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Scholarly Publishing

About Scholarly Publishing

Scholarly publishing involves the creation and distribution of information and other resources that focus on research and academic endeavors.  Types of resources may include books created by a scholarly press, dissertations, and journals with a focus on a particular subject area. 

Why is scholarly information important?  

Scholarly publishing allows new findings and knowledge to be communicated to academic communities and also the public.  This allows the body of knowledge within a discipline to grow, leading to more new discoveries and innovations.

What is different about scholarly publishing from newspapers and other types of mainstream publishing?  

  • Intended Audience.  Scholarly sources are created for academic or research-oriented audiences.  They may have limited appeal to the general public, and are often written with language that uses professional jargon than what is used in newspapers and magazines. 
  • Attribution.  Scholarly sources show how they created their knowledge and cite where they found supporting documents.  Books and magazines created for the general public usually do not do this.  
  • Peer Review.  Scholarly publishing often incorporates the peer review process, or when a work is scrutinized by a panel of experts within a field before it is published.  This assures that anything published had gone through a review and a checks and balances to be sure its information is accurate and valid.  Peer review is considered the gold standard in scholarly publishing.

Scholarly publications within various disciplines.  

Scholarly disciplines have their own preferred or accepted means of communication. In the humanities, books or monographs are the most common types of publications created by their scholars, while health sciences and many STEM disciplines emphasize journal articles.  Other types of publications may include data sets, conference proceedings, poster presentations, and white papers.  Regardless of disciplinary norms, knowledge of the publication process is important for academics to successfully communicate and distribute their work.  

Scholarly publishing and author rights. 

Authors typically transfer their copyright for their works to a publisher, which limits an author's ability to share his or her work or use them for teaching.  As a result, authors are asking to keep some of their rights, particularly journal articles or similar works published by scholarly publishers like Sage, Elsevier, or Wiley.  Author rights are agreements created between authors and publishers so that authors can retain some rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, or display their work for non-commercial purposes.  See the links on this page for more information and for securing your retention of rights for your published work.

Originality statement: Some content is from Guide to Science Information Sources: Scholarly Publishing [LibGuide], by K. Padron,



Publishing consultant John Bond summarizes the academic, scholarly publishing field.

Bond, J. (2019).  What is academic publishing? [YouTube Video].

The Publishing Process and Life-Cycle

The Publishing Cycle

Source:  The Publication Cycle (n.d). by The University of Winnipeg Library. Permission by CC-BY

Peer Review

Scholarly Publishing Associations and Standards

Books in the Library

Last updated on Apr 5, 2024 3:59 PM