In 2003 an influential article was published by Blaise Cronin, Professor of Information Science at Indiana University, titled Scholarly Communications and Epistemic Cultures. The author begins with the premise that scholars have developed their own disciplinary discourses that follow distinct paths, forms of communication and knowledge creation (epistemic cultures). And much of this scholarly communication takes place outside the formal publishing venues through informal dialogues. Internet technologies and publishing tools have changed how the formal and informal scholarly communication is taking place.
While physicists and biologists were the first to embrace the e-prints, preprints and e-journal publishing, humanities scholars still traditionally cling to the model of the author of the book.
However, the established system is experiencing “deep changes” caused by the crisis in scholarly monograph publishing of university presses, increases in scholarly journals subscription prices (those journals are the primary vehicle of dissemination of research), and resistance of tenure committees to reward scholarship in other than the traditional formats. Calls for open access to published research have resulted in high-quality peer-reviewed electronic journals and books. The new models of scholarly publications acknowledge and embrace the complex relationship between the author(s) and readers participating digitally in the dialog.
The new models of scholarly publishing have been now widely accepted with technology tools adding values to the presentation of data, citation mapping, and peer commentaries. The following pages in this guide provide some examples of innovative models of scholarly journal publishing, along with many established digital scholarly repositories and research tools.
Created by Ursula Zyzik