Posts by Melanie Schlosser

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June 16, 2021

Transitions: standing on the shoulders of librarians

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Transitions is an occasional series where community members reflect on the things they have learned while moving from one institution to another or one role to another. 


By Monica Westin, Google Scholar partnerships lead / technical program manager

In the spring of 2014, I left a PhD program in classical rhetoric to try out a career in scholarly communication. I was immediately hooked by what I saw as unsolved problems in the ecosystem and the potential impact of making academic research easier to access. Except for a brief stint at HighWire Press, I spent the following four years in the institutional repository and library publishing space, first at bepress and then at CDL’s eScholarship, the University of California’s system-wide repository and publishing platform. 

One Monday in November 2018, three days after leaving my job as publications manager for the library publishing program at the CDL, I started a new role as the program manager for partnerships at Google Scholar. The past two and a half years have been eye-opening.

I have three strong memories from my first week. The first is knowing I had made the right decision to take the job when my new boss, Google Scholar co-founder and director Anurag Acharya, described the mission of Scholar to me in our first meeting: that “no matter the accident of your birth,” he told me, you should be able to know about all the papers written in any research field you might want to enter. What you did with that knowledge was up to you. 

My second memory is the expression on Anurag’s face when I admitted I didn’t really understand what robots.txt instructions did. “Goal: be more technical!” I wrote in my notebook that afternoon after spending hours looking up basic web indexing protocol information on Wikipedia. I don’t think he looked quite as disappointed as I remember, but I knew that I could no longer get away with not knowing how things worked. 

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June 8, 2021

Intersections: Connecting and Collaborating – Reflections of a Consortial Library Publisher

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Intersections is an occasional series where community members reflect on what they are seeing in other parts of their professional world and what library publishers can learn from it. 


By Amanda Hurford, Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI)

A conference icebreaker recently posed the question: How do you describe your job to someone who has no idea what it is that you do? For me, this can be a difficult question to answer since working for a library consortium falls outside the boundaries of traditional librarianship.  So, when I describe what I do to someone who knows nothing of the world of library consortia, I typically say something like: “I work for a non-profit organization that connects people and works together to develop services at private college libraries across Indiana.” 

My actual job title is Scholarly Communications Director for the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI). For the last four years, I’ve been working to develop a scholarly communications community of practice by connecting with a group of engaged librarians across the 24 PALNI-supported institutions.  We created a Schol Comm advisory group, led by a steering committee, and driven with the efforts of several work-focused teams administering programs for the consortium.  Some specific projects have been developing an open source consortial institutional repository (Hyku for Consortia), establishing our group affordable learning program (PALSave), statewide digitization of scarcely held resources (PALNI Last Copies), and finally, operationalizing publishing services for the PALNI Press.

When I started this position, I was excited for a change of pace and to work at a statewide scale.  As a former metadata and digital collections librarian, the concepts of consortia and scholarly communication were generally familiar to me.  But it’s been a whirlwind of learning about the growing consortial involvement in that space, and a significant shift, for me, working so collaboratively in every phase of a project.

For library publishers, here are some important things to know about consortia:

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June 2, 2021

Intersections: Library Publishing and Scholarly Societies

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Intersections is an occasional series where community members reflect on what they are seeing in other parts of their professional world and what library publishers can learn from it. 


By Lauren B. Collister, Director, Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing, University of Pittsburgh Library System, lbcollister@pitt.edu, @parnopaeus

Many people who come to librarianship have a background in a particular discipline of scholarship. In my case, this disciplinary experience is not just in the past, but rather an ongoing engagement with a scholarly discipline through work for a scholarly society. This work not only gives me insight into the lived experiences of scholars in my discipline who are attempting to carry out the open scholarship and publishing practices that we in the Library Publishing community often advocate for, but also presents opportunities for me to share resources and knowledge that can help the society and its members with their work. I hope that by sharing my experience with one scholarly society, I can inspire other people in our field to consider engaging with a disciplinary scholarly society as a way to not only develop and hone your own skills, but also to bring the practices and values of the library publishing community to the disciplines.

In my case, my scholarly background is in linguistics, and the scholarly society for linguists in the United States is the Linguistic Society of America (LSA). I was a student member during my PhD days; not only was I involved as a local host for the conference when it was in Pittsburgh, but I also took advantage of several of the training workshops as well as the job listings. When I transitioned to library work in 2013 with a new position in the library publishing program at the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, my membership in the society lapsed for a few years because I was very busy learning about my new job. However, when I heard that the LSA was planning its 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., and that part of the conference would include an Advocacy Day at the Capitol and meetings with Senators and Representatives, I was excited to sign up again to go back to the LSA conference.

