Conflating scholarly and science communication practices: the production of open letters on climate change

Carin Graminius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse interfaces between scholarly and science communication practices by using the production of open letters on climate change as a point of departure. Furthermore, the paper highlights an understudied form of science communication – open letters. Design/methodology/approach: The material consists of nine open letters on climate change, written and signed by academics and published in 2018–2019, as well as 13 semi-structured interviews with the initiators and co-authors of the letters. The interviews were analysed by qualitative thematic analysis and grouped into thematic clusters. Findings: The study finds that three practices used in scholarly communication – more specifically: peer review, professional community building and, to a certain extent, communication as “merit-making” – are central in the making of the open letters, illustrating an integration of scholarly communication practices in academic science communication activities. Social implications: The study suggests that the conflation of communication practices needs to be seen in relation to larger structural changes in the academic working environment, as well as in relation to the specific environment in which communication about climate change occurs. Originality/value: This study contends that the proposed conflation between scholarly and science communication concerns not only texts and genres but also practices integral to contemporary science, thereby conflating the forms of communication at a practical level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1375
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number6
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Communication Studies


  • Academic reward system
  • Climate change
  • Communication practices
  • Open letters
  • Peer review
  • Scholarly communication
  • Science communication
  • Scientific communality


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