The Fundamentals

Before we can examine and understand some of the problems related to scholarly publishing, we need to set the stage with some foundational information. In this section, we will define scholarly communications, scholarly publishing, the academic culture of promotion and tenure, scholarly journals, and copyright. We’ll look at how these things are connected and how they relate to one another. We’ll start to think about how they act in harmony and where there might be tension.

If you are already well-versed in the basics of scholarly publishing, you may wish to skip this section and proceed to the second part, titled “(Some) Problems,” which examines problematic issues of power, profit, and privilege within the system.

Let’s get started!