Posts by Nancy Adams

September 21, 2020

Nominations open for the third annual Award for Exemplary Service

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As participation in library publishing grows, community involvement and leadership has become increasingly important for the profession. To encourage and recognize such service, the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) gives out an annual Exemplary Service Award. The award recognizes substantial contributions by an LPC community member to advancing the mission, vision, or values of the Library Publishing Coalition.

Nominations, including self-nominations, may be submitted to the LPC Board by any member of the LPC community. Anyone who is at an LPC member institution can nominate someone. Deadline for nominations is October 9th, 2020.

Please use the nomination form and include the nominee’s name, affiliation, and email address, as well as a brief statement on why the nominee deserves the award. The winner will be announced in December.

Criteria for the award

Awardees must:

  • Have contributed substantially to advancing the mission, vision, or values of the Library Publishing Coalition through service.
  • Have served on an LPC committee or task force within the last three years.
  • Be currently employed by an LPC member institution.
  • Not be currently serving on the LPC Board.

Substantial contributions may include:

  • Effective leadership of or exemplary contributions to a committee or task force.
  • Advocacy on behalf of the LPC or the creation or strengthening of LPC relationships with other groups.
  • Significant contributions to the creation of a new program within the LPC or to the expansion, or adoption, of programs and services for members.

Submit a Nomination


August 3, 2020

Call for 2021 Entries: Library Publishing Directory and IFLA Library Publishing SIG Database

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Library Publishing Coalition logo

The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Library Publishing Special Interest Group (LibPub SIG) are partnering to survey the landscape of scholarly publishing in libraries across the globe. LPC is seeking submissions for its 8th annual Library Publishing Directory. IFLA’s LibPub SIG will create a first-of-its-kind online database of global library publishing initiatives. Together, we invite you to share information about your library’s scholarly publishing activities. 

All participating libraries will create a brief profile that will appear in both organizations’ online databases. Libraries that wish to be included in the print, PDF, and EPUB Library Publishing Directory can go on to fill out the full questionnaire (30-45 minutes to complete). Get started at  https://librarypublishing.org/lpdq-2021. (If your library has had an entry in a previous edition of the Directory, you should have received an email with instructions on how to update it. Email contact@librarypublishing.org with questions.) 

While this year the questions are in English, in future we hope to be able to translate them into IFLA’s official languages. Responses in English are strongly preferred; we may not be able to include responses in other languages. 

The call for entries will close on Monday, September 14, 2020.

Thank you for joining in this great international collaboration. We look forward to your participation.

The Library Publishing Coalition Directory Committee
Janet Swatscheno, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chair
Perry Collins, University of Florida
Ellen Dubinsky, University of Arizona
Ian Harmon, West Virginia University
Laura Miller, Florida State University

IFLA Special Interest Group on Library Publishing Subcommittee
Grace Liu (Canada)
Ann Okerson (USA)

About the Library Publishing Directory

The Library Publishing Directory is an important tool for libraries wishing to learn about this emerging field, connect with their peers, and align their practices with those of the broader community. Last year’s edition featured over 150 libraries in almost a dozen nations.

The Directory is published openly on the web in PDF, EPUB, and as an online database. It includes contact information, descriptions, and other key facts about each library’s publishing services. A print version of the Directory is also produced. The 2021 edition will be published in early 2021.

About the IFLA Library Publishing SIG database

The goal of the LibPub SIG database is to document more fully the publishing activities to which IFLA’s members contribute, in order to facilitate a global community of interest and support. While this first year the focus is on scholarly/academic library publishers, in the future the SIG plans to open submissions to all types of library publishers: academic, public, and others.

Submissions will appear in an IFLA-related searchable database, easily accessible by IFLA members and friends, including LPC members.


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July 28, 2020

LPForum20: Publishing Reality: Developing a Publishing Model For Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Their Related Pedagogical Materials

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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 David Scherer, Hannah Gunderman, Matthew Lincoln, Rikk Mulligan, Emma Slayton, and Scott Weingart (Carnegie Mellon University)

How does one publish something that is intended to be a completely immersive and interactive experience such as those designed for Virtual Reality (VR)? How does one convey the subjective experiences of emulated real-world environments? That is the challenge of defining a publishing service model for documenting the experiences of AR and VR. In 2019 representatives from the Carnegie Mellon University digital Sciences, Humanities, Arts, Research and Publishing group (dSHARP) collaborated with faculty from CMU’s English Department to publish materials related to Shakespeare-VR, https://dh-web.hss.cmu.edu/shakespeare_vr/.

The Shakespeare-VR project uses virtual reality technologies to bring students face-to-face with professional actors performing Shakespearean soliloquies in a replica of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Playhouse. Beyond Publishing the VR experiences, dSHARP examined the complexity of publishing the accompanying OER-based pedagogical materials produced by Shakespeare-VR. As dSHARP has continued working with colleagues from CMU’s Department of English, a need arose to develop an AR/VR Portal where researchers and scholars designing AR and VR experiences with accompanying pedagogical materials could publish and share their scholarship.