The opportunity to advocate for linguistics, the discipline where I first felt like a scholar, was what drew me back to the Society, and while at the Annual Meeting I discovered another opportunity: the newly-formed Committee on Scholarly Communication in Linguistics. I attended the first meeting and immediately signed up. As a Scholarly Communications Librarian with a PhD in Linguistics, what more perfect service opportunity could there be?

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March 10, 2021

Transitions: Transitioning from a small, liberal arts university to a large, research university

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Transitions is an occasional series where community members reflect on the things they have learned while moving from one institution to another or one role to another. 


By Johanna Meetz, The Ohio State University

I worked as the Scholarly Communication and Publishing Services Librarian as well as the Associate Director of Pacific University Press at Pacific University, a small, liberal arts institution near Portland, OR, from 2016-2020. My job was split between institutional repository administration, which I had previous experience with, and the tasks associated with publishing, which were unfamiliar to me when I started. Pacific offers a more full-service set of publishing services than many publishing programs, including copyediting and typesetting, which added to the complexity of the job. In addition, the year before I started in the position, Pacific Libraries had recently founded Pacific University Press, a hybrid open access publisher that offers OA digital editions as well as print copies of books for purchase. As a result, while there I published both books and journals. I learned by doing, and it was an adventure to solve stylistic and technical problems as well as to become familiar with typical publishing standards and practices. Since I was the only faculty or staff member in my area, I grew comfortable relying largely on myself, as well as with reaching out to the LPC community when I needed assistance.

I started my new position as the Publishing and Repository Services Librarian at Ohio State University in 2020. I currently administer Ohio State’s institutional repository and oversee the publishing program. Though the high-level responsibilities are the same, the biggest difference in the two positions is that I now work with others; I supervise three full-time staff members who also work on the IR and with our publications. As a result, I am now a little more removed from the day-to-day tasks associated with production work in general, which enables me to spend more time and energy concentrating on the bigger picture: improving workflows and considering sustainability and scalability, particularly for our publishing program as it grows.

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March 1, 2021

Kudos to the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force!

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The Kudos program recognizes impactful work done by community members on behalf of the Library Publishing Coalition community.

Group photo of the task force

This Kudos recognizes Cheryl Ball (Wayne State University), Kevin Hawkins (University of North Texas), Harrison Inefuku (Iowa State University), Joshua Neds-Fox (Wayne State University), Angel Peterson (Penn State University), and Willa Tavernier (Indiana University) for their excellent work on the new LPC Roadmap for Anti-Racist Practice:

The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has done a huge amount of excellent work since it convened in July of 2019, but its recently published LPC Roadmap for Anti-Racist Practice is likely to have the largest and most lasting impact on the organization. The task force held a community call on anti-racism in September of 2020, and spent the next four months reviewing, organizing, and fleshing out the ideas that arose into a long-term plan for LPC to engage in anti-racist practice. They held extra meetings to accomplish this work alongside their regular activities (such as meeting with representatives from other LPC groups), and put in a substantial amount of time on it outside of meetings, as well. The result is a foundational document for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that will launch in July of this year, and one that will make it possible for that group to hit the ground running with community-driven anti-racist leadership for the whole organization. The task force deserves the recognition and thanks of the entire community. Kudos!

Statements from the task force:

Joint statement: “Working on the DEI Task Force is a way for us to demonstrate our commitment to anti-racist work in scholarly publishing. The anti-racist roadmap shows how the LPC stands behind these mandates on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Cheryl: “Already I have cited the roadmap to senior library leaders and have begun implementing its suggestions in other areas of my publishing work.”

Angel: “I joined the Library Publishing Coalition in 2020 and working on the anti-racist roadmap was my first official duty within the coalition. It is really inspiring to see our commitment to being a diverse and inclusive community. I fully plan on using these principals in my day-to-day work!”

Willa: “LPC has an amazing sense of community and the support for the work of the DEI Task Force that has come from the community is tremendously inspiring!”

This Kudos was submitted by Melanie Schlosser


March 1, 2021

Kudos to the Documentation Month planning group!

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The Kudos program recognizes impactful work done by community members on behalf of the Library Publishing Coalition community.

