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  3. Trends in Scholarly Communications

Trends in Scholarly Communications

This module addresses some of the issues, underlying assumptions, and practices of scholarly work and publishing in the digital age.


  1. Increased understanding of the societal and institutional issues connected to new modes of scholarly communications and assessment.
  2. Increased understanding of the differences between digital scholarly production—including labor, crediting, collaborations, design, and research—and more traditional modes.
  3. Ability to scope out the pieces that make up a digitally driven scholarly project.


Questions to Consider

  • Why is it hard to discuss new forms of scholarly communications with peers and administrators, according to Anderson? Have you found this to be the case at your institution?
  • How do Kansa and McMillan Cottom identify tensions between the promises of digital scholarship with existing notions of the scholarly enterprise?
  • How does publishing in digital spaces carry different costs to different scholars, according to McMillan Cottom, within “interlocking structures of oppression”?


If your department or college is considering adopting guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship or digital dissertations, these are good places to begin conversations.

Are you interested in working with a university press on a digital project? See our Project Planning section for resources.

Project Lens

Take a look at Stanford University Press’s first open access digital publication:

Bauch, Nicholas. Enchanting the Desert. Stanford University Press, 2016. http://www.enchantingthedesert.com/home/.

  • Scan the homepage. Note how this differs from other digital projects we reviewed. What are the Project Statements?
  • Enter Enchanting the Desert. What do you notice about the navigational elements? Follow different pathways through the content. Are these navigational structures intuitive for you? Are you finding what you were expecting? Does the structure support the author’s argument?
  • Does the author make good use of new media to achieve the goals of this digital publication?
  • Examine the credits. How does the production of this digital publication differ, in terms of length of time and team size, from a traditional monograph?

Where can I go next? Learning and Training Opportunities

Updated on August 1, 2018

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