This presentation will discuss the new initiative at CMU to produce and publish materials related to the experiences of AR and VR through using our institutional repository, KiltHub and its connection to the primary web presence of the Shakespeare-VR Project. This presentation will discuss the background and complexities of working with and documenting AR and VR, and how the challenges of working with AR and VR could be addressed at scale. This presentation will also explore how future library publishers can assist in adding context to the publishing of AR and VR materials, and how these could be incorporated into future OER-based pedagogical materials to teach the design, construction, and use of AR and VR.

Watch/access and download the presentation, a PDF of the presentation slides with notes, and a PDF of the presentation slides without notes from the Carnegie Mellon University KiltHub Repository.

 

 


July 13, 2020

Our Commitment to Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, Opportunity, and Inclusion

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The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Tony McDade, and countless others have laid bare the aggression, discrimination, and violence that Black, Indigenous, and communities of color face in the United States and around the world. Black lives matter. The Library Publishing Coalition joins with those protesting the racism and oppression ingrained and institutionalized in our societies and seeking to make meaningful change. Dismantling systems of oppression will require hard, uncomfortable, and uncompromising work in every aspect of society.  

The Library Publishing Coalition is no exception. Although we represent a robust and growing network of libraries, persons of color are significantly underrepresented in library publishing. Gatekeeping practices in scholarly communication and publishing marginalize and silence the identities, voices, and experiences of authors and communities of color. We are committed to combating racism and inequity in library publishing.

LPC plans to begin with these steps:

  • Establishing a standing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
  • Instituting a liaison system where each LPC committee will appoint a liaison to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to ensure that all planned programs and initiatives are reviewed with a critical anti-oppressive lens.
  • Conducting a periodic equity assessment of the library publishing community, possibly in collaboration with another LPC committee.
  • Providing resources for members to help create opportunities for underrepresented groups generally and persons of color specifically in their library publishing programs.
  • Promoting the adoption of anti-racist and anti-oppressive policies and practices in member publishing programs.

These are our ideas, but we want to hear yours. Please email us at contact@librarypublishing.org with comments, suggestions, or questions.

Library Publishing Coalition Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Library Publishing Coalition Board of Directors

 


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July 2, 2020

LPForum20: So you’ve been rejected from MedEdPORTAL: Demystifying Open Access to Medical Educators

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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 Hannah J. Craven and Rachel J. Hinrichs

Introduction to MedEdPORTAL

Medical educators at our institution are encouraged to publish open educational resources (OERs) in the journal MedEdPORTAL. Published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), MedEdPORTAL is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for medical education scholarship that is now indexed in MEDLINE. These publications contain complete curricula, including objectives, instructor guides, slides, and assessments, ready to be implemented in the classroom. The intended students for the curricula should be training or practicing physicians or dentists, but could also include members of other health professions, as long as there is at least one physician or dentist learner in the classroom. For teaching faculty interested in applying for promotion, MedEdPORTAL can demonstrate the quality of their teaching materials through peer-review, citation counts, and other usage reports.

The Issue

Despite submitting high quality curricula, medical educators receive rejections from the MedEdPORTAL 62% of the time. Reasons for rejection include insufficient educational context and assessment, mismatch of educational objectives and instructional content, and failure to build on existing curricula. Of immediately rejected submissions, 90% also have copyright issues. These copyright issues stem primarily from the use of third-party images. MedEdPORTAL is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and therefore has strict requirements for copyright and licensing images in the education materials. These requirements can be difficult for medical educators to navigate.

Copyright and Licensing in MedEdPORTAL

MedEdPORTAL requires that authors on the last question of the submission form select a Creative Commons license for their work. We always recommend the Attribution (CC-BY) license as it is the least restrictive, without putting the work in the public domain.

This is a screengrab of the last question in the MedEdPORTAL submission process. The author must select a Creative Commons Copyright Usage License from the following: Attribution (CC-BY), Attribution-NonCommercial (CC-BY-NC), or Public Domain (C0).

 

All images not created by the author must be either in the public domain, or have a CC-BY or CC-BY-NC license. MedEdPORTAL will not publish share-alike-licensed images. For images not in the public domain or with Creative Common licenses, authors must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If permission is not obtained, the image must be removed and a placeholder with a citation to locate the original image added. If permission is obtained, a Third-Party Permission Form for the image must be included in the submission.

If authors choose to license their submission CC-BY, they can use images that are CC-BY or C0. If the authors choose to license their submission CC-BY-NC, they can use images that are CC-BY-NC, CC-BY or C0. All other CC licenses are unusable according to Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA).

An image also cannot include any personal health information. All names and IDs should be blacked out, as well as eyes in photographs to anonymize the patient.

We use the decision tree below for each image to figure out if we can include an image and how to properly cite it:

This flowchart can be used to determine if an image can be properly used in your MedEdPORTAL submission. This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Hannah Craven.

 

The Role of the Librarian

Librarians with interest/experience in Open Education Resources, Open Access, Copyright, or Creative Commons licensing can support medical educators both passively and actively depending on time constraints and level of involvement needed. Both of us have successfully assisted, trained, and supported authors submitting to MedEdPORTAL. Combined, we have submitted three projects (with librarian listed as a co-author). Of those three, one is in-press and two were resubmitted with edits and undergoing review. A fourth project is now in-progress. Of the edits necessary for the in-press and resubmitted projects, none were related to image use or licensing issues.

