Posts by Melanie Schlosser

September 6, 2018

One library’s scholar-led, scholar-owned manifesto

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Water with the word reflections in all caps with a horizontal line above and below

This is an invited guest post by Paige Mann at the University of Redlands. 

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“As we expand the footprint of library publishing, we must continue to dialogue with colleagues about the increasing corporatization of academic libraries, and how scholar-led and/or scholar-owned is necessary for the good of our institutions, researchers, students, mainstream and marginalized communities.”

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Building off a shared value for critical librarianship, the librarians at the University of Redlands have been adapting our practices to respond to a myriad of factors, including shrinking budgets, vendor mergers and acquisitions, and publisher transformations into information analytic businesses. Although ours is a private, liberal arts institution that prioritizes teaching over publishing, all of higher education is involved with scholarship and learning, and are thus all affected by and affect scholarly publishing. Given our professional values, library publishers and libraries as a whole must use our positions to discern and respond to practices that erode, or can otherwise weaken, scholarship and learning.

When considering third-party commitments, our practice at the Armacost Library has been to base decisions primarily on costs, features, demand, usage, and influences on student learning. However, since January 2018 our library has been discussing the role professional values play in these decisions. We created a flexible assessment to foreground these values. This assessment takes into account community governance, fair licensing practices, diversity and inclusivity, commitment to open, privacy, and other criteria. Recognizing the impact this could have on institutional relationships, we followed this with a manifesto to draw attention to perversions we observed in scholarly communication practices. Our current draft of the Scholar-Led, Scholar-Owned Manifesto is brief, but dense with citations to strengthen our stance.

As we expand the footprint of library publishing, we must continue to dialogue with colleagues about the increasing corporatization of academic libraries, and how scholar-led and/or scholar-owned is necessary for the good of our institutions, researchers, students, mainstream and marginalized communities. That is, let’s adapt our ethical framework for publishing to also ground the terms with which we negotiate with vendors regarding our repositories, subscriptions, purchases, systems, and services. Let’s also reexamine ways to better steward the resources under our care to balance immediate needs with long-term, sustainable scholarly infrastructures. I’d like to see our scholarly communication units lead this change alongside our reference and user services, technical services, special collections, information literacy, web and technology teams.

The Manifesto will likely remain in draft form for a while as we negotiate with colleagues and ourselves, and while we reconcile the philosophical with the practical world of time, budgetary, and enrollment pressures. With the understanding that this is a big, complex, and ongoing adventure, we are pacing ourselves and will do what we can, with what we have, to work toward sustainable change in libraries. To that end, we encourage you to use and adapt the Assessment and Manifesto documents to stimulate discussion and change at your institutions.

Paige Mann
Physical Sciences Librarian | Web Experiences Librarian
University of Redlands


August 31, 2018

Building alliances: AUPresses/LPC collaborations and synergies

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LPC AUPresses Cross-Pollination Waiver Recipients banner image

For our 2018 conferences, the Library Publishing Coalition and the Association of University Presses collaborated on a Cross-Pollination Registration Waiver Program. The program sent two AUPresses members to the Library Publishing Forum and two LPC members to the AUPresses Annual Meeting. Each of the recipients was asked to write a reflection on their experience and on opportunities for libraries and presses to work together towards our shared goals. This post is by Mark Konecny, University of Cincinnati.  Read the whole series.

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“The imprimatur of a university press—with the scholarly apparatus of peer review and reputation for quality—makes it possible for digital projects to gain the legitimacy demanded by the academic community. Library publishing provides stable preservation and staffing that keeps projects viable for the long run.”

