Scholarly Communication

One of ACRL’s four strategic goals is that, “The academic and research library workforce accelerates the transition to more open and equitable systems of scholarship.” In support of this goal, ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC) develops programs and resources to further these objectives of the ACRL Strategic Plan:

  • Increase the ways ACRL is an advocate and model for more representative and inclusive ways of knowing.
  • Enhance members’ capacity to address issues related to scholarly communication, including but not limited to data management, library publishing, open access, digital scholarship, and power and privilege in knowledge creation systems.
  • Increase ACRL’s efforts to influence and advocate for more open and equitable dissemination policies and practices.

Current Activities
Research Agenda for Scholarly Communications and the Research Environment
In March 2018, a team of consultants began work on a new Research Agenda. This Agenda will provide an update on progress in this space since 2007, give an overview of trends, identify effective and promising practices, and delineate important questions where deeper inquiry is needed to accelerate the transition to more open, inclusive, and equitable systems of scholarship. We expect the new Agenda to be released publicly in summer 2019. Watch this space for a firm release date once we have it!

OpenCon Scholarship
ACRL sponsors scholarships to attend OpenCon's annual flagship global meeting for two librarians, selected by ReSEC. OpenCon is a community of early career professionals and students from across the world working to create an open system for research and education. In addition to a full scholarship to attend the meeting, recipients receive a two-year appointment to ReSEC and the opportunity to publish a conference reflection in C&RL News.

ACRL Speaks Out
ReSEC supports efforts to increase ACRL’s visibility and influence towards creating change in the scholarly communication and higher education arenas. This includes activities such as drafting comments to federal agencies and participating in the Open Access Working Group.

Find out more about current activities of ReSEC in the agendas, meeting minutes, and work plans posted publicly to the committee's ALA Connect Community.

C&RL News: Scholarly Communication Column
ReSEC edits the Scholarly Communication column in College & Research Libraries News. For more information about how to submit ideas, please see the C&RL News submission guidelines.

Scholarly Communication Toolkit
This ACRL toolkit is designed to support advocacy efforts that work toward changing the scholarly communication system and to provide information on scholarly communication issues for librarians, faculty, academic administrators, and other campus stakeholders.

Primer for Protecting Sensitive Data in Academic Research
ACRL’s Primer for Protecting Sensitive Data in Academic Research, is a communication resource about providing protections for sensitive data that may be used or produced in the course of conducting academic research. This primer, intended for individual researchers, managers of research data services, and organizational leaders, provides a quick grounding in the whats, whys, and hows of current regulations and practices for protecting sensitive data.

SCHOLCOMM Discussion List
The SCHOLCOMM listserv is an ACRL email discussion list for scholarly communications issues.

ReSEC oversees two ACRL RoadShows. These day-long workshops can be brought to your campus, chapter, or consortium.  

ACRL RoadShow: "Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement"
This workshop begins with an overview of scholarly communication fundamentals that are followed by modules chosen by the hosts. Additionally, ACRL offers a partial subsidy on a competitive basis for five hosts each year. Full details on how to apply are available in October, applications due in November. Handouts, presentation slides and other materials are freely available in the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit. Use them to enhance your own knowledge or to adapt for workshops at your own campus.

ACRL RoadShow: “Building your Research Data Management Toolkit: Integrating RDM into Your Liaison Work
This workshop is designed to assist liaisons in identifying their existing skills and mindsets that transfer to research data management services and then create a learning plan for the RDM specific knowledge needed to serve their subject disciplines.  The workshop is led by two expert presenters at locations upon request. Handouts, presentation slides and other materials are freely available in the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit. Use them to enhance your own knowledge or to adapt for workshops at your own campus.

Conference Programs
Together with SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), ACRL holds a forum at each ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference to broaden the base of academic librarians who are knowledgeable about and concerned with scholarly communication issues. Descriptions, videos, audio recordings, and slides are available in the ALA meeting scheduler for each event.

Legacy Projects
ACRL has a longstanding commitment to accelerating the transition to a more open system of scholarship through education, political advocacy, coalition building, and research. In January 2000, an ACRL task force on scholarly communications began discussing how ACRL might contribute to shaping and envisioning the future of scholarly communications. In the task force’s January 2002 report, they recommended that ACRL, as one of its highest strategic priorities, be actively engaged in working to reshape the current system of scholarly communications. Based on the recommendations in the report, ACRL launched its scholarly communication initiative in spring 2002, establishing a new standing committee of the ACRL Board of Directors. Past projects include:

ARL-ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication
ACRL and The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) sponsor the Institute on Scholarly Communications to promote library-led outreach on scholarly communication issues.

Create Change
SPARC and ARL, with support from ACRL, re-launched the Create Change website in June 2006 to provide faculty with current information, perspectives, and tools that will enable them to play an active role in advancing scholarly information exchange in the networked environment. The ways faculty share and use academic research results are changing rapidly and irreversibly. By posing the question, "Shouldn’t the way we share research be as advanced as the Internet?", the site outlines how faster and wider sharing of journal articles, research data, simulations, syntheses, analyses, and other findings fuels the advance of knowledge. It also offers practical ways faculty can look out for their own interests as researchers.

Establishing a Research Agenda for Scholarly Communication: A Call for Community Engagement
In 2007, a research agenda was developed to explore the current themes and research opportunities. This agenda laid the groundwork for ReSEC’s activities and collaborations.

Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication
This document from June 2003 is intended to be a foundational statement that provides overall guidance the ACRL scholarly communications initiative.