Active Support: Co-author, workshops, or consultations

The highest level of support we offer is “Co-author.” The librarian meets criteria for authorship, specifically according to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations.

For the Education Summary Report (ESR), the librarian can perform a literature search of MedEdPORTAL and MEDLINE, or other relevant databases, to show the educational materials being submitted are novel. This must be addressed in the introduction of the ESR and the librarian can contribute by writing up the answer to the following question from the template provided for authors: “Build a case for how your submission represents a unique contribution to existing literature. Reference similar publications in MedEdPORTAL.” The librarian may also manage the citations for the ESR and all other appendices using citation management software.

The bulk of our expertise is in managing the images used within the course materials. This requires a bit of project management skills to keep track of all the following stages. First, an inventory is taken of all images, tables, and figures used in the educational materials. Previously, the materials fell under Fair Use as they were used only in the classroom, so many items are copyrighted. Once the copyright or licensing status of all images is determined, we contact the copyright holders with the permission form and ask if we may use the image in our work. If there is a fee, or the owner says no, the librarian will find an appropriately licensed substitution image or ask if the co-authors would like to use an author-owned image. If the owner of copyrighted material signs the form for use, the form is saved and submitted with the materials.

Another way we provide support is through workshops. Early in 2020, we were able to host a quick 20-minute workshop at a school-wide event with a medical educator. Materials we shared included a slide deck comparison before and after preparing for MedEdPORTAL submission, a completed Third-Party Permission Form, and a handout. Our handout walks educators through questions to consider before preparing a submission. It contains checklists, explanations, an “image screening quiz,” and the image use and citation decision tree shown above. The workshop was received well and had relatively high attendance. This has given us a framework for future library workshops that we plan to host in coming semesters.

The last way we provide active support is via consultations. Our methods for managing the use of images is laid out so the medical educators may handle it themselves. Some medical educators have materials they wish to submit with very few images, requiring little help navigating copyright and licensing issues. The librarian can instead spend the meeting explaining the do’s and don’ts of submissions and provide guidance based on our past experiences as co-authors.

Passive Support: Online resource guide, handout

A resource like our LibGuide, “MedEdPortal submissions & image use” was created to inform authors on the niche issues that come along with publishing in this specific Open Access journal. While participating as a co-author, we would have many questions for the MedEdPORTAL editors. This guide is intended to answer many of those questions that could not be answered directly from the author information page and required an email to the editors. We curated a list of websites to find medical open images, gathered from responses on the MEDLIB-L listserv and our colleagues’ suggestions. Since the guide’s creation in October 2019, the guide has garnered almost 500 views. Of the medical library’s non-departmental guides, it ranks in the top 40% for page views for the same duration.

The handout from our workshop mentioned above has been self-archived in our institutional repository, IUPUI ScholarWorks. We reference people here to help get them started. It is a good tool to have them look through before a consultation.

Conclusion

The partnership between medical educators and librarians for MedEdPORTAL submissions is a mutual benefit. While the faculty learn more about copyright, Creative Commons, and OERs, librarians have an opportunity to participate on a team and co-author publications. Due to the time-consuming nature of the co-authorship level of service, we cannot assist everyone at this level if demand increases. Workshops, consultations, and our online resources will be useful to reach more medical educators interested in submitting to MedEdPORTAL. Our goal is for educators to consider the image use issues from the inception of their educational materials to save time when they prepare to submit.

Key points:

  • Librarians can support faculty when submitting to an OER like MedEdPORTAL either passively or actively
  • Faculty may be unfamiliar with the nuances of copyright and licensing since they are often operating under Fair Use in the classroom
  • Project management skills are helpful for managing the images, copyright forms, and substitutions

This blog post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Hannah Craven and Rachel Hinrichs.

Hannah J. Craven
@HannahC_MLIS
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1701-3655
Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Rachel J. Hinrichs
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0762-744X
University Library, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Update: Since original posting, the in-press MedEdPORTAL submission is now published and can be viewed here: https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10918


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July 1, 2020

LPForum20: Accessibility beyond web standards for improving User Experience

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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 Israel Cefrin, PKP

Background

Improving the usability of Open Journal Systems (OJS) is a current concern and goal of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). Since the OJS3 release in 2016, PKP has undergone usability testing to assess current and new features. Likewise, this version was the first to include a better approach  to navigate in the Dashboard using the keyboard to manage submissions. For accessibility purposes, the interaction with a website must include keyboard navigation, since it is considered a basic concept of input. Hence, any interface needs to allow users to interact with it using a keyboard only rather than a mouse.

Since this initial effort in 2016, PKP is aware of accessibility issues in OJS that could prevent the use of the software by people with disabilities (PWD). These issues are related either to the dashboard or user interface and the public reader interface which is managed by themes.Currently, OJS themes that PKP shares to the community are responsive. These themes are templates that adapt the look and feel of journals. They can be used with small screens like smartphones or tablets, but are not fully accessible for desktop users.

