Scholarly Publishing is generally the result of research, from which scholarly writings are created, that exists to: Describe the research (including methods and process); Evaluate its reproducibility and reliability; Disseminate the research through a variety of channels; and Preserve scholarship for future use and further research.
Scholars who are producing research go through a process called the Publication Cycle that starts with the Creation of a scholarly work and ends with the Publication, Dissemination, and Preservation of that work. When going through this process, scholars should evaluate the type of journal they will be publishing in, consider how their rights will be affected by publication, and how their work will be disseminated.
There are different publishing models available to you as the author, depending on your needs and other factors, such as tenure requirements. Below is a summary of the three main types of models currently available.
A common example of this type of publishing is through university presses, which now generally publish digital as well as more traditional works, such as print-based books.
This is the model you're most familiar with. An author submits their article for editing, peer-review, and eventual publication by a publisher. Articles published under this model are generally pay-to-access for readers, and agreements with publishers can limit or entirely remove the author's copyright.
Digital repositories are responsible for the dissemination and curation of a wide range of digital works - everything from conference proceedings, journal articles, posters, and more. Institutional repositories, such as Digital Scholarship@UNLV, are run by institutions and are generally more focused on local or institution-related publications. Content may be born digital (created digitally), or become digitized, and is often available openly for members of the institution and the general public.
More recently, research libraries have begun developing publishing programs that focus on newer publishing models, which may be digital or print-based. A common example of this is a library/university collaboration that results in a digital journal where scholars from the university and elsewhere can publish in a peer-reviewed publication.