than a decade, the cost of print and electronic journals, particularly in the sciences, has increased rapidly at the same time that the amount of research being reported via published articles has grown exponentially. With academic libraries being less and less able to purchase the journals needed for their communities, the use of the term scholarly communication has evolved to illustrate the breakdown of the process of traditional scholarly publication; that is, as a means to disseminate research results, the present system of scholarly communication can no longer meet the needs of the scholarly community at large.

When looking closely at the term scholarly communication, it has a somewhat broader

meaning than publication, as it also includes the processes by which scholars communicate with one another as they create new knowledge and by which they measure its worth with colleagues prior to making a formal article available to the broader community. For the purposes of this paper we are dividing the scholarly ommunication process into three distinct aspects: 1) the process of conducting research, developing

ideas, and communicating informally with other scholars and scientists; 2) the process of preparing, shaping, and communicating to a group of colleagues what will become formal

research results; and 3) the ultimate formal product that is distributed to libraries and

others in print or electronically. In addition to describing each of these aspects, we will

illustrate some of the changes which are destabilizing longstanding traditions.

Additional Information

Preliminary reading at ARL (Association of Research Libraries) Conference 2003.


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