The first step to Accessibility – Themes

PKP Sprint – Accessibility Working Group (Vancouver 2019 / Photo: Marisa McDonald – PKP)

Motivated by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) (legislation in the Canadian province of Ontario) an Accessibility Working Group (AWG) was formed at the PKP sprint during the 2019 Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver, Canada. The initial task for this working group was to state the implications to the community and Canadian institutions that use OJS regarding the AODA and accessibility for their journals’ websites. At this time, a roadmap was devised to guide related work.

Group members agreed, as the first practical in software development terms, that tackling accessibility issues for the OJS Default Theme should be the main task to pursue. Moreover, it would require an assessment of the current state and a trackable action plan to turn it fully or, at least the most compliant to, accessibility guidelines and standards.

OJS Default Theme in the PKP Demo site

 

Accessibility assessment and Web standards

Moving forward, it was decided that evaluating the OJS interface would require an external expert. Even though the internal development team was working with designers, developers, and researchers, it was clear that the workload for auditing would demand a seasoned professional in the accessibility field.

We had a broad idea that the assessment would cover automatic and manual test validation, and we were pretty sure that achieving Web Content Access Guideline (WCAG) compliance with level AA ought to be our success indicator. In fact, the most automatic accessibility validation tools usually report results comparing to the WCAG compliance level.  Our external vendor for accessibility auditing, however, brought us a different but complementary understanding: that the compliance level to Web Standards can not be the final goal, but rather a  way to achieve a more accessible website. 

It turned out that for  comprehensive accessibility auditing, we should go through the same path that we used to follow for usability testing sessions. OJS3 was released after testing and feedback from users, i.e. authors and editors that were final users of it. Our vendor would provide an audit report based on testing by people with disabilities (PWD) using their own devices enabled with assistive technology (AT).

VoiceOver is the Assistive Technology built-in on macOS/iOS devices

In fact, we wouldn’t ignore WCAG but go further in the user experience (UX) evaluation. Even though it is possible, and reasonably straight forward to enable screen readers apps on macOS, Windows or Linux desktop, it is not easy for an ordinary or a heavy user to emulate a PWD user behaviour as long they are navigating with AT aid.   The same applies to smartphones and tablets. For example, It is possible to enable VoiceOver in iOS devices, however, using it to navigate and run into the issues that a real PWD does, is much different. 

The auditing process resulted in a better understanding of an inclusive design process. We have received feedback from people that rely on AT to access the internet. Furthermore, improvements that can be implemented from their report will also benefit every user, including those that don’t rely on any AT.

Outcomes from the auditing

The audit report from this initial work is under a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement with our external vendor. We can, however, share that, this document helped us to file issues in an Accessibility project in Github. It is helpingPKP to manage issues and for our  community members to track, collaborate, and verify the work that it is already done. 

Accessibility Project in Github: https://github.com/pkp/pkp-lib/projects/16

 

Currently, the OJS Default Theme is being adjusted and tested internally. Every issue, when moved to the “Ready for Review/Testing” card is tested against a set of operational system (OS) and browsers with AT enabled. Even though we can not emulate a PWD user, it is possible to make quick checks and testings. This accessible theme is planned to be released with OJS 3.3 version. The release candidate should be available to the public in 2020. Before the final release, this theme will be assessed once more by our external vendor. From this final assessment, we will generate an Accessibility Statement or a related Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) document for the theme. This document will state possible existing hurdles and workarounds for remaining issues. More than reports or compliance documents, the main goal is to achieve a high level of true accessibility in the public reader interface. That way, we will be going towards tackling the second part of this initiative: making the OJS Dashboard accessible as well.

 


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June 30, 2020

LPForum20: Leveraging a Library Journal for Grounding and Growing a Library Press Journal Program

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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 Tracy MacKay-Ratliff, Perry Collins, Chelsea Johnston, and Laurie Taylor

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Collaboration as Foundation

Launched in 2018, SOURCE has evolved into a recurring publication and hallmark of the LibraryPress@UF (LP@UF) program. While building upon a familiar model of the in-house magazine, SOURCE increasingly serves as a platform for public scholarship that draws on contributions from the University of Florida Libraries’ employees, students, and partners. Situated within a very large academic research library with almost 300 employees and seven branches across campus, the magazine makes visible the individuals who bring projects to fruition and highlights connective threads across units and collections. SOURCE has featured 27 unique authors in its three published issues.

SOURCE relies on a collaborative editorial model, with a standing committee made up of volunteers from across the Libraries, a representative from Libraries Communications, and the four-person LP@UF team. This team—the authors of this post—act respectively as Editor-in-Chief (Laurie Taylor), Managing Editor & Designer (Tracy MacKay-Ratliff), and Associate Editors (Perry Collins and Chelsea Johnston). The committee meets on at least a quarterly basis and participates in generating and soliciting feature articles, but we have increasingly placed responsibility for final review, copyediting, and proofreading on LP@UF to avoid an onerous process of collation-by-committee.

