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What is 'Scholarly Communication'?
The process of communicating research is commonly referred to as 'scholarly communication'. It involves the sharing of research and creative work through various publication models.
In recent years, the traditional models of scholarly communication have become less economically and socially viable due to electronic license restrictions and the inflation in journal prices. As a result of this, HE libraries have developed research repositories and the open access publication has become more common. More information is available on UCL Library Services' Open Access page.
The relevance of this guide to REF
The purpose of this guide is to provide researchers with the necessary information to disseminate strategically their research output both generally and in preparation for the REF exercise.
Higher Education institutions are evaluated on their research output. Research assessment is not new in the UK. There have been variations of the REF since 1986. The assessments are conducted to ensure fair distribution of research funds.
Please credit the UCL Institute of Education Library and other third parties where specified if re-use this guide.
Stakeholders in the Scholarly Communication Process
There are many stakeholders in the scholarly communication process as can be seen in the diagram below. They include you, the researcher, publishers who disseminate your research, bibliographic services such as databases that index your work, readers who are your audience, libraries who curate your work and research funders.
Scholarly communication encompasses the creation, evaluation, dissemination and preservation of research findings.
Stakeholders in Scholarly Communication
Researchers: Conduct research and then communicate and publish their findings. Researchers also provide peer review and editorial support.
Research funders: Provide some financial support for the research. Increasingly funders are starting to dictate how research should be communicated, with mandates to make research available via open access.
Publishers: Provide the infrastructure and support by which the material is communicated. Publishers can be for-profit, or not-for-profit, and may also include professional societies, Universities and research institutions.
Libraries: Facilitate access to information by paying subscriptions and purchasing material. They may also archive the material, through institutional repositories. Librarians can also provide guidance on deciding where to publish.
Bibliographic services: Index items in databases or catalogues to enable the identification and retrieval of publications. Increasingly these databases are also tracking the citations to and from research.
Readers: Often have access restricted by high subscription costs to journals. Material that is available via open access has the potential to reach a much wider audience.
Practitioners: Use knowledge gained through the research process and implement this knowledge into applications for the enhancement of industry and society in general.
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