Publishing your scholarly work is important for disseminating and contributing to our body of knowledge.
Walden University supports the creation and dissemination of faculty research through ScholarWorks where we publish several open access journals and preserve the scholarly publication output of our faculty. Publication collections can be viewed by college. Adding your work to ScholarWorks breaks down access barriers and allows a larger audience to not only read your work, but build upon it, furthering the research process.
As an author it is important to understand the publication process and the potential questions that come into play when you are getting ready to publish your work. This can include locating funding, finding an appropriate journal for your work, and understanding your rights as an author when reviewing and signing a publishing agreement.
Walden University’s Office of Research & Sponsored Programs has put together a great guide on Research Dissemination, with great information on this topic as well.
How does an author know if a specific journal is the appropriate one for their research? The “journal impact” looks at the articles in a journal and measures how widely they have been accessed, as well as the quality of the material. Journals with a higher ranking are considered more impactful because they have been utilized by other authors and researchers. There are a few sites that can help you in determining the journal impact:
Visibility is an important part of sharing your work with colleagues within Walden, and across the globe via online platforms. There are some systems already in place that aim to collect your work and share it such as academia.edu, but these platforms often present readers with access issues and may not be safe long- term solutions for storing and sharing your work.
One tool that researchers use, ORCID," provides a persistent digital identifier (an ORCID iD) that you own and control, and that distinguishes you from every other researcher. You can connect your iD with your professional information — affiliations, grants, publications, peer review, and more.” [ from ORCID’s website ] Using this kind of identifying number can help you keep track of your research and how it is being used all over the world.
Once you have chosen a publication to publish your work in, you are usually presented with a publisher's agreement, which includes copyright. In many cases, the copyrights are transferred from you, the author, to the publisher. While every publisher agreement is different, many of them ask the authors to give up some or all copyrights. This can limit your ability to share your work, to reproduce it, or to even expand on it in future forms of publication.
The good news is, you can request to retain your rights in part or in full. Many authors are successful in negotiating a partial copyright transfer that still allows them to use the material for teaching or future research around the same ideas or project.
Many publisher agreements allow authors to use the pre-print version of the manuscript, however each journal is different. As the author, you need to be aware of which version has which rights, but this should be explained in the copyright transfer agreement. For more information on Understanding Manuscript Versions, check the Scholarly Communication Toolkit: Author's Rights guide from Association of College and Research Libraries.
According to the law, copyright is inherent to the author as soon as they articulate their ideas in a “tangible form”. Thankfully, there are several resources that can help you navigate working with publishers in regard to copyright:
|RoMEO Colour||Archiving policy guidelines|
|Green||Can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher's version/PDF|
|Blue||Can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereering) or publisher's version/PDF|
|Yellow||Can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)|
|White||Archiving not formally supported|
Table information from http://sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/search.php
Publishing agreements are legal contracts, so it is important to read and understand them, but also know you can negotiate them. Many times, publication agreements and copyright are associated with certain versions of the material you are submitting.
Publishers typically have 3 primary versions of a manuscript: the pre-print, the post-print and the publisher’s version.
One way that authors can attempt to retain some or all of their copyrights is through an addendum, which is a document addition that asks for exceptions to the publisher's agreement to be made on for the specific article being submitted.
These sites provide templates that can be used and edited by authors:
Open Access publishing refers to materials that are made freely open and accessible to other researchers and the public. There are many benefits to making materials open including the timeliness of research exchanges, wider audiences, and fostering a scholarly field in which unexpected connections can be made more easily.
Open Access is defined by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) as “the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.” Open Access harnesses the power, speed, and accessibility of the internet to communicate and accelerate research being done today. To read more about why Open Access is needed, check out SPARC’s website.
Walden University is committed to Open Access as it reinforces our dedication to social change. We support efforts in Open Access through our Open Access peer-reviewed journals via ScholarWorks, covering a wide variety of subjects. Find out more about Walden University’s journals and how to submit your work.