Policies and Better Practices

We envision SOURCE as a boundary object, a common project that offers enough flexibility for different stakeholders to find and make their own meaning (Star and Griesemer, 1989). The magazine acts as a mechanism to amplify student voices and undergraduate research; to acknowledge and credit work that might otherwise be ephemeral; to forge connections across siloed parts of the Libraries; and to highlight the Libraries’ impact for our donor community. 

For the LP@UF team, SOURCE offers an opportunity for us to iteratively document and improve our policies and underlying values in ways we aim to extend across our publishing program.* This initiative has informed our approach to topics such as rights retention—all authors explicitly retain copyright in their work—and reinforced our commitment to open access as a vision that should emphasize public engagement and accessibility. 

Investing in Design & Materiality

The LP@UF program includes not only SOURCE but also projects ranging from collection catalogues to children’s literature to textbooks. Throughout these projects, we share an interest in leveraging form and design in ways that connect with our intended audience. This can lead to trade-offs, as an intentional commitment to boutique publications limits the number of projects we can accept in a given year. However, for all publications, we create at least one component (e.g., a book cover) that sets a publication apart. This allows us to provide graphic design support to all works, while recognizing workload limits.  

For SOURCE, we produce a small print run of about 400 copies per issue, but the digital PDF also evokes the materiality of a print publication through techniques such as collage, texture, and shadow. Tracy, Managing Editor & Designer, has dedicated a significant amount of time and care in building up a foundational graphic suite—including logos, fonts, and templates—as well as unique elements that represent the tone of each feature story and aid the reader in navigating a highly visual publication. 

Next Steps

For the past year, LP@UF has undertaken several projects—including a survey, a resource guide, and a dedicated graduate internship—focused on concrete ways to promote equity and justice in our work. SOURCE includes a wide variety of contributors, and the committee has a shared interest in highlighting projects that center BIPOC voices as well as other typically underrepresented communities such as non-faculty staff and students. The current rise of an antiracist movement and discussions within our own library around systemic racism have made it clear that we need to do more. Through this year, we plan to transition from implicitly shared values to better documented, formalized policies for recruiting new committee members, soliciting content and peer feedback, and prioritizing critical work and conversations. With these examples for reference and inspiration, we hope to encourage better practice among other journals partnering with LP@UF.

References

Star, Susan; Griesemer, James (1989). “Institutional Ecology, ‘Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39”. Social Studies of Science. 19 (3): 387–420. doi:10.1177/030631289019003001

Acknowledgement

 * Thanks to Dave Ghamandi for his discussion of “better practices” during the closing session of the Library Publishing Forum in 2019. A focus on iterative improvement and refinement of our practices and values is crucial to LP@UF, even as we resist the notion of a single, “best” framework.


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June 30, 2020

LPForum20: Peer-to-Peer Blended Learning: A Model for Training Undergraduate Journal Editors

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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 Calvin Chan, Christopher Chan, Shelby Haber, Portia Rayner, Keanna Wallace, and Nadiya Zuk
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada, @URIUofA

The life of an undergraduate journal is often a tumultuous one – each journal has its fair share of ups and downs. Yearly editor turnover, ineffective training, and poor team cohesion can result in the collapse of undergraduate journals. New editors may not feel prepared to handle journal workflow or make editorial decisions. This can make them less likely to be invested in the journal’s long-term success.

Last year, student editors at Spectrum, an undergraduate interdisciplinary journal at the University of Alberta, designed and organized a new editor training model. Unlike past years, which used a more traditional seminar-style training, the model focused on blended learning and team-building activities to train new editors during a weekend-long workshop. Compared to previous years, this training experience resulted in increased team unity, more communication between new and returning editors, and improved understanding of the editorial workflow.

Spectrum – An Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Student Journal

Spectrum is a student journal based out of the University of Alberta’s Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI). The URI program supports undergraduate research across all disciplines. The journal is supported by two faculty advisors and staff from URI, and publishes scholarly work in a variety of formats from all disciplines. While not all research published by Spectrum is necessarily interdisciplinary in scope or topic, all submissions are written and edited with a view to make the work accessible to readers from a variety of disciplines.

Spectrum editors preparing for an Instagram takeover.

Undergraduate journals like Spectrum offer a fantastic training ground for students to learn about the world of scholarly publishing, encourage collaboration between student editors and faculty, and expose students to publishing conventions across disciplines. But, the aspects that make student journals unique can also place them in a precarious position when it comes to editor training and journal longevity. High editor turnover creates challenges for consistency and continuity of journal processes, as well as team cohesion. These challenges underscore the need for robust editorial training that not only provides editors with the knowledge required to be effective, but also integrates team-building and social aspects.

The challenges with Spectrum’s original training model

When Spectrum launched in 2017, editors relied on the PKP School “Becoming an Editor” online course for a basic overview of the editorial process. Over 2018-2019, this evolved into a “learn one, teach one” model. Each editor was assigned to learn one module from the online course, and then teach it to the team. While editors were encouraged to make their modules as interactive as they could (e.g., incorporating group discussions), we found that lectures ultimately weren’t the best tool for facilitating team building. The training was also drawn out over the course of the academic year, with new topics aligning with the journal’s publication schedule. New editors learned about each step of the publishing process as they encountered it in the workflow, which often left editors confused about the overall “big picture” and ill-prepared to handle editorial assignments.