Zoom photo of the planning groupThis Kudos recognizes Allison Brown (SUNY Geneseo), Erin Jerome (University of Massachusetts), and Emily Stenberg (Washington University St. Louis) for their stellar work on Documentation Month:

The idea for a documentation event came up during a community call on creative staffing solutions, and it was picked up by the Professional Development Committee for implementation. It was Erin, Allison, and Emily, however, who brought it to life. They defined the purpose and structure of Documentation Month, created the Documentation Toolkit, planned and hosted community calls, and drafted communications. For five months, they met regularly to plan and did substantial work outside of meetings, coordinating with the Professional Development Committee and Educopia staff to ensure a successful event. Their Documentation Month is likely to serve as a model for future events, within LPC and in the wider community. Kudos!

 

A statement from Allison, Erin, and Emily:

“When we first began meeting as a group to work on mapping out what our Documentation Month would look like, the project felt incredibly ambitious and just a bit overwhelming. It’s been really amazing to see all the pieces fall into place and to know that the LPC community is just as excited as we are about this endeavor.”

 

This Kudos was submitted by Melanie Schlosser


February 4, 2021

Sunsetting LPC’s Service Providers List

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For the last few years LPC has maintained a list of service providers on our website. Although it was very lightly curated and intended to serve as a starting point for research, we felt it was worth maintaining because of the lack of any similar resources. 

We have been excited to see the growing interest in researching, tracking, cataloging, and assessing scholarly communications infrastructure. Now that several of these efforts have come to fruition, we feel it’s time to retire our basic list and direct our efforts towards supporting these more comprehensive resources. Because January is when we normally update the list, this is a good moment to sunset the service providers list and direct library publishers to these other resources. 

In particular, we would like to recommend the recently-announced Scholarly Communication Technology Catalogue (SComCat), developed by the Coalition of Open Access Repositories (COAR) as part of the Educopia-hosted Next Generation Library Publishing (NGLP) project. NGLP is also doing transformative work on aligning scholcomm infrastructure with academic and values that will add much to this conversation over the next couple of years. Further, we encourage library publishers to follow the Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) initiative, which is the new organizational home of the Census of Scholarly Communication Infrastructure. These efforts have already begun to produce sophisticated tools to support the needs of libraries and other mission-driven publishers, with more in the works. 

To avoid broken links, we are retaining the page that the Service Providers List lived on, but replacing the content with a link to this post. We have an archived version of the list for reference, so please feel free to reach out to us at contact@librarypublishing.org if you need it for any reason. We will continue to have a sponsorship program for the Library Publishing Forum that will allow library publishers to connect with service providers.


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January 12, 2021

The state of the field: An excerpt from the 2021 Library Publishing Directory

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As much as we love the searchable online interface for the Library Publishing Directory, it doesn’t include the introduction found in the print, PDF, and EPUB versions. Each year, the Directory‘s introduction includes a ‘state of the field’ based on that year’s data that highlights trends and new developments in library publishing as reported by the programs that contribute their information. To make it easier to find, we are republishing that portion of the introduction here. This year’s introduction was written by Janet Swatscheno, Ellen Dubinsky, Perry Collins, Ian Harmon, and Laura Miller with an assist from me. Enjoy!

THE 2021 LIBRARY PUBLISHING LANDSCAPE

The yearly Library Publishing Directory provides insights into library publishing activities, allowing us to consider how the field has evolved, prevalent current practice, and possible future directions. While we discuss trends below—often in comparison to prior years—please note that the number and composition of the dataset of Directory listings changes yearly; thus a strict comparison year to year is not possible. Further complicating any analysis of the data are changes to the survey itself. We do try to update the survey as changes in technology and publishing platforms emerge. The  Directory Committee routinely evaluates the data model to ensure that it best reflects the library publishing field. Many of the survey questions remain the same year to year and new questions are periodically added. This year’s collaboration with LibPub SIG and the resultant focus on the international community of library publishers prompted the addition of a question about languages used in publications and added additional types of library publisher (public library and consortium).

We also point out that the survey was distributed in August 2020, over 6 months after the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing disruption of “business as usual.” We did not attempt to incorporate any questions related to the pandemic and how or if it has affected library publishing activities. This is an area that should be considered in future editions of the Directory

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May 4, 2020

LPForum20: Make the Open Access Directory Better for All: A Library Publishers Edit-a-thon

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Editor’s note: When we changed the 2020 Library Publishing Forum to a virtual conference format, we gave presenters the option of converting their presentations into blog posts. This is a guest post in that series


By Julie Goldman, Sally Gore, Lisa Palmer, and Regina Raboin

This blog post is brought to you by the Editorial Team of the Journal of eScience Librarianship. 

