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Academic Publishing

Digital publishing means authors have several choices to make about where, when, and how their work is disseminated. It has also raised new concerns about quality and impact. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to explore their publishing options and to actively manage and curate their academic presence online. The CSU-Pueblo Library provides regularly scheduled and on-demand workshops on copyright, fair use, academic profiles, and scholarly publishing.

Publishing models

Open Access

Open access is a publishing model where content is freely available online with few copyright restrictions. Instead of readers paying subscription fees, authors pay one-time article processing fees. In many cases, the fees may be covered by the author's funder or institution. 

Like all journals, open access journals can vary in quality and prestige. Reputable open access journals undergo rigorous peer review, are indexed, and have impact factors. 

Traditional publishing

Longstanding and prestigious academic journals maintain a subscription-based model, although they now offer both print and electronic versions. They have rigorous peer-review, are indexed, and have impact factors. 

Hybrid model

Some major journals have created a hybrid model where authors can choose to pay more to make their articles open. These articles appear free online while the rest of the journal is limited to subscribers. 

Publishing contracts and authors rights

When you submit an article for review and publication, you are asked to sign a standard agreement that transfers most or all of your copyrights to the publisher. After you sign the contract, the publisher makes all of the decisions about distribution, access, pricing, updates, and use restrictions, including when and how you can use your own work.

Most faculty want to retain the rights to use and develop their own work without restriction for teaching, for future research or publications, or to archive the work. As the author, you can modify or addend your publishing contracts to retain these rights. Before you sign a contract, read it carefully to understand what rights you are transferring.

There are two main approaches to revising publishing contracts: negotiating a new contract with the publisher, or adding an author addendum. The ASU Libraries Negotiating Guide gives detailed advice on how to negotiate prior to signing any paperwork. Keep Your Copyrights analyzes common contract clauses, explains them in plain English, and rates them on a scale of “creator friendly” to “incredibly overreaching.” They also provide before-and-after examples of sample contract language. The Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine and SPARC recommend authors attach an addendum to a signed contract that stipulates which rights the author will retain.

Predatory publishers

Predatory publishing is an exploitive business model where authors are charged processing fees without receiving the editorial or publishing services associated with legitimate journals. These journals fail to follow accepted standards or best practices of scholarly publishing, make false claims, and do not deliver on agreements.

Legitimate open access journals may still charge a one-time author fee to cover production costs, but the work will be made permanently free for readers. These open access publishers should be transparent about business practices, have subject experts on editorial and peer-review boards, and offer copyediting and proofreading services.

Before becoming involved with an unfamiliar journal, authors should check with colleagues to ensure the journal's quality and standing. The Library can also assist in evaluating publishers.

Managing academic profiles

With so many online platforms for research sharing, collaboration, and networking, authors may find they have presence in unexpected places. Authors can manage their online presence by using researcher identifier systems and building academic profiles. An academic profile is a way to demonstrate your authority and area of expertise, identify your research interests, and find potential collaborators. Creating and managing profiles gives you control over the information available about you and ensures that other researchers are finding correct and complete information.

There are several researcher platforms available with slightly different purposes:

  • Researcher communities such as and ResearchGate
  • Reference management tools with social functions like Mendeley
  • Search engines with author profiles and citation tracking like Google Scholar, Scopus, and ResearcherID

Researchers should also register for both commercial and non-profit research identifiers. A researcher identifier is a permanent, unique identifiers attached to online publications and citations that address common issues in author ambiguity, like an author that uses multiple forms of their name (e.g., with/without middle initials), common names, name changes (e.g., marriage), or cultural differences in naming. The most popular researcher identifiers are: 

  • ORCID (free to create and integrates with commercial and government funding organizations, publishers, universities, and other identifier systems) 
  • ResearcherID (free to create, integrates with ORCID, Web of Science, and EndNote. Users can search and view author profiles and track citation metrics)
  • Google Scholar (free to create, allows users to collect articles and citations into a single profile and links to open access publications)
  • Scopus Author Identifier (created by Scopus for authors indexed in Scopus, integrates with ORCID)
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