HIVK02010U Cph., Scholarly publishing and book studies, Elective

Volume 2015/2016

Informationsvidenskab og kulturformidling


This elective will provide an in-depth examination of the history of scholarly journal and book publishing, and transformations taking place within the scholarly communication system due to digitalization and Open Access. Emphasis will be placed on the cultural role of journals in comparison to books, the publishing trade, and publishing norms associated with different fields of research, and the role of digital repositories in the facilitation of knowledge sharing.

The module consists of the following parts:

1) Scholarly Publishing and Digitalization

  • The publishing industry
  • Electronic publishing
  • Peer review processes and journals
  • Editorial Teams, books and book reviews


2) Open Access

  • Institutional/digital repositories
  • Open Access – history; definitions; rationale
  • The economics of Open Access
Learning Outcome

Competence objectives for the module

The objective of the module is to provide the student with

knowledge and understanding of:

  • A specific subject within library and information science.
  • Relevant theories and methods related to the module's theme.


skills in:

  • Identifying and outlining academic issues within library and information science and make these the object of independent analysis.
  • Reflecting critically on theoretical and methodological choices in relation to an academic issue.
  • Expanding on and putting a chosen subject field within library and information science into perspective.


competences in:

  • Applying relevant theories and methods to a subject within library and information science.
  • Communicating a scientifically studied issue.


Academic objectives

The examinee is able to

  • Delimit and deal with and issue within library and information science.
  • Give an account of central theories of relevance th the chosen subject independently and at a level that reflects in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subject's scientific methods.
  • Consider own theoretical and methodological choices critically.
  • Communicate a scientifically studied issue.

The literature will mainly focus on textbooks, current research and review articles from key journals, selected papers from peer reviewed conferences, and reports.

Examples of literature that will be used in the course:

  • Jacobs, N. (Ed.). (2006). Open access: key strategic, technical and economic aspects. Oxford, England: Chandos Publishing.  
  • Jones, R., Andrew, T. & MacColl, J. (2006).  The institutional repository. Oxford, England: Chandos Publishing.
  • Thomson, J.B. (2005). Books in the digital age: The transformation of academic and higher education publishing in Britain and the United States. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
  • Zuccala, A., Guns, R., Cornacchia, R., & Bod, R. (2014, in press). Can we rank scholarly book publishers? A bibliometric experiment with the field of history. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1002/asi.23267.


Teaching will involve lectures, group work, guest presentations and student presentations. Students are expected to work autonomously and in teams with problems presented in to them in class and in the literature.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 22,5
  • Exam
  • 15
  • Exam Preparation
  • 167,9
  • Total
  • 205,4
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Course participation
Examination language: English
Active participation implies presence in a minimum of 80% of the lectures and fulfillment of the requirements for the course in the form of presentations and papers during the course,
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Winter exam 2015


Written take-home assignment, defined subject, February 2016