Upcoming Scholarly Communication & Publishing Events

Join us for these events in May!

Digital Safety Pop Up Event 

May 2, 11:00-2:00, HUB

In honor of Privacy Week, the Libraries will hold a Digital Safety Pop Up event in the HUB.  Stop by for tips on removing yourself from data broker lists, set up your own secure password using the Diceware method, learn about password managers and more!

Nuts and Bolts of Scholarly Publishing Workshops

Do you want to learn more about publishing your scholarly work? Join us in early May for two linked workshops that will take you through the process of publishing an article in an academic journal, from selecting an appropriate publication venue to interpreting a publishing contract. Anyone with an interest in scholarly publishing is welcome to attend one or both of these hands-on pilot workshops:

Evaluating Academic Journals: Thursday, May 3, 12:30-1:30, Research Commons Green A

You want to get your research published, but how do you decide where to submit your work? In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to assess a  journal’s quality and its fit for your research profile, while weighing issues of access and impact. Participants will get the chance to try out tools for finding and evaluating academic journals.

Contracts and Copyright: Wednesday, May 9, 12:30-1:30, Research Commons Green A

Ready to publish but not sure about that long agreement the journal publisher asked you to sign? This workshop will review the key parts of a publishing contract, explaining what terms mean and their potential impact on your future research and teaching. In addition to examining sample agreements, we’ll introduce tools and suggest negotiation strategies you can use to protect your rights.

These workshops are open to students, staff and faculty at all levels. Advance registration is greatly appreciated!



There are licenses behind much of what we accomplish or use each day.  Mobile phones, social media platforms, and streaming media services all come with license agreements.  While the documents may be wordy, their concept is simple: a license is permission to do something we normally would not be allowed to do.  For example, licenses allow us to legally drive a car, go fishing, practice law, or use proprietary software.  License is an old word and an old concept.  It derives from the Latin licentia, which means freedom or licentiousness.

In the context of intellectual property, a license is permission to use someone else’s creation, such as an invention or music.  A license agreement may specify a limited duration, allowed uses, and a required fee.  In addition, a license may be exclusive or non-exclusive.

Leases go further, as they allow lessees to reap benefits of someone else’s property.  For example, leases may allow drilling for resources beneath the surface of the Earth or developing the sky overhead.


The Fair Access to Science and Technology Act, better known as FASTR, would require some federally funded research to be available to the public.  Specifically, FASTR applies to nonclassified research by government agencies and departments with annual extramural research expenditures of over $100 million.  Here’s how it works:

Upon publication, publishers would be the exclusive distributors of applicable peer-reviewed articles for a specified embargo period.  Following the embargo period, the research must be housed in a repository that provides public access and long-term preservation.  The embargo periods are different in the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Government mandates for public access to federally funded research are not new.  In the US, a 2013 policy memo directed some federal agencies to make plans to share their research publicly.  In 2014, a federal appropriations act had similar mandates.  This is the third Congress in which FASTR has been introduced.  FASTR’s predecessor, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), was also introduced in three sessions of Congress beginning in 2006 but never became law.

Opponents of FASTR include the Association of American Publishers (AAP).  While the organization agrees with the premise of public access to taxpayer-funded research, it wants more flexible embargo periods than FASTR allows, and it argues that existing mandates serve the bill’s aims.

More information about FASTR is available through the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, better known as SPARC.

Reputable Journals and Publishers

Researchers regularly receive invitations to submit their manuscripts to journals they’ve never heard of.  Publication opportunities have proliferated as journals have become more specialized and new information technologies – coupled with low marginal costs of online distribution – have lowered the barriers to entry to the academic journal publishing market.  Many of these new entrants are open access and many of them are reputable. But not all of them.

I want to draw your attention to a couple of new resources useful for identifying the characteristics of reputable journals.

  • Our colleagues in the UW Health Sciences Library have prepared an excellent and brief guide to help authors identify the characteristics of reputable journals. Check out Identifying Reputable Journals.
  • The 3rd version of the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing was released this month. A collaborative product of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the shared Principles of Transparency help clarify what these organizations consider to be hallmarks of reputable scholarly publishers.
  • The UW Libraries can also help answer questions about specific journals for UW authors. You can find contact information for the Subject Librarian assigned to your department here.  Or send a message to the Libraries” Ask Us