About the Journal of eScience Librarianship

The Journal of eScience Librarianship (JeSLIB) is published by the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. JeSLIB is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that explores the role of librarians in supporting scientific research through services such as research data management, data literacy, data curation, data sharing, and librarians embedded on research teams. 

Launched in 2012 with funding from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the journal focuses on the development of eScience librarianship as a discipline, while also promoting open access and the transformation in scholarly communication. The journal emerged as an outgrowth of numerous eScience outreach projects and conference meetings that took place in New England among science and health sciences librarians, and continues now as a global effort with Editorial Board members from around the country, and a global readership.

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April 13, 2020

LPC Resources Roundup: Journal Best Practices Checklist

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We know that many library publishers are dealing with new staffing and workload patterns while physical locations are closed. To make it easier for you to draw on LPC’s resources during this time, we are pulling them together into a series of themed “roundups.” This first one is an action-oriented list of resources to support work on your journals:
This isn’t a new resource or a comprehensive list of best practices for journals – it just pulls our existing resources together into a format that may make it easier for you to hand off work to others or to frame a project to use available staff time. Look out for the next two planned roundups, on professional development and research.


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April 9, 2020

Announcing the Library Publishing Research Agenda

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The Library Publishing Coalition Research Committee is pleased to announce the release of the Library Publishing Research Agenda. The agenda offers exploratory overviews of six topics of importance to library publishers: Assessment, Labor, Accessibility, Non-traditional Research Outputs, Peer Review, and Partnerships. The document is divided into sections corresponding to each of these topics, which include brief descriptions of the topics, potential research questions, and a list of relevant resources. 

Cover of the PDF version of the AgendaHow to use the Research Agenda

The research agenda is offered as a starting point for individuals interested in learning about and conducting research related to library publishing, and aligns with the LPC Research Committee’s mission to promote research that can provide an evidence base to inform best practices for library publishers. 

We encourage the members of the library publishing community to use this document in a variety of ways, including purposes aimed at both research and practice. The research questions in each section can be used to develop research projects that investigate general trends in library publishing, or as a means of examining current practices and policies within one’s own institution. The relevant resources listed may be used as a starting point for individuals simply interested in learning more about aspects of library publishing, regardless of whether they are interested in conducting research in that area. 

This document is by no means comprehensive, and many highly important topics have been left unaddressed, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; resource allocation; and sustainability. Our hope is that the document will be a living one, and that it will continue to develop and evolve to address these and other areas of importance to library publishing programs. Hence, we hope that this document can serve as a foundation to which the community can contribute and that these contributions can be incorporated into future versions of the research agenda. 

Where to check it out

The Library Publishing Research Agenda can be accessed in PDF (generously hosted by Purdue University Libraries) and in HTML. As with all LPC publications, the Research Agenda is released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, and we encourage others to share and adapt it as widely as possible. Questions and comments about this document can be emailed to contact@librarypublishing.org

The creators of the Library Publishing Research Agenda

The Library Publishing Research Agenda  was created by the Library Publishing Coalition Research Committee: Nicky Agate, Jennifer Beamer, Elizabeth Bedford,  Jason Boczar, Karen Bjork, Corinne Guimont, Ian Harmon, Matthew Hunter, Annie Johnson, Sarah Wipperman, Vanessa Gabler (Board liaison); Melanie Schlosser (Educopia Institute). Production: Nancy Adams (copyediting) and Hannah Ballard (design). Educopia Institute.


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April 9, 2020

Announcing the Library Publishing Competencies

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With thanks to the Library Publishing Coalition community for its input, the LPC Professional Development Committee is now releasing the final version of the Library Publishing Competencies. This document provides a broad list of skills and knowledge useful in the development and provision of publishing services in libraries. 

The Competencies is organized into three sections: publishing (the work libraries do to publish content), program development and management (the work involved in creating, managing, and sustaining a publishing program), and teaching and consulting (reflecting both the consulting work libraries do with publishing partners and their larger educational mission around publishing on campus). 

Cover of the PDF version of the competencies

Why Library Publishing Competencies?

Library publishing is a fast-changing discipline that requires library publishers to engage with an environment of continual learning and research in order to keep up to date on publishing practices. Due to this fast pace, a collection of guidelines and competencies to support and educate library publishers is a valuable asset, especially when roles or programs are newly formed, in early stages, or in transition.