Everything I needed to know was there, but it wasn’t always clear where each step was heading. It’s important to be able to step back and see how all the puzzle pieces fit together. ‑Calvin (returning editor)

Coupled with the lack of focus on team-building activities and the amount of time editors dedicated to training, weekly editorial meetings often felt like “all work, and no play.” This was also a concern for journal continuity, not only in terms of keeping existing editors engaged, but also in facilitating an effective transfer of knowledge to incoming editors.

An overview of Spectrum’s peer-led, blended training model.


Reworking the Editorial Training Model

With these challenges in mind, we (the returning and outgoing student editorial board) set out in 2019 to condense and strengthen editorial training, hoping to alleviate the strain on returning editors’ time, improve the skill-building opportunities for new editors, and free up time and resources for other journal projects.

Capturing the Publishing Process Holistically

To help capture the publishing process in its entirety, and give new editors an early appreciation for the overall workflow, we condensed our editor training into a two-day weekend workshop facilitated by senior editors. Incoming editors got the opportunity to work with returning editors to prepare a mock issue from submission to publication, using an OJS sandbox that simulated Spectrum’s actual production site. This way, editors built first-hand experience using OJS, practiced communicating with authors and reviewers (these roles were taken on by returning editors), drafting correspondences, and copy-editing. Some of the activities include:

  • Learning how to navigate the OJS system from author, reviewer, and editor perspectives
  • Working in small groups to perform mock peer-review led by a returning editor
  • Working through a copy-editing exercise with a returning editor
  • Practicing drafting emails (e.g. manuscript rejection, request for revisions) to authors
New editors working on laying out a process map of the entire Spectrum publication process with help from returning editors.

 

At the end of the two-day workshop, new editors were able to complete a process map listing all of the major steps in the publishing process and what was involved. Using this condensed model, new and returning editors started the academic year with an improved understanding of the journal in its entirety.

Going through the process of a mock submission helped me see how each step of the publishing process is related to the others. It gave me a better understanding of the journal as a whole and helped me remember the focus of each individual step. ‑Shelby (incoming editor)

 

The editor Q&A panel – returning editors answer questions from new editors and share their thoughts and experience on the Spectrum editorial board.


Training as Experience to Build Team Culture

To address the challenge of team cohesion given high editor turnover, we also integrated team-building and collaboration into the entire training experience. Incoming editors were encouraged to collaborate with returning editors on specific tasks, enabling the team to build camaraderie, and to help incoming editors feel comfortable asking questions.

In between these exercises we also inserted games and other activities. These served as both a break from training and as a tool to encourage communication between editors. Some activities include:

  • Team-based jeopardy game that encouraged editors to lean on each other’s knowledge and expertise, and test their understanding of publishing concepts.
  • A modified Cranium game that included publishing-themed questions and light-hearted team challenges to build team cohesion.
  • Ice-breaker activities to give student editors a chance to learn about each other’s interests and hobbies.

I found that the team-building activities were a great way to get to know everyone in a more informal way. It created a fun atmosphere with room for silly questions — when we reconvened for our first official meeting in September, we already had a couple of running jokes from training. ‑Nadiya (incoming editor)

New and returning editors take a break from training to play a modified game of Cranium!

Both new and returning editors found that the face-to-face interaction at the training workshop helped set the stage early for cooperation and teamwork. Editors felt more comfortable reaching out to each other for help and advice both online and in-person over the summer and in the academic year.

Being able to work with actual submissions over the summer boosted my confidence during the academic year. By the time that September came around, I had already experienced corresponding between editors and reviewers, and I was used to asking my fellow editors if I wasn’t sure what to do next. ‑Shelby (incoming editor)

See an outline of our two-day training workshop here.

Opening the Door to Other Projects in the Academic Year

By addressing some of the weaknesses we observed in previous years, this training model helped open up time and resources for the team to tackle other projects. These included:

  • Peer Reviewer Workshop – Spectrum editors collaborated with the University of Alberta Libraries to develop a hands-on workshop for undergraduate and graduate students interested in learning how to perform effective and consistent peer reviews. The workshop was facilitated by library staff, with student editors assisting with a mock review exercise.
  • Themed Issue – Editors organized a call for submissions to a Sustainability-themed issue of Spectrum that will be published during the 2020/2021 academic year.
  • Journal Promotion/Outreach Activities – Editors participated in two showcase events (one hosted by U of A Libraries during Open Access Week, and one hosted by the Students’ Union promoting undergraduate research opportunities). The team also had a takeover of the Dean of Students’ Instagram account to promote the journal to prospective authors and peer-reviewers.
  • Team excursions and celebrations – With less time dedicated to training during the academic year, the team had the opportunity to organize celebratory events (e.g. Christmas party) and participate in educational excursions (e.g. touring an open-access collaboration centre for nanoscale engineering, and attending a showcase of a Voynich manuscript replica – an undeciphered 15th century codex).

