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Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Baptist University Library

Scholarly Communication: Home

Defining scholarly communication

What exactly is 
Scholarly Communication?

Scholarly communication refers to the way in which scholars, researchers, publishers, and librarians work together to share and publish research findings and make them available to the wider academic community and beyond. It has been defined as "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs.” (Association of College & Research Libraries, “Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication 1,” 2003). 

Common topics in scholarly communication include: Open Access, Research Data Management, Copyright, Scholarly Publishing, Research Impact (metrics and altmetrics) and Institutional Repositories. A typical Scholarly Communication lifecycle consists of the following stages:

Lifecycle of Scholarly Communication



Keep yourself up-to-date
Concise Guides to Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communication covers a wide range of topics, many of which are thought-provoking and potentially controversial. Each of the following guides is intended to provide you with a short and concise overview of that particular topic. Links to curated resources are provided should you wish to gain deeper insights into some of the important issues. 

GUIDE TO Open Access: Why Bother | Since the beginning of the 21st century, the impact of the Internet has prompted significant questioning of the traditional scholarly publishing model. Technological changes have helped trigger calls for scientific research to be made freely available and accessible online.

The various initiatives are referred to as the Open Access movement. This Guide will give you an overview of Open Access, including the potential public good of universal access, wider and faster impact, and OACA - the Open Access Citation Advantage, etc.

GUIDE TO Research Data Management: Common sense approach | Research Data Management (RDM) is part of a lifecycle that aims to facilitate effective and efficient research. It typically starts from data planning through to dissemination and archiving.

This Guide will hopefully convince you that establishing a good and efficient RDM workflow is actually just common sense. With some careful and thoughtful planning along with a methodical approach, your investment will definitely pay off in the long term and help you avoid last minute panic attacks!

GUIDE TO Copyright & Copywrong: Knowing the difference | Like all intellectual property laws, copyright laws are complex and can be seen as confusing, particularly when aspects such as fair dealing exemptions can appear to be unclear. It helps to understand that copyright law exists to "strike a balance between rights and responsibilities".

This Guide is designed not to overwhelm you with technical jargon but instead provide a simple and concise overview of frequently asked questions. There are separate sections for teachers, researchers, and students, as well as a "click and learn" glossary.

GUIDE TO Research Impact: Why care | Citation counts are the traditional key metric for scholarly works. Impact measurements have, however, expanded significantly in recent years to include influences beyond academia. Research impact has a much broader meaning nowadays and can be wide-ranging, varied, and project-specific. As a multi-dimensional indicator, it is important to be aware of the pros and cons for each measure.

This Guide aims to provide you with basic information about some of the most common measurement tools and why you should care about creating and managing your impact.

What's involved

What is involved in
Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communications is a relatively new area in a fast-changing landscape. The major themes are:

Open Access
Research Data Management
Research Impact
 Institutional Repositories


Introduction to
Scholarly Communication

Watch this 3-min animated intro video on what scholarly communication is all about.




Feel free to contact the Library at if you have questions regarding scholarly communications.