Background

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About the Center
Northwestern University Library's Center for Scholarly Communication & Digital Curation supports Northwestern scholars through active exploration of new models for disseminating research results, and by developing programs to support long-term retention and reuse of the scholarly output of the University. 

Scholarly Communication
Scholarly communication is the process by which scholars create, evaluate, and share the results of their research and creative work. In recent years, traditional forms of scholarly communication have become less sustainable, as access restrictions and the escalating price of journals present barriers to maintaining an open and cost-effective system. Today, with common acceptance of digital publishing, concerns have broadened beyond journal costs to include issues affecting content creation and dissemination: the economics of publishing, copyright, author rights, open access, self-archiving, peer review, and metrics. For more, please visit our Guide to Scholarly Communication.

Digital Curation
Digital curation describes a range of activities to manage, protect, share, and preserve digital content, both born-digital and converted from physical formats. Many academic fields are being completely transformed by widespread availability of digital information and computing power, but reliably organizing and digitally preserving research data and other research materials can be expensive and difficult. Dedicating new effort to address these challenges is a natural extension of the library’s traditional mission to preserve knowledge, to share knowledge, and to support the creation of new knowledge. 

Mission & History
Northwestern University Library is committed to increasing its outreach and education on scholarly communication issues for the benefit of the University community.The Library wishes to engage faculty in dialogue about retaining their rights as authors using available negotiation tools such as the CIC Author Addendum, endorsed by the Office of the Provost and the General Faculty Committee. In 2008 the Library appointed its first scholarly communication librarian and established a Scholarly Communication Committee to disseminate information to the University community on copyright law and author rights, open access publishing, and the latest economic and legislative trends affecting scholarly publishing. These activities were expanded in 2011 with the creation of the new Center for Scholarly Communication & Digital Curation. The Library also invites national experts to speak on a wide range of scholarly communication topics, such as copyright law and the future of academic publishing.