Scholarly Communications Interest Group

NEWS!  Our new Schol-Comm blog has launched!  See for the latest posts.


Scholarly communications covers a broad range of activities, including the discovery, collection, organization, evaluation, interpretation, and preservation of primary and other sources of information, and the publication and dissemination of scholarly research. As these issues become increasingly important to our members, ASERL’s Scholarly Communication Interest Group strives to support the development of such initiatives  through the provision of education and training resources and fostering a network of colleagues who share similar interests and needs.

To view a current directory of the scholarly communications and open access contacts and activities of our members, see this spreadsheet. See also the ASERL Open Access Activities Survey Results — see chart (*.xls format) and summary.

The ASERL Scholarly Communication Interest Group is currently led by co-chairs Robin Sinn (Science Librarian, Johns Hopkins University) and Melanie Kowalski (Copyright & Scholarly Communications Librarian, Emory Univeristy).

Recent ASERL Scholarly Communications Activities

ASERL Awards Mini-Grant to Mississippi State University Libraries — Project will review & update tools needed to apply Fair Use principles within Resource Sharing contexts.

Articles on ASERL Members’ Scholarly Communications Activities
Based on a surveys of ASERL libraries, former Visiting Program Officer for Scholarly Communications Christine Fruin authored four articles describing the current state of affairs within the membership:  “Open Access Policies in ASERL,”  “Open Access Funds in ASERL,” and “Open Access Library-Based Publishing in ASERL Libraries,” and “Resource Sharing Practices of ASERL Libraries.”

August 2013 – ASERL Summertime Summit: “Liaison Roles in Open Access and Data Management: Equal Parts Inspiration and Perspiration” – Recordings of Opening and Closing Keynotes and slides from breakout session presenters available in the Archive.

July 2013 – Webinars on “ImpactStory and Altmetrics” and “Library Publishing Activities” (Part One: Environmental Scan and Overview of Library Publishing Coalition; Part Two: Focus on Undergraduate Research Journals). See the Archive page for recordings of the presentations and slides.

April 2013 — ASERL files amicus brief in appeal of copyright infringement lawsuit against Georgia State University

February 2013 — ASERL Supports Open Access Principles in White House Directive and Proposed FASTR Legislation

November 2011 — ASERL Becomes Signatory to Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities


Below are informational resources and tools on several scholarly communications topics:


  • – web site for everything about the study and science of altmetrics.
  • ImpactStory – tool designed to create a quick and easy to view the impact of a wide range of research outputs. It goes beyond traditional measurements of research output — citations to papers — to embrace a much broader evidence of use across a wide range of scholarly output types.
  • Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity’s 56 Indicators of Impact. See also this corresponding blog post by J. Britt Holbrook further explaining the background and importance of alternative measures of research impact.
  • SPARC Article Level Metrics Primer – Article-Level Metrics are rapidly emerging as important tools to quantify how individual articles are being discussed, shared, and used. This primer provides an overview of what they are, why they matter, how they complement established utilities and metrics, and how they might be considered for use in the tenure and promotion process.

Author’s Rights

  • SPARC Author’s Rights Brochure – essential information on preserving and managing the copyright of authors
  • SPARC Author Addendum – a document authors can use to modify copyright transfer agreements with non-open access journal publishers
  • Creative Commons License Selector – simple tool to help authors and creators select the right Creative Commons license for their work

Fair Use

Open Access

Public Access to Research

  • Berkman Center’s Notes on the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) – comprehensive resource outlining the main points of FASTR and its current status in Congress, comparisons to other proposed legislation, statements of support, and news coverage.
  • Alliance for Taxpayer Access – a coalition of patient groups, physicians, researchers, educational institutions, publishers, and health promotion organizations that support barrier-free access to taxpayer-funded research. Site provides suggestions of how individuals and organizations can get involved in supporting public access to research.
  • Right to Research Coalition – organization providing literature and other resources for use in promoting open access and public access to students.