Scholarly communication refers to the creation, transformation, evaluation (peer reviewing) dissemination and preservation of knowledge related to research and other scholarly endeavours. It is the most vital component of the research lifecycle. The most common method of scholarly communication till recent past has been through writing up the findings of research into a book, or an article to be published in a scholarly journal. But with the advent of internet and other ICT applications there is a major shift in the scholarly communication process. We can see a deviation in the publishing processes wherein a variety of media and formats are being used by the researchers to share and disseminate their work. The networked digital environment has enabled the creation of platforms for publishing by the researchers directly and these are becoming essential tools for scholars conducting research, building scholarly networks, and disseminating their ideas and work. Libraries play a major role in the scholarly communication process. Outreach to scholarly community is one important activity where libraries can bring in positive change that advances the scholarly communication system through new research and dissemination models.
This Unit introduces the concept of research lifecycle and scholarly communication discussing its history and evolution. It further looks in to the changes in the scholarly communication process with advent of web 2.0 tools and other ICT applications, and explores the changing role of the stakeholders in the process.