These activities not only made the editorial experience more well-rounded and fun, but they also helped raise awareness of Spectrum across campus, and fostered connections with other student journals.

Challenges of the Two-Day Training Model

Despite the success that came with the two-day training model, the Spectrum team faced a few major challenges while planning and implementing the training weekend.

  • The two-day training requires significant initial planning – For a workshop in late April, editors started planning in early February. While this is a much longer time than it takes to plan lectures throughout the academic year, this first-time planning created a road-map that should make organizing easier in the future.
  • It is difficult to develop hands-on practice for the production stage – Layout and production are particularly time-consuming and technically challenging aspects. During the workshop, the editorial team chose to describe the production process only and reserved the hands-on practice for a later time in the academic year when the skills became more relevant.
  • Training at the end of the academic year – The condensed nature of the two-day workshop means that a lot of information is learned within a narrow time frame. There’s also a gap between when editors learned and applied some of the training (e.g. copyediting). While hosting the workshop at the end of April enabled new editors to practice the first steps of the publication process over the summer, it was also difficult to schedule the session around final exams. The larger the editorial board, the more difficult it will be to set a day and time that works for everyone.
  • Transitioning to a virtual environment – An unexpected issue arose when we had to cancel this year’s in-person workshop due to COVID-19. For this year, we have postponed editor recruitment and training until the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year, and are working on plans to transition the training into a virtual environment. This will give us the opportunity to see how the training weekend works when new editors don’t have the summer to slowly work through new submissions before the academic year begins.

Overall, editors at Spectrum found that investing the time and energy into planning a condensed editor training workshop yielded great benefits for both journal productivity, but also overall enjoyment for volunteer editors. New editors are more confident in their understanding of journal workflow, and require less time for ongoing training during the publication schedule. Moving away from lecture-style modules and towards team-based blended learning activities not only made training much more engaging and exciting, but also improved editor confidence and fostered friendship and camaraderie between editors! The whole team was also able to explore and strengthen other aspects of journal business: outreach, community engagement, and content development.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to the past student editors who were involved in planning and implementing the training model: Abhi Aggarwal, Natalie Eng and Susannah Mackenzie-Freeman. We also thank Spectrum’s faculty advisors, Dr. Lisa Claypool and Dr. Joao Soares, URI Team Lead, Crystal Snyder, and University of Alberta Library Publishing Program staff for their ongoing support of Spectrum’s work.


June 29, 2020

LPC welcomes a new member: San Francisco State University

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Please join us in welcoming a new member to the Library Publishing Coalition: San Francisco State University! The voting rep for SFSU is Melissa Seelye, mseelye@sfsu.edu.

A statement from San Francisco State University:

The J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University empowers its University constituency with lifelong learning skills to identify, find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in promotion of excellence in scholarship, knowledge, and understanding. In recognition of our institution’s commitment to social justice, the Library is working to expand campus awareness of and participation in open access publishing. To that end and as part of the 23-campus California State University system, the Library supports a systemwide institutional repository, open access journal hosting, and affordable instructional material initiatives.


June 24, 2020

LPC welcomes a new member: Middle Tennessee State University

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome Middle Tennessee State University as a new member!

A statement from Middle Tennessee State University:

The James E. Walker Library was built in 1999 and named after the 8th president of Middle Tennessee State University, Dr. James E. Walker. The library has almost a million volumes on its shelves, more than 11,00 print journals, access to over 900,000 e-books and more than 100,000 e-journals. The Library has a growing digital scholarship collection, institutional repository, and open access journal hosting. We are currently leading efforts on the campus for wide scale adoption of OER. As the intellectual center of the university, the Walker Library is dedicated to being a campus leader in innovative research, teaching, and learning, to providing a positive user experience for the MTSU Community, and to fostering an academic community.


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June 22, 2020

LPForum20: Institutional Repository Collaboration: Providing Flexibility and Responsiveness with Hyku

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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 Gretchen Gueguen and Amanda Hurford

Introduction

Partnering consortia, PALNI (the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) and PALCI (the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium) are collaborating on a new initiative to produce an affordable, open-source, collaborative institutional repository (IR) solution based on the Hyku software. By creating a shared platform, the two consortia hope to create a flexible and responsive repository service — one they can manage collaboratively in order to respond to both longstanding and emerging IR needs presented by their constituents. 

Supporting Library Publishing

Consortia offering a low cost IR platform option to their partner libraries open doors for those with shrinking budgets and staff.  This project intends to better enable consortially supported libraries to participate in library publishing of open educational resources (OER), electronic theses and dissertations (ETD), and present the potential for institutions to further grow their own tailored local publishing programs.

Hyku for Consortia

Hyku offers an collaborative IR solution that is:

  • Open source
  • Multi-tenant
  • Sustainable
  • Customizable

Hyku for Consortia, a project supported by an IMLS National Leadership Grant for Libraries,  allows us to further develop, test, and evaluate the existing Hyku product in order to move toward a production-ready service. Notch 8, a web development firm with substantial Hyku expertise and a leader of and major contributor to the Samvera community, has been identified as the project’s lead application developer. Many of the considerations driving the direction of this project involve evolving consortial needs, the repository landscape, challenging new materials, and interest in/obstacles blocking libraries obtaining their own IR.

