Scholarly Communication and Publishing

Scholarly Communications Services 

The Office of Scholarly Communications helps scholars publish, access, create, and use scholarship through alternative and traditional means.  Our goal is to help you disseminate your work, increase your research impact, and promote accessibility in all fields of scholarship.  We also offer consultations on copyright issues, publication agreements, author's rights, fair use in the classroom, digital humanities projects, open educational resources, and more. 

If you have a question or would like to set up a consultation, please Contact Us.

Scholarly Communication

Scholarly communication is the system scholars and researchers employ to create, distribute, use, and preserve their work. Traditionally, this communication has been in the form of monographs and treatises, journal articles, conference presentations and published proceedings, and other formal channels, but new ways of doing scholarship and new technologies for its dissemination have resulted in challenges and opportunities for furthering our collective scholarly endeavor. The Libraries seek to facilitate scholarly communication in all its forms.

What can authors do?

  • Increase the impact of your work by depositing a digital copy in NC DOCKS. Using an online repository, you can deposit research materials (including pre- and/or post-prints of articles plus supporting data) and link to it from a personal website. Benefits include increased citations, access for scholars without subscriptions to that journal, a stable, online URL for your publications, and a strong preservation policy.
  • Try to retain copyright and control of your own scholarship. When you choose a journal in which to publish, look closely at their policies on copyrights, including self-archiving and other uses of your work. Consider modifying your contract by using an author addendum. SPARC’s author addendum is a legal agreement that allows you to retain specific parts of your copyrights.
  • Consider publishing in an open access venue. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists more than 3,900 journals. To publish in open access journals, you may be required to pay a publication fee.
  • Research your journal before publishing to decide if it represents a sustainable publishing model. The following resources are helpful guides:

For more information, please refer to:

Open Access

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results — to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives.  — Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

The open access movement has renovated the landscape of the Internet. Researchers in every country around the world can search journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals, use institutional repositories to find pre- and post-prints of peer-reviewed articles, and access scholarship through several disciplinary portals. Increasing access and experimenting with new publishing models make a significant impact on scholarship and promote faster developments in research throughout the world.

Among the factors hastening our need to rethink publishing models:

  • increased reliance on reproduced materials for courses and study;
  • the continued development of the free Web as a prime source for research;
  • the integration of digital technologies into teaching and research;
  • the growth of Web-based data and publications; and
  • globalization and the intense need to do collaborative work with colleagues around the world.

The new practices of researchers, scholars, and students are driving many of the changes in the scholarly communication and publishing landscape.

Open-access journals, whose costs are covered through publication fees, sponsorships, in-kind contributions, or other sources of support, are emerging as an alternative to the traditional subscription model. More than 3,900 open-access journals in wide-ranging fields are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Open access does not mean giving up peer review. Open-access and economically priced journals recognize and preserve the important role of peer review in scholarly communication.

The Libraries supports open access scholarship, and we welcome your interest and questions.

  • Open Access (American Library Association)
  • Open Access (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition ((SPARC))
  • Open Access (free PDF of 2012 book by Peter Suber)

Scholarly Publishing Services

The Digital Scholarship and Initiatives team is open to collaborating with faculty interested in scholarly publishing. Possible resources include locally served e-book and e-journal publishing platforms, helping you publishing on existing platforms, and leveraging some of the printing and administrative services of the UNC Press. Academic libraries as publishers is a new and growing development, and we welcome your interest and ideas. We can help you:

  • Explore publishing pathways to make your research more readily and openly available through innovative technologies
  • Pursue open access publishing for journals and open educational resources
  • Partner with the University of North Carolina Press to develop both formal and informal publications
  • Seek grant opportunities
  • Apply standards, best practices, and metadata to your work
  • Getting the Word Out: Academic Libraries as Scholarly Publishers (Association of College & Research Libraries)

NC DOCKS – Appalachian State University’s institutional repository

NC DOCKS is a cooperative effort to make the scholarly output of the University of North Carolina System more available to the world. Current institutional participants include Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, UNC Pembroke, UNC Wilmington, and Western Carolina University. NC DOCKS includes many full text articles, audio recordings, dissertations, and other formats. All materials are indexed by Google and are freely available to scholars and researchers world-wide.

Contact Information

For questions about Scholarly Communication and Publishing, please contact Agnes Gambill, or 828-262-2825.