How to use this publication

We encourage the community to use this document in many ways, both in their library publishing career and for program development. For example, library publishers may reference the Competencies when creating or seeking out professional development. Or, they may use the document to identify skills needed for new or transitioning  positions. Though no one position can encompass all of these competencies, this broad list can help programs think about positions in context and identify which skills are essential to the work being performed. Finally, we encourage individual library publishers to use the competencies to identify both their strengths and areas in which they are interested in growing. 

Where to check it out

The Library Publishing Competencies can be accessed in PDF (generously hosted by Purdue University Libraries) and in HTML. As with all LPC publications, the Competencies is released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, and we encourage others to share and adapt it as widely as possible. Questions and comments about this document can be emailed to contact@librarypublishing.org

The creators of the Library Publishing Competencies

The LPC Professional Development Committee created this document as part of their mission to provide professional development for those in the LPC membership and in the larger community of library publishers.  Created by: Allison Brown, Emily Cole, Adrian Ho, Amanda Hurford, Melanie Kowalski, Ally Laird, Jessica Lange, Devin Soper, Carrye Syma; Ted Polley and Christine Fruin (Board liaisons); Melanie Schlosser (LPC staff). Production: Nancy Adams (copyediting) and Hannah Ballard (design). Educopia Institute.


March 4, 2020

Call for Applications: Library Publishing Curriculum Editorial Board Members

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The LPC Board seeks applications for the Library Publishing Curriculum Editorial Board. Created in partnership with the Educopia Institute as part of a project generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Library Publishing Curriculum is moving to its permanent home as an ongoing program of the LPC. Under the leadership of the Curriculum’s new Editor-in-Chief (EIC), Cheryl E. Ball (Wayne State University), the editorial board will identify maintenance and development needs for the Curriculum, oversee (and occasionally perform) that work, and promote the wide adoption and use of the Curriculum. The editorial board will consist of nine volunteer members, working under the guidance of the EIC and reporting to the LPC Board. 

Membership Qualifications and Term Lengths

Highly desired qualifications include:

  • Accomplishment and expertise in library publishing 
  • Research/publishing experience
  • Experience with curriculum development 
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion 

It is not necessary for candidates to possess robust experience in all the above areas, but they should be able to demonstrate experience with at least one or two. While service on most LPC working groups is limited to staff at member institutions, a limited number of editorial board spots will be open to non-members. All interested individuals are encouraged to apply. 

Members will serve three-year terms, which can be renewed once. Members who want to serve more than two consecutive terms must reapply. Estimated time commitment will be 5–6 hours a month, unless a member decides to take on additional writing/revision responsibilities. 

Responsibilities

Identifying work needed: The editorial board will be responsible for identifying gaps and opportunities in the curriculum, including new units, updates or adaptations of existing units (e.g., adapting the copyright unit for another country’s copyright landscape), translations, and other projects that will increase the currency, utility, and breadth of the curriculum. 

Recruiting and guiding project participants: The editorial board will recruit project participants and guide them through their project work; these individuals would work with the editorial board to devise and implement major revisions or additions to the curriculum. 

Authoring/updating curriculum content: For small projects, the editorial board may decide to undertake the work itself, rather than recruiting project participants. 

Identifying resources for curriculum development: For projects the editorial board wants to undertake that will require outside funding or other resources, the group will work with the EIC and LPC’s Board to identify potential funding sources and apply for grants. 

Ensuring high quality content: The editorial board will ensure that existing content is still useful and relevant, and that new content developed meets project goals and quality expectations.

Curriculum promotion: The editorial board is responsible for promoting new and revised content, and encouraging adoption of the curriculum in a variety of settings. 

Application Process

Applicants should submit a one-page statement outlining your qualifications and a CV by May 22nd to Nancy Adams at contact@librarypublishing.org. Nominations will also be accepted at that email address until May 10, after which nominees will be invited to submit materials until the deadline. LPC’s Board will review candidates at its June meeting and select the new editorial board, which will start July 1, 2020

 


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February 10, 2020

The state of the field: An excerpt from the 2020 Library Publishing Directory

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As much as we love the searchable online interface for the Library Publishing Directory, it doesn’t include the introduction found in the print, PDF, and EPUB versions. Each year, the Directory‘s introduction includes a ‘state of the field’ based on that year’s data that highlights trends and new developments in library publishing as reported by the programs that contribute their information. To make it easier to find, we are republishing that portion of the introduction here. This year’s introduction was written by Jessica Kirschner, Robert Browder, Ellen Dubinsky, Janet Swatscheno, and Amanda Wentworth with an assist from me. Enjoy!