Evolving Consortial Needs

  • Library consortia have been around for a long time, primarily created as a response to rising serials prices
  • Recently many consortial groups have evolved their mission to take advantage of other economies of scale
  • One area of development is in the hosting of repositories, but available solutions don’t meet consortial needs.

Repository Landscape

  • Our libraries want an alternative to expensive hosted solutions and recognize that individual repositories create information silos
  • The open-source and commercial IR landscape offers few options for a consortially hosted, multi-tenant solution

Challenging New Materials

  • Many libraries are looking for solutions that handle multiple types of material, both their own digitized collections, as well as scholarly output and institutional records
  • Other new formats, like Open Educational Resources, need an infrastructure that can be adapted to their unique needs

Libraries and IRs

  • Libraries have a lot of obstacles to offering repository services including cost, management resources, lack of staff expertise, and software without the features they need.
  • PALNI found that 70% of their libraries didn’t have an IR and 65% would be interested in a consortium managed resource.

Development Plans

Working with a team of members from PALCI and PALNI libraries defining specifications, our project is developing the software further to manage consortial workflows through things like administrative tools and custom branding and theming features. We are also developing specialized features for OER and ETD resources. In addition to technical developments, we will also be exploring how consortia can work together to share staff resources and infrastructure to create a service that is collaborative, relies on shared governance, is cost-effective, and meets community needs.  We are excited to contribute to this platform, and provide a more flexible and responsive IR service model, innovating to support library IR work and publishing today.

You can find out more about our project and keep up to date with developments at: https://www.hykuforconsortia.org/

Gretchen Gueguen
Digital Projects and Communications Manager
PALCI

Amanda Hurford
Scholarly Communications Director
PALNI

 

 


June 17, 2020

Building a Library Publishing Research Community

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At this year’s Library Publishing Forum, members of the LPC Research Committee presented a session on “Cultivating Community with the Library Publishing Research Agenda.” The research agenda, released in April, offers an overview of six topics of importance to library publishers: Assessment, Labor, Accessibility, Non-traditional Research Outputs, Peer Review, and Partnerships. The document is intended to serve as a starting point for individuals interested in learning about and conducting research on library publishing, and aligns with the Research Committee’s mission to promote research within the field.

During our session at the forum, we aimed to build on the release of the agenda by giving members of the LPC community the opportunity to create connections with one another and discuss different ways in which the agenda could be used as both an educational resource and a potential catalyst for original research projects. Using breakout rooms, session attendees divided into groups centered around the topics covered in the research agenda, giving them an opportunity to connect with individuals with similar interests. The members of the Research Committee participated in these group discussions as well, and we enjoyed the opportunity to engage in illuminating conversations and learn about ways in which the committee can continue to support research in library publishing.

As a next step in fostering community in this area, the Research Committee is pleased to announce the launch of the LPC Research Interests Match Program. This resource is available to individuals interested in finding collaborators for research projects, conference proposals, and other scholarly endeavors. Participation is open to all, including individuals at non-LPC member institutions. To identify yourself as a potential collaborator, fill out the Research Interests Match form. You can also look for potential collaborators on the response sheet.

In the coming year, the Research Committee will continue to explore ways to foster engagement with the research agenda and develop a strong community of practice around research in library publishing.

LPC Research Committee
Ian Harmon, Chair
Talea Anderson
Jason Boczar
Elizabeth Bedford
Corinne Guimont
Matthew Hunter
Sarah Wipperman


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June 15, 2020

LPForum20: Leveraging Library Expertise for Student Journal Success

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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 Stephanie Savage and Gavin Hayes

 

Download pptx with audio (15.6 MB)
Download pdf with notes

At the University of British Columbia undergraduate research is a growing area of interest both for students and the institution. While UBC is actively supporting increased opportunities for undergraduate research, this interest has yet to extend to student publications.  Despite the value of undergraduate journals and the central role they can play in the research process, there is little formalized support available to them and most rely on varying levels of financial and mentoring support from their affiliated departments. This presentation will outline a small grant-funded project to provide services and support for undergraduate student journals on campus as one initiative to engage undergraduates in the research process. 

To begin we will summarize the four main objectives that we entered into the project with:

  1. To conduct an environmental scan of the student journal landscape
  2. To manage and grow a community of practice for student journal editorial staff
  3. To provide targeted professional development opportunities for student journal staff
  4. To encourage journals to adopt practices and policies that will enhance sustainability in the face of high turnover rates among journal staff

We will then outline how we operationalized each of these objectives throughout the course of the project. Specifically, we will speak to the identification and outreach strategies we employed when contacting journals and will share the results of the data we collected, including the results of a survey we distributed to student journal editors asking them to share their workflows and potential areas for professional development opportunities. Additionally we will point participants to the resources we have created for the student journals and our plans to facilitate better communication and knowledge sharing among them.

We will also speak to some of the challenges of doing this work, including the difficulty of engaging students, who are often busy and hard to schedule in-person events with, and the impact of high turnover on a sustained outreach campaign.