Category Archives: Scholarly Communication

Coming Soon the 4th Annual Digital Initiatives Symposium


University of San Diego Digital Initiatives Symposium

4th Annual Digital Initiatives Symposium, May 1-2, 2017 at the University of San Diego

1 Gorgeous Location

1 Continental Breakfast

1 Buffet Lunch

1 Wine & Cheese Reception

2 Keynote Addresses

2 Days of Dynamic Programming

3 Workshops

3 Panel Presentations

4 User Group Meetings

4 Birds of a Feather Dinner Groups

12 Concurrent Sessions

+ 16 Poster Presentations


 = 50 reasons to attend the 2017 Digital Initiatives Symposium (DIS) at the University of San Diego!

Now in its fourth year, the dynamic Digital Initiatives Symposium (DIS) brings together librarians, scholars, and information professionals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, to discuss the ever-changing landscape of digital initiatives, scholarly communication, open access, and more. On Monday and Tuesday, May 1 and 2, nearly 200 participants will gather for hands-on workshops about metadata, project management, and copyright; panel and concurrent presentations; poster displays; and user groups. Headlining this year’s event are keynote speakers Joan K. Lippincott, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, and Maura Marx, Deputy Director for Library Services at the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The full schedule is available at: Register now through April 17, 2017 at:


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Spot the Difference: Open Access vs. Traditional Journals

What makes an open access publication different from a traditional one? In some cases, not much!

Outstanding Book

One of these things is not like the others.

Open access (OA) journals, books, and data are fully available to everyone online at no cost. This distinguishes them from traditional publications, which charge subscription fees and typically have to be accessed through libraries. OA journals reach larger audiences and the authors who publish research in them are cited more often than those publishing in traditional journals (see here), but often are not as well-established as traditional subscription-based journals. Many subscription-based journals have existed much longer and are better known within (and outside of) various disciplines.

Scholars have a host of things to consider when publishing their work, not least of which is the reputation of the venue they select. Subscription-based journals seemingly have an edge on OA journals in this area. Traditional journals are respected for their practices of publishing high-quality scholarship as a result of rigorous peer review and editorial processes. Can OA journals provide the same sort of quality scholarship that paid journals might?

Yes! Many open access journals provide the same thorough peer-review processes as subscription-based journals. A simple way to find OA journals that employ respected scholarly practices is by searching or browsing the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The DOAJ was launched in 2003 as group of members ‘dedicated to quality, peer-reviewed open access.’ Many of its members are publishers committed to publishing rigorous open access scholarship, and publishers must apply to have their journals included in the directory. A basic requirement for inclusion in the DOAJ is a fully developed quality control system of editorial or peer review. You can find more information about the DOAJ’s criteria for listing publications here.

This means that everyone can have access to high-quality scholarship, and that libraries are able to provide even more scholarship to their users. Many libraries, including Copley, list high-quality open access journals right alongside their subscription-based journals. Though the way OA journals are funded may be different, their use of established practices for evaluating research does not have to be.

This blog post is brought to you as part of Open Access Week, currently taking place everywhere. For more information about Open Access Week and increasing public access to research, visit For questions about Open Access, scholarly publishing, or scholarly communication, contact Kelly Riddle, Digital Initiatives Librarian, at

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Fight for Your Rights (As an Author)!

As we near the end of the summer, faculty members are thinking about publishing those articles they’ve been working on in between preparing new courses, study abroad trips with students, and the occasional day at the beach. Deciding where to publish an article is often a complex choice: scholars consider the needs of their audience, the peer review process, specialty areas for a particular publisher or journal, and, of course, the reach and potential impact of a particular journal.

Another thing many authors are beginning to consider when looking for a home for their new scholarship is the rights they’re required to give up to publish their articles. After peer review and editing, many publishers require authors to sign a copyright transfer agreement to have their articles appear in journals. The rights that authors must transfer to the journal range from their right to post their own work on a public website to the right to distribute their article to a class. Not only does this make it difficult for authors to use their own scholarship in teaching and further research, it limits others’ access to that research as well. The less researchers can share their work publicly, the less access the public and other researchers have to that work.

In recent years, however, many authors have begun to negotiate with publishers to retain their copyrights. They do this with forms like the SPARC Author Addendum, which modifies the publisher’s contract so that authors retain the rights they want. This might allow them to archive their work in an open online repository, where anyone with an internet connection can access it. Authors benefit by freeing their work from behind journal paywalls and making it more accessible, and disciplines benefit from having easier access to more up-to-date research.

If you’re an author interested in retaining your rights when you publish, you can learn more about how by visiting our subject guide on scholarly communication, or by contacting the Digital Initiatives Librarian.

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