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Research Article

Embracing New Trends in Scholarly Communication: From Competency Requirements in the Workplace to LIS Curriculum Presence


Jaya Raju

University of Cape Town, ZA
About Jaya
Jaya Raju is Associate Professor and Head of the Library and Information Studies Centre at the University of Cape Town. She has a PhD in Information Studies. She has researched and written extensively in the area of LIS education and its implications for the LIS services work environment. Jaya Raju has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science and as its Editor-in-Chief from 2013 to 2018. She also serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Journal for Gender, Information and Development in Africa; International Journal of Information, Diversity & Inclusion; De Gruyter’s Open Information Science, and, the Russian Journal of Library and Information Science. She is co-editor of the ALISE Book Series on LIS education and research. She has published in peer-reviewed national and international journals and presented papers at local, national and international conferences. She is currently Co-Chair of IFLA’s Building Strong LIS Education (BSLISE), an active global network of LIS educators and researchers. In 2018, Jaya Raju became Subject Chair for Library and Information Science on the Scopus Content Selection & Advisory Board – an international group of scientists and researchers, representing major scientific disciplines, tasked with evaluating journals applying for inclusion on the Scopus indexing list.
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INTRODUCTION Scholarly communication has undergone dramatic change in the digital era as a result of rapidly evolving digital technology. It is within this context of evolving scholarly communication that this paper reports on an inquiry into (1) the extent to which university libraries in South Africa are actively embracing new and emerging trends in scholarly communication; and (2), the extent to which LIS school curricula in South Africa are responding to new and emerging scholarly communication competencies required in university libraries. METHODS This qualitative study, located within an interpretivist epistemological worldview, was informed by the Operational Elements of Scientific Communication aspect of Khosrowjerdi’s (2011) Viable Scientific Communication Model. Data was collected using summative content analysis of university library job advertisements over a four-year period; South African university libraries’ organizational organograms; and course descriptions available on the websites of South Africa’s LIS schools. RESULTS & DISCUSSION A review of job advertisements and organograms shows that on the whole university libraries in South Africa are embracing the new and emerging trends in scholarly communication, but some university libraries are performing better than others in adopting emerging scholarly communication services such as RDM, digital humanities, or research landscape analysis. Course description analysis provides evidence that LIS schools’ curricula, as per global trend reported in the literature, do not seem to be keeping pace with developments in scholarly communication. CONCLUSION The ambivalent nature of an evolving scholarly communications field with unclear definitions and boundaries necessitates professional practitioners who are adaptable and open to change as well as an LIS education curriculum that is in constant review to seamlessly embrace an evolving field propelled by advancing digital technologies.
How to Cite: Raju, J., 2019. Embracing New Trends in Scholarly Communication: From Competency Requirements in the Workplace to LIS Curriculum Presence. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 7(1). DOI:
Published on 19 Jul 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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