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Scholarly Communications Advisory Subcommittee - Terms of Reference

Advisory Board Mandate

The Advisory Board is a subcommittee of the Senate Library Committee. It provides guidance to the Senate Library Committee on policies and services related to QSpace and other scholarly communications support initiatives, from the perspective of content contributors and users. The Board will be convened as needed in the to provide this vital feedback, and will make a recommendation to the Senate Library Committee regarding the need for a university standing committee on scholarly communications and publishing. Specific objectives include:

  • Communicating with the academic community on scholarly communications issues and related services.
  • Providing feedback and making recommendations on user requirements and policy issues for specific services.
  • Developing recommendations regarding scholarly communications and publishing for Senate consideration.


The Senate Library Committee will advise on the selection of members. Members will include:

  • Representative of the Senate Library Committee
  • Representative of the School of Graduate Studies
  • Representative of the Office of Research Services
  • Representative of ITServices
  • Representative of Queen’s Archives
  • Faculty members representative of disciplines most affected by developments in scholarly communications
  • Graduate Student representative
  • Associate University Librarian
  • Scholarly Communications Services Coordinator
  • Head, Academic Services Division of the Library
  • Chair, Scholarly Communications Working Group


Queen’s and the Broader Context

Strategic Goal Two of Engaging the World: A Strategic Plan for Queen’s University is “Strengthen Research and Graduate Programs in Strategic Areas.” One of the stated objectives under this goal is “Bring the benefits of discovery to the public through published works, creative performances, and other forms of knowledge and technology transfer, including, where appropriate, playing an active role in the commercialization of research and the incubation and nurturing of related companies.”

Bring the benefits of discovery to the public… these words speak particularly to new models of scholarly communication, in particular ‘open access’, the worldwide movement to disseminate scientific and scholarly research literature online, free of charge, and free of unnecessary licensing restrictions. http://www.arl.org/sparc/publications/soan.

Current initiatives to provide open access to research results include the CIHR (Canadian Institutes for Health Research) Policy on Access to Research Outputs. Effective January 1, 2008, grant recipients are required to make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely accessible online within six months of publication, either through the publisher’s website or a digital archive such as the grantee’s institutional repository.


Similarly, SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) has a policy that states: “All research data collected with the use of SSHRC funds must be preserved and made available for use by others within a reasonable period of time. SSHRC considers ‘a reasonable period’ to be within two years of the completion of the research project for which the data was collected. Costs associated with preparing research data for deposit are considered eligible expenses in SSHRC research grant programs. Research data includes quantitative social, political and economic data sets; qualitative information in digital format; experimental research data; still and moving image and sound data bases; and other digital objects used for analytical purposes.”


These issues affect Queen’s faculty and Queen’s Library. The Library has a responsibility to provide Queen’s faculty with access to the results of research occurring world-wide, and to facilitate the dissemination of Queen’s research outputs to the scholarly community and the public. The Library’s current strategic plan has as Goal 2.4: “Foster awareness of and facilitate scholars’ participation in initiatives that provide affordable, unrestricted access to online scholarly information.”


A wealth of information on issues in scholarly communications is available from The Scholarly Publications and Academic Resource Coalition (SPARC), an international alliance of academic and research libraries that seeks to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research. http://www.arl.org/sparc/

QSpace: Queen's University Research & Learning Repository

The Senate Library Committee held a Symposium on the Future of Scholarly Publishing at Queen’s in April 2002. In response to the needs expressed by faculty at this symposium and at other universities, the Senate Library Committee initiated a pilot project to develop an ‘institutional repository’ for Queen’s, to offer a solid foundation for the collection, management and timely dissemination of digital material, published and unpublished, from the Queen’s academic community. This service, named QSpace, was piloted in 2004/05 to gauge potential interest from the Queen’s community and gather the necessary data to develop a business plan for a sustainable repository and scalable technology platform and service infrastructure. The business plan was presented to the University administration in 2005, and ongoing funding for QSpace was approved beginning with 2006/07. In 2006/07, efforts concentrated on development of an Electronic Thesis service within QSpace, which was launched in the summer of 2007. QSpace is a service offered by the Library in partnership with ITServices, University Archives, the School of Graduate Studies and other Queen’s academic communities.


OJS @ Queen's: Online Journal Publishing System

In 2006/07, Queen’s Library began exploring the idea of supporting a journal management and publishing system, called Open Journal Systems (OJS).  The ongoing OJS service was established in 2008 by the Library for Queen's faculty and staff wishing to publish an online open-access or subscription-based journal. Developed and maintained by the Public Knowledge Project, “OJS assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submissions through to online publication and indexing… OJS is open source software made freely available to journals worldwide for the purpose of making open access publishing a viable option for more journals, as open access can increase a journal’s readership as well as its contribution to the public good on a global scale.” OJS @ Queen's currently hosts seven journals: http://library.queensu.ca/ojs/.


These Scholarly Communication Services arose from expressed needs of Queen’s academic community, and other needs may arise. The Library’s support for scholarly communications requires ongoing guidance from the academic community.


Last Updated: 06 February 2014