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In 2017, the University of Cincinnati Libraries opened a press with a library publishing unit (CLIPS) in order to provide professional publishing services to faculty, staff, departments, and centers associated with the university. We offer scholarly communications expertise along with à la carte or comprehensive solutions using press partners and staff. Library publishing has been identified as a key element in promoting the intellectual commons model. In keeping with the goals of the library and the university, CLIPS is tasked with developing new modes of digital publishing. The annual meetings of the Association of University Presses and the Library Publishing Forum are opportunities to meet with others working in this field, learn about strategies and techniques utilized by other presses, and pursue opportunities to work with colleagues at other institutions with similar resources. Given the fact that our press is a start-up, I was able to benefit from presentations and consultations with colleagues from universities around the world.

At the AUPresses meeting, I concentrated my efforts in three specific areas of interest: sustainable infrastructure, publishing digital projects, and workflows for the use of digital publishing platforms. One of the biggest challenges for a small unit is making sure that resources are used wisely and provide a service that can be used across the university. It became clear through discussions that this is a shared concern for all library publishers, and the meeting allowed me to understand how university presses create workflows to increase efficiency and leverage outsourcing. I was surprised by the profusion of publishing platforms being developed by university presses: Editoria, Vega, PubPub, Manifold, Fulcrum, OJS, and others. Even more remarkable is the variety of strategies these platforms use to produce output. Many attendees voiced a concern that technology was being promoted at the expense of producing quality output. There is a significant danger in allowing the technological tail to wag the dog, squandering scarce resources for small reward. This insight into process provided me with a cautionary tale and a better understanding of the status of different projects. (more…)


August 30, 2018

Variety and values: Reflections on the Library Publishing Forum

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LPC AUPresses Cross-Pollination Waiver Recipients banner image

For our 2018 conferences, the Library Publishing Coalition and the Association of University Presses collaborated on a Cross-Pollination Registration Waiver Program. The program sent two AUPresses members to the Library Publishing Forum and two LPC members to the AUPresses Annual Meeting. Each of the recipients was asked to write a reflection on their experience and on opportunities for libraries and presses to work together towards our shared goals. This post is by Jana Faust, University of Nebraska Press.  Read the whole series

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“A couple of things that stood out to me at the conference were individuals’ passion for their work and their commitment to a set of values that would create a culture of inclusivity.”

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The University of Nebraska Press and University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries often collaborate but they continue to be separate units of the university. It is most common for UNP to work with the UNL Libraries’ Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (specific examples include the Willa Cather Archive and The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition Online), Archives and Special Collections, and the institutional repository.

I went into the Library Publishing Forum not knowing very much about the more recent models of library publishing programs except that it has become more common for institutions to merge what had traditionally been two separate programs. I hoped to learn more about the purpose of these new models and how they differ from more traditional publishing. One thing that became apparent immediately is that there is as much variety in library publishing (in size, output, and workflow) as there is in university press publishing.

A couple of things that stood out to me at the conference were individuals’ passion for their work and their commitment to a set of values that would create a culture of inclusivity. In order to create the desired culture, many of these programs started by determining their values and then used those values as the foundation of their publishing programs. I would have expected the planning stage to focus more on practical issues: what types of content or subject areas to publish, how to handle peer review, and so forth. Instead, they often first documented their commitment to a culture of diversity, inclusivity, accessibility, and equity. I found the keynote by Cathy Kudlick, professor of history and director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, particularly enlightening. She urged attendees to “see disability as a tool for thinking differently about the world,” to picture pirates as disability action figures, and to go beyond compliance. In addition, she described people with disabilities as being the world’s best problem solvers. (more…)


August 29, 2018

Seeing each other: Reflections on library/press cross-pollination

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LPC AUPresses Cross-Pollination Waiver Recipients banner image

For our 2018 conferences, the Library Publishing Coalition and the Association of University Presses collaborated on a Cross-Pollination Registration Waiver Program. The program sent two AUPresses members to the Library Publishing Forum and two LPC members to the AUPresses Annual Meeting. Each of the recipients was asked to write a reflection on their experience and on opportunities for libraries and presses to work together towards our shared goals. This post is by Sarah Hare, Indiana University.  Read the whole series

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“In my experience, press partners often bring an important understanding of workload and fiscal responsibility to these projects while librarians bring a passion for open access and experimentation.”

