This presentation describes the development and evolution of the Scholarly Communication and Open Access Publishing course in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at Western University. The course has been offered as an online elective once a year since 2018, and its initial impetus was to provide a sustainable peer review model for the MLIS student-run journal Emerging Library & Information Perspectives (ELIP). Students in the class are tasked with peer reviewing submissions and providing additional quality control during the production process, but the journal complements the curriculum, as opposed to driving it. Experiential learning opportunities are framed within theoretical frameworks that encourage students to critically reflect on common practices in the journal publishing industry, including double blind peer review, the reliance on volunteer labor, and article processing charges. ELIP provides a case study to inform these conversations, and students are ultimately tasked with creating a sustainable open access journal proposal. I summarize lessons I have learned through teaching this course, ranging from recommendations for structuring experiential and peer learning in an online environment to tips for integrating journal workflows into the curriculum. To conclude, I will argue that courses such as this can be used across disciplines to bridge the scholarly communication divide between theory and practice, placing them in a dialectic relationship of enrichment.
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Panel presentation for the 2020 Virtual Library Publishing Forum, May 6, 2020.