THE 2020 LIBRARY PUBLISHING LANDSCAPE

As in previous years, the Directory Committee reviewed this year’s entries to identify trends in the data. Although not an exhaustive analysis, the following overview presents trends we find significant due to their value to the community or reflective of new information gathered in this year’s survey. These trends are often mentioned in comparison to the responses from last year’s Directory. However, it should be noted that such evaluation is not a one-to-one comparison: not only did we receive more total submissions this year (153 to 2019’s 138), but these totals are not composed of the same set of institutions, as some who submitted previously may not have submitted an entry this year. Thus, all data shared below should be taken as trends observed from our collected data rather than infallible descriptions of the library publishing field. Additionally, we point out instances of large variance, whether the causes are fully understood or not. We may offer possible reasons for such changes, but these should be taken as possible, rather than definite, explanations.

PROGRAM STAGE AND OA FOCUS

The 2020 Directory adjusted the stages at which institutions could qualify their publishing efforts from five to three categories, which were pilot, early, and established. Out of these categories, 71% of institutions reported their efforts as established while 37% reported being at the early stage. Only 7% reported being at the pilot stage.

As has been seen in previous years, open access features prominently in the mission of many library publishers. All respondents indicated that openness has some importance to their program. This year, 34% of respondents indicated that their program is “completely” committed to open access, number 5 on our 1–5 scale. This represents a decrease of 12% from the 2019 Directory. This difference seems to have been picked up by the 55% of respondents who indicated that open access is “very important” to their program. This represents an 11% increase from 2019. Those institutions who indicated that open access is merely “important” or “somewhat important” were found to be 6% and 3%, respectively.

FUNDING AND STAFFING

Forty-eight percent of respondents received 100% of their funding from their library’s operating budget. Five percent reported 100% of their funding coming from the library’s materials budget. Another 5% of respondents reported deriving some of their funding from sales revenues.

Staffing levels for both full-time professional staff and paraprofessional staff showed significant increases this year. The average number of full-time professional staff is 2.7, showing an increase of 0.4 staff members from 2019. The average number of paraprofessional staff is 2.2. This data point shows an increase of 1.7 staff members from 2019. The reason for such a large increase is unclear, although last year may be an anomaly as a look back at data from 2018 reveals a significant dip (–1.1) in 2019. Such difference could be a wonderful opportunity for deeper statistical analysis of the data and perhaps further research.

SERVICES

Library publishing programs report a fairly broad set of services, offering everything from copyright advice to project budget preparation. The most commonly reported services are copyright advice (79%), metadata services (77%), persistent identifier assignment (70%), training (68%), and analytics (63%). The least prevalent services were budget preparation (9%), applying for cataloging in process data (10%), and business model development (11%). Such high-low trends have remained relatively consistent in comparison with previous years.

TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS

Across institutions, the majority of content published was a combination of faculty (99 institutions reported, over 65%) and student (84 institutions reported, about 60%) journals. The third most popular type of publication content reported was ETDs, which 85 institutions (about 60%) reported publishing. Monographs, textbooks, conference materials, newsletters, and reports are also common publication forms. More interesting is the wide variety of other publication types reported. Datasets and open education resources—both textbooks and other formats—are becoming more common. Book chapters, archival and special collections materials, policy briefs, posters, bibliographies, maps, digital projects, and oral histories were just some of the dozens of other formats noted in this year’s survey. Library publishers appear willing and able to support publication of an expanding array of material.

PLATFORMS AND TECHNOLOGIES

Leveraging technology to develop and manage library publishing activity is a necessity and ongoing challenge. The ability to do so often depends on a combination of factors including budget, staffing, and technical skills. Many publishing programs operate on lean budgets and lean staffing, while others enjoy robust institutional and grant funding that make large-scale software development, installation, and maintenance programs possible. Library publishing programs often take advantage of open source software technologies. While some libraries manage this infrastructure in-house, cloud-based and outsourced technologies are essential for others. The Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal Systems is the single most used library publishing software with 45% of 2020 survey respondents reporting its use—a 5% increase from the previous year. The bepress (Digital Commons) platform is used by 39% of respondents, a slight decline from the 43% usage reported by 2019 survey respondents. DSpace, a well-established platform for open access repositories, is the third most popular library publishing platform at 32%. Pressbooks is used by 21% of respondents. Locally developed software is still important in this field at 16%, a small revival (an increase of 4%) after having been on a downward trend for the past two years.