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Why cross-pollinate?

In 2016, Charles Watkinson wrote “Why Marriage Matters: A North American Perspective on Press/Library Partnerships,” which presented a compelling argument for why presses and libraries, as “natural allies in the quest to create a more equitable scholarly publishing system,” should pursue “long-term, deeply embedded partnerships” (p. 342). The article also proposed a taxonomy for understanding library/press relationships and cited noteworthy models for collaboration beyond the “press reports to library” arrangement.

I believe that Watkinson’s recommendations for embracing library/press partnerships in order to better serve the institution both entities are embedded within have only become more relevant. Thinking strategically and realistically about shared library/press work has become imperative at my own institution, Indiana University Bloomington.

In 2012, IU Provost Lauren Robel created the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP). The OSP is a partnership between Indiana University Press and IU Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Department. The OSP aims to harness disparate publishing resources and strategically pool expertise in order to transform scholarly publishing at IU. This often happens by:

  • Serving IU faculty and students through journal publishing, open access book publishing, and course material publishing
  • Moving conversations on publishing innovations forward at IU, including discussion on experimental peer review, course material affordability, hybrid OA models, open-source infrastructure, and new modes of scholarship (for example, 3-D object and multimedia integration)
  • Educating the next generation of scholars, both through supporting the creation of student publishing projects and creating programming and hands-on experiences for students interested in publishing, open access, and scholarly career paths

This work requires a shared understanding and committed collaboration from library/press partners. Thus, in addition to learning more about what presses are doing operationally, I applied to the AUPresses/LPC cross-pollination registration waiver program to answer larger questions I had about press values and the university press community’s interests. I also wanted to learn about how others approach library/press collaboration, work toward truly seeing each other, understand the values and ethics of the other partner, and maintain a fruitful relationship through the constant change and innovation inherent in scholarly publishing work today. (more…)


August 28, 2018

Advancing shared goals: Reflections on press/library partnerships

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LPC AUPresses Cross-Pollination Waiver Recipients banner image

For our 2018 conferences, the Library Publishing Coalition and the Association of University Presses collaborated on a Cross-Pollination Registration Waiver Program. The program sent two AUPresses members to the Library Publishing Forum and two LPC members to the AUPresses Annual Meeting. Each of the recipients was asked to write a reflection on their experience and on opportunities for libraries and presses to work together towards our shared goals. This post is by James Ayers, University of New Mexico Press.  Read the whole series

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“Perhaps my greatest takeaway was that libraries often fail to see their university’s press as an asset in the accomplishment of their goals, and presses often fail to see how a relationship with their university’s library could help to advance their own mission.”

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In March of this year, the University of New Mexico Press entered into an administrative reporting relationship with the University of New Mexico’s College of Libraries. Because this new relationship created opportunities for collaborations between the press and the library—especially where publishing initiatives are concerned—I became interested in developing a better understanding of what university libraries are pursuing in terms of publishing and how they are accomplishing these goals. The Library Publishing Forum seemed an excellent opportunity to learn firsthand what publishing initiatives were of interest to university libraries and how they were pursuing these aims. My hope was to find avenues by which a library-press relationship might either facilitate the accomplishment of existing publishing goals or create new, shared goals.

At the forum I had the chance to attend a variety of panels that highlighted many of the questions I wanted to explore, and I was also able to make some valuable connections with library staff from other institutions and discuss topics of interest to us both. Much of my time at the Library Publishing Forum was spent learning about library publishers’ “in the weeds” experiences, and it was very illuminating to hear about the problems they encountered and the solutions they realized. It was incredibly valuable to see some of the specific projects library publishers have begun or completed, and I made my observations with an eye toward how a library-press relationship might be beneficial to both departments. (more…)


August 23, 2018

LPC welcomes a new strategic affiliate: The Open Textbook Network

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Open Textbook Network logo

The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome the Open Textbook Network (OTN) as a new strategic affiliate! A statement from OTN:

“The Open Textbook Network is excited to announce it is now a Library Publishing Coalition Strategic Affiliates Program Partner. We look forward to working together to support open education publishing initiatives in libraries across the nation. As a community of open education leaders, we are committed to supporting one another in developing skills, processes and best practices in open education.”

