According to the Association of College and Research Libraries:
Scholarly communication can be defined as the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use.
Traditional means of scholarly publication and dissemination have led to commercial publishers controlling the market and restricting access to scholarship. The current scholarly communication movement looks to open up access to research and scholarship, provide more economical means of publishing, ensure the long-term preservation of research and scholarly works, and enable scholars to retain their copyrights.
The ODU Libraries can help you with many of the issues surrounding scholarly communication.