One interesting finding in the data is that most library publishers offer multiple publishing platforms: 43% offer three or more publishing platforms, 20% offer two publishing platforms, and 32% only offer one publishing platform. Of the 32% who only offer one platform, the most common platform was bepress (Digital Commons), which can be used as an institutional repository and for publishing journals.

MEDIA FORMATS

Today’s publications may incorporate a wide variety of media types from plain text to interactive data visualizations. All respondents indicated they work with text. Eighty-six percent of publishing programs currently work with images, 70% of publishers report working with video, 69% report working with audio, and 68% of publishers report working with data. Multimedia/interactive content, concept maps and visualizations, and modeling are reported at 39%, 29%, and 14%, respectively.

DIGITAL PRESERVATION

In-house methodologies continue to be the leading preservation strategy among publishers with 34% of respondents managing their own preservation. Twenty-five percent of respondents use LOCKSS and 20% report using Amazon S3. Use of the Public Knowledge Project’s preservation network was reported by 14% of respondents. Notably, 20% of respondents indicated that preservation services are under discussion.

PARTNERSHIPS

Internal Partnerships
Most library publishing programs are developed initially to serve the publishing needs of their institutions, and the Directory has consistently reported strong partnerships between the libraries profiled and their campus (or other) communities. This year’s survey results continue to support this, with 83% of respondents reporting partnerships with campus-based departments and programs and 85% reporting partnerships with individual faculty. These numbers are consistent with previous years, showing only slight increases from 2019. The biggest change from 2019 was partnerships with graduate students, which increased from 57% to 75%.

External Partnerships
As library publishing grows, there is an increasing need for information about which libraries are willing to work with external partners and under what circumstances. Libraries need to know to which colleagues they can refer publications that aren’t a match for their program’s scope and capacity, and editors and societies need to know which library publishers might be willing to consider working with them. To facilitate these conversations, we added a question this year about whether the programs profiled are interested in working with external partners. Eighteen percent of respondents reported a willingness to work with any external partner, 59% of respondents indicated a willingness to work with external partners who can demonstrate a tie to their institution, and 5% percent expressed interest in working with external partners based on their disciplinary specialties. Ten percent reported that they are only interested in working with internal partners. These results indicate substantial opportunities for scholarly societies and independent publications to partner with libraries.

ABOUT THE DATA

The LPC maintains archived datasets for each year’s survey. All datasets are available from the LPC in their raw format (comma-separated value) upon request. A full statistical analysis of the data from the past seven years, as a set, has never been completed and is a rich opportunity for research.


December 5, 2019

LPC Mentorship Program: Looking back at year one, getting involved for year two!

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It’s time to reflect on the pilot year of our new Mentorship Program and to kick off participation for year two! We’ve made some exciting changes for year two – keep reading to learn about our new focus for 2020 (peer mentorship) and how to get involved.

The pilot year: How did it go? (Spoiler: It was great.)

This year, the Library Publishing Coalition Professional Development Committee introduced a new member opportunity: The LPC Mentorship Program. The goals of the program were two-fold. First, the program aimed to orient mentees to the LPC, to enrich mentors’ experiences with the LPC, and build relationships between the two. A secondary goal of the program was to further the development of library publishing through a professional, semi-structured mentorship program. 

Activities of the program included a virtual getting-to-know you meeting to kick things off, continuing with monthly calls and email correspondence between mentors and mentees.  Participants were provided with a list of suggested questions to help start their mentor/mentee relationship, and were then encouraged to continue the discussions in whatever direction was most desirable for the partners. An in-person meetup also took place at the Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver to provide an opportunity to further strengthen relationships.  

The meeting at the Forum took place over the lunch hour on the second day, and proved to be quite fruitful! Not all of the mentor/mentee pairs could attend, but we spent the majority of the time sharing out about our experiences and discussing with other participants about what has worked for them, what they enjoyed most, what suggestions they had for improvement, and networking with others that were participating in the pilot year. After the lunch meeting, all mentors and mentees were sent the list of discussion questions we used at the lunch, and were also encouraged to fill out a mid-year survey to assess the program and provide feedback.