And a statement from LPC on the new relationship:

“Open education publishing is a substantial and growing component of library publishing, and one that is a natural fit for libraries’ support for education affordability and deep engagement with the educational missions of their parent institutions. We are very excited to partner with the Open Textbook Network to support both of our communities, particularly in the areas of best practices and professional development related to open education publishing.”

Strategic affiliates are peer membership associations who have a focal area in scholarly communications and substantial engagement with libraries, publishers, or both. See our list of strategic affiliates or learn more about the program.

LPC Strategic Affiliates icon


August 10, 2018

LPC’s new strategic plan

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LPC Strategic Plan 2018-2023 Now Available

The LPC is excited to release our very first strategic plan! The result of more than a year of work by the Board and the community, the plan will guide the organization’s efforts over the next five years. It will focus our work in three goal areas:

  • Promulgate best practices in library publishing
  • Strengthen the community of library publishers
  • Act as a focal point and a force multiplier for library publishing

Each of the three goals encompasses a variety of objectives and action items, many of which represent work already underway in the community. Working on the plan uncovered areas for growth and identified new pathways for the LPC, while also happily confirming that the organization was already headed in many of the right directions. Rather than a course change, this plan gives us the opportunity to articulate our goals and to further align our efforts towards reaching them.

The plan will be used by the Board, the standing committees, and the staff to plan our work and evaluate the results. We will also use it to report out to the community on progress towards our shared goals.

Read the Strategic Plan (PDF)


August 7, 2018

Library Publishing Curriculum: Policy module released

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Library publishing curriculum policy module available

We are very excited to announce the release of the fourth module of openly licensed curriculum materials created as part of the ‘Developing a Curriculum to Advance Library-Based Publishing‘ project. The Policy Module covers how library publishers develop policies that guide specific areas of their work. In this initial release, it is focused on policies related to copyright, diversity, and digital preservation, and guidance on creating legal agreements. The module was created by Sara Benson, Harriet Green, Merinda Kaye Hensley, and Janet Swatscheno (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library); and Katherine Skinner and Melanie Schlosser (Educopia Institute).  

The Policy Module joins three other modules published by Educopia Institute and the Library Publishing Coalition this year: Content, Impact, and Sustainability. Each module contains an introduction plus 4-7 “units” that address topics of interest. Each unit includes the following components: a narrative, a slideshow with talking notes, activities for use in a physical or virtual classroom for workshops and courses. A fifth module will be released in 2019. Titled “Introduction,” it is being developed by the project’s advisory board, and provides helpful background and synthesis for learners and instructors.

Workshop opportunities

A set of pilot workshops (virtual and in-person) are already underway. An ongoing list and registration information for these workshops is maintained by the project team and is available here.

In-person workshops: We will be holding a pair of in-person pilot workshops for the Sustainability and Content Modules at the 2018 Digital Library Federation Forum in Henderson, Nevada in October.  Learn more and apply (deadline August 24).

Virtual workshops: Registration for the Impact virtual workshop is now full, but look for announcements about more virtual workshops this fall.

More about the curriculum

The Library Publishing Curriculum is a suite of synchronous and asynchronous professional development offerings for librarians that are open and free under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license for anyone to offer or adapt. Each module has been authored by field experts, and each is roughly the equivalent of a 12 hour “course.”

