1 Introduction

This e-book on Scholarly Communication in the Digital Era for the Public Good intended to deepen and extend the conversations we began at our Summit in March, 2013.  This e-book is a compilation of a topic series that appeared on the JustPublics@365 blog. As we’ve done before, we curate a topic series – blog posts, multimedia content like podcasts all around a specific topic – then we compile them into an e-book. In each one, we feature guests and highlight work here across traditional silos of academia, activism and journalism and media.

card catalog

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In the 20th century, scholars communicated within relatively small fields of other experts and did so primarily through monographs and peer-reviewed journal articles. Those works of scholarship were discoverable because they were indexed and sorted into card catalogs and bound reference manuals.

These analog forms of scholarly communication are now joined by new modes of digital expression that augment and occasionally supplant earlier forms.  In this final topic series, we will explore changes in the modes and emphases of scholarly communication, examining the shift from book- and journal-centric academic publishing to open access hybrids and alternatives, including film and video.

We’ll also explore the ways that social media can serve scholars to connect their work with wider audiences, including non-academic readers, activists, journalists and engaged citizens. What responsibilities do scholars have to shape and reflect public understandings? What can academics do to contribute fully to efforts to enhance the public good?

These are some of the questions that we explore in the e-book that follows.

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