The first cohort is currently wrapping up their participation, and their reception of this program has been positive. Participants of the first pilot year had many good things to share, including the following:

“Things are going well! Really nice to have time and energy dedicated to chatting with a peer who does not have the same institutional context as me.” – Emma Molls, University of Minnesota

“I really enjoyed serving as a mentor during this inaugural year of the LPC Mentorship Program. Benefits included expanding my professional network through forming a strong relationship with my mentee, broadening my expertise through learning about library publishing at his university, and the opportunity to contribute back to this wonderful community. All of these positives resulted from a minimal time commitment of about one hour per month to meet with my mentee, so future program participants can be confident that they will receive an outstanding payoff with nominal effort.” — Jody Bailey, Emory University

“The LPC Mentorship program did a fantastic job pairing me with the best mentor for my individual professional development goals. My mentor and I connected from the get-go and I learned so much from her experiences and advice, and made a real friend. Given how thoughtful and personalized the process, I think that this program is an essential tool in an early-career library publishing professional’s toolkit as they start out!” — Amanda Wentworth, SUNY OER Services

“Being quite new to library publishing, the LPC mentorship program was a fantastic way to get a personal & friendly introduction to the world of library publishing outside of my own institution. It was incredibly helpful to compare & contrast how location, institutional history, funding, and size of operation affects our daily workflows. My mentor was very generous and I got access to some excellent resources to share with my team!” — Emily Zheng, University of Alberta

Interested in being a peer mentor in 2020?

In response to a successful pilot year, the LPC Professional Development Committee will be offering the program again, with one key change. The focus for the 2020 year will be on peer mentor relationships, rather than having specific mentor and mentee roles. We hope to welcome many more members into the 2020 LPC Peer Mentorship Program!

Timeline for 2020 Cycle:

  • Applications out now! (Don’t worry, we’ll remind you again about applications in early January! We’ll be accepting applications through Jan. 17.)
  • Matching: We’ll match you with your new Peer Mentor by Jan. 24.
  • Orientation: Participants will receive a packet of information and resources and will arrange their first meeting with their peer mentor in February. 
  • Library Publishing Forum: May 4-6, Worcester, Massachusetts 
    • The LPC Professional Development Committee will host a lunch or meet-up for participants.
  • More throughout your time in the program!
    • Check-in emails (1 month, 3 months)
    • A virtual discussion group (mid-way)
    • A Mid-year Check-in (6 months) with survey
    • Complete 12-month post-cycle/cohort evaluation with exit survey

Apply for the 2020 LPC Peer Mentor Program now!


November 12, 2019

LPC and IFLA Library Publishing SIG launch a new partnership

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The Library Publishing Coalition was originally founded as a membership organization for North American libraries involved in publishing. After a couple of years, when we had our feet firmly under us, we opened up membership to libraries around the world. Since then, we have welcomed a handful of members from Europe and Australia, and have been thrilled to include them in the community. However, given our small size, lean staffing and infrastructure, and our continued geographical center of gravity in the U.S. (where the staff and the majority of our member libraries can be found), we remain primarily a North American community. 

We are also deeply committed to participating in the growing international community of library publishers. [1] Over the last couple of years, LPC’s Board has carefully considered various strategies for international engagement. In a typically strategic move, the Board has decided to focus our efforts on supporting and participating in the new Library Publishing Special Interest Group (SIG) within the International Federation of Library Associations. Over the next two years, we will be partnering with the new SIG on two projects:

  • The Library Publishing Directory: It is one of the goals of the new SIG to document library publishing activities among IFLA’s global membership. This winter, the SIG will be working with our Directory Committee to create more paths for international libraries to participate in the Directory. 
  • The Library Publishing Curriculum: Another area of focus for the SIG is increasing the availability of professional development for library publishers around the world. Volunteers from from the SIG and from LPC will identify portions of the Library Publishing Curriculum to adapt, package, and/or translate for greater international impact.

To support this partnership, LPC has joined IFLA as a library membership organization and has committed to sending representatives to international library publishing-related events (including the annual IFLA conference and any mid-term meetings organized by the SIG). We have also invited the SIG to appoint an official liaison to our community, who will help ensure regular communication and coordination between our two organizations. We are delighted to welcome former LPC Fellow Reggie Raju as the first IFLA SIG liaison to LPC. Melanie Schlosser will serve as the primary liaison to the SIG from LPC. Interested in supporting any of these efforts? Please reach out to Melanie (melanie@educopia.org) to find out where volunteers are needed. 

We are very excited to have this opportunity to participate in the important work of building the international community of library publishers! 

1. See Objective 2.4 of our 5-year strategic plan: https://librarypublishing.org/about/#strategic-plan