This dynamic, extensible, multimedia curriculum is intended to empower librarians to meet local demands to launch and/or enhance scholarly publishing activities. This project is a partnership of Educopia, LPC, the Public Knowledge Project, NASIG, and BlueSky to BluePrint, generously funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Curriculum editors: Sarah Lippincott, Independent Scholarly Communications and Digital Scholarship Consultant; Melanie Schlosser, Educopia Institute; Katherine Skinner, Educopia Institute; Hannah Ballard, Educopia Institute; Nancy Maron, BlueSky to BluePrint


August 6, 2018

Library Publishing Curriculum pilot workshops at the DLF Forum

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The Developing A Curriculum to Advance Library-Based Publishing project, generously funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, is hosting a pair of in-person workshops at at this year’s Digital Library Federation Forum based on the Content and Sustainability modules of the curriculum. Both full-day workshops will take place on Sunday, October 14 (the day before the Forum) at the M Resort just outside of Las Vegas, NV. Each workshop is limited to 20 participants, to be selected through a brief application process. We also have three diversity scholarships available for attendees (see below). While the workshops are affiliated with and will complement the Digital Library Federation Forum, please note that you do not have to attend the Forum to participate in the workshops or to receive a scholarship.

Registration fee: $100

Workshop descriptions

Library Publishing Curriculum: Content

The Content workshop will cover how library publishers attract, select, edit, manage, and disseminate content. Attendees will learn how to recruit partners and select content for their program, and how to incorporate diverse voices into each part of the publication process. The workshop will also share information on common production workflows, identifying the resources and staff skills needed to support various editorial strategies and content types.

Instructor: Matt Ruen, Grand Valley State University

Library Publishing Curriculum: Sustainability

The Sustainability workshop will focus on how library publishing endeavors can establish longevity and find long-term success. Attendees will learn how to build support with key stakeholders and communities, both internally (library staff) and externally (e.g., University Press), and how to undertake digital preservation to prolong the lifespan of digital publications.

Instructor: Lisa Schiff, California Digital Library

(more…)


August 3, 2018

LPC welcomes a new member: University of Ottawa

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome a new member: University of Ottawa! A statement from uOttawa:

The University of Ottawa Library recognizes the importance of supporting scholarly communication initiatives and increasing the visibility of academic research. To this end, we offer hosting services using OJS to increase access to journals produced by the uOttawa community and to encourage the creation of new ones. We currently have 12 open access peer-reviewed faculty, student and society journals on our platform and we continue to grow our services. uOttawa Library is also responsible for our IR where we publish graduate ETDs, honors theses, and faculty publications. We are pleased to be a new Library Publishing Coalition member and look forward to engaging with the library publishing community to enhance our publishing efforts and share best practices.

University of Ottawa beneath an icon with a columned building


July 24, 2018

An Ethical Framework for Library Publishing, Version 1.0

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New publication: An Ethical Framework for Library Publishing, Version 1.0

The Library Publishing Coalition is very excited to announce the release of a new resource: An Ethical Framework for Library Publishing, Version 1.0. Inspired by discussions at the 2017 Library Publishing Forum, the Framework was created by the members of the Ethical Framework for Library Publishing Task Force, with the assistance of many community members who served as peer reviewers and workshop participants, as well as the staff of the Educopia Institute. The Framework introduces library publishers to important ethical considerations in a variety of areas and provides concrete recommendations for ethical scholarly publishing. As the version number in the title suggests, this is meant to be an evolving document – to be updated and expanded over time. We would love to hear from the community about how this document is useful to you and how it could be improved – please email contact@librarypublishing.org with feedback and suggestions!

The Framework is now available in HTML and PDF, both of which can be accessed via LPC’s Resources page. Many thanks to Purdue University Libraries for their production support and for hosting the PDF version of the document!

The Framework is released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, so it can be freely copied, distributed, and built upon. However, where possible, please link to the version of record rather than reposting, to help us track the document’s impact and to ensure that the latest version is easily discoverable.