Office of Research Communication of Scholarship - Office of Research

Communication of Scholarship

Communication of Scholarship

The Challenge

Powerful factors are challenging the traditional system of scholarly publication and associated systems of academic credit and quality assessment.

Communication of Scholarship

Why It Is Important

Scholarly communication has entered a period of profound transformation. Changes to traditional systems of research publication, academic credit, research quality assessment, and even the meaning of “publication” foretell implications for scientists and scholars across all fields and levels as well as for the role of the university more generally. For instance, administrators rely on scholarly communication to make decisions about merit and funding. In addition, libraries must constantly keep pace with changes in the proliferating forms of scholarly communication and the technological means of delivering them. The scholarly communication system affects all scholars and scientists across all fields and levels. It also frames the policies of administrators evaluating and funding them, and of the libraries confronting new scenarios of scholarly communication and education based on new technologies of discourse delivery.

Our Approach

With the support of a three-year Interdisciplinary Frontiers in the Humanities & Arts Award from UC Davis, Innovating Communication in Scholarship (ICIS) will analyze crucial changes shaping the future of scholarly communication. The project engages with the following interrelated topics:

  • Increasing scale and interdisciplinarity of research collaborations
  • Growing reliance on cyber-infrastructure for producing and disseminating research
  • Impact of Open Access models and economic dysfunction on traditional publishing
  • Transformation of data from evidence for research results to research output itself
  • New metrics of research impact
  • New forms of misconduct and detection
  • Doubts about peer review as a quality guarantor
  • Role of intellectual property on the content and timing of publications

The research revolves around three sets of issues emblematic of these changes:

  1. New Models of Scholarly Communication
  2. New Misconduct and New Opportunities
  3. Communicating with Data

Impacts & Highlights

The Library Pay-It-Forward project has developed an open source tool in Microsoft Excel for libraries to calculate long-term costs associated with Open Access Article Processing Charges (APCs) for scholarly research articles published by their researchers, to determine the long-term financial sustainability of that publishing business model, given the current library budgets and available grant funds. Partnerships with UC Irvine, the California Digital Library, Harvard University, Ohio State University, and the University of British Columbia have been developed for this National Science Foundation funded project.

In February 2016, the team co-sponsored the “Gaming-Metrics: Innovation & Surveillance in Academic Misconduct” workshop at UC Davis that explored the recent evolution of scholarly misconduct connected to the increasing reliance of metrics in the evaluation of individual faculty, departments, and universities. Other workshops in year three include “Authorship and the Promises of Digital Dissemination” in March 2016, the “Frontiers in Publishing: Experiences with Open Access Journals” in March 2016, and the “Alien Jurisprudence: An Experiment in Invention” workshop in October 2015.



Mario Biagioli Distinguished Professor of Law and Science & Technology Studies
Anupam Chander Professor of Law
Jonathan Eisen Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Evolution & Ecology, Genome Center, and Center for Population Biology
James Griesemer Professor of Philosophy, and Center for Population Biology
Andrew Hargadon Professor and Chair of The Graduate School of Management, and Faculty Director of the Child Family Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Andy Jones Academic Associate Director of Information Educational Technologies, and Lecturer for the University Writing Program
Colin Milburn Professor of English
Mackenzie Smith Librarian for UC Davis University Library
Madhavi Sunder Professor of Law
Michael Wolfe Scholarly Communications Officer for UC Davis University Library
Jacob Rosenbaum Graduate Student of Law
Alexandra Lippmann Postdoc of Science & Technology Studies
Russell Neches Graduate Student of Mathematics
Seyedeh Ladan Daroud Graduate Student of Computer Science & Engineering
Adrian Yen Graduate Student of Anthropology
Marisano James Graduate Student of Population Biology
Carlos Andres Barragan Graduate Student of Anthropology

For more information on this program, please contact Christine Parks at [email protected].