Research Article

Scholarly Communication at Canadian Research Libraries: Conversations with Librarians

  • K Jane Burpee (University of Guelph Library Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1)
  • Leila Fernandez (Steacie Science and Engineering Library, York University Libraries, Ontario, Canada)


INTRODUCTION The landscape of librarianship in relation to the practice of scholarly communication is evolving. The objectives of this study were to investigate: the scope of scholarly communication activities within Canadian research libraries; the organizational structures in place to support them; and the roles of librarians who participate in them. Key challenges to its advancement and how librarians envision its future were also investigated. METHODS Twenty-nine academic librarians from Canadian Association of Research Libraries member institutions participated in semi-structured, open-ended interviews. Interviews were analyzed for recurring themes. RESULTS Participants outlined initiatives, services, and structures to support scholarly communication at their institutions. Solo scholarly communication librarians, specialized teams, and committees were identified as primary structures. Liaison librarians play an essential supporting role regardless of structure. Individually, librarians are seen to have an impact as leaders and advocates in promoting scholarly communication. The concept of “librarian as researcher” is also important. Participants shared a desire for better communication and collaboration in this area. Many participants saw the need for standardized assessment and evaluation methods. Participants enumerated their greatest challenges and provided suggestions for addressing them in the future. CONCLUSION This study demonstrates that organizational structure can enhance scholarly communication activities in libraries. Leadership both at the personal and collective level is necessary to provide an impetus for scholarly communication activities. Librarians should be knowledgeable about the issues and be ready to deliver the “pitch.” Strengthening collaboration and communication among Canadian librarians is essential for moving the scholarly communication agenda forward.

How to Cite:

Burpee, K. J. & Fernandez, L., (2014) “Scholarly Communication at Canadian Research Libraries: Conversations with Librarians”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 2(2), eP1121. doi:

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Published on
31 Mar 2014
Peer Reviewed