Member Profiles

May 9, 2018

UCL Press: Open access with a global reach

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Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background

As we gear up for the Library Publishing Forum and the start of a new membership year in July, we are publishing a series of member profiles. These profiles will showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. Many thanks to the members who agreed to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week until the Forum. 

To learn more about their program, check out UCL’s latest Library Publishing Directory entry.

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

UCL Press (University College London) launched in June 2015 as the first fully open access university press in the UK. It publishes scholarly monographs, textbooks and journals by both UCL and non-UCL authors and all our books and journals are made freely available to download, as well as being sold in print. Since launching, we’ve published 70 books and 8 journals. We have built particular strengths in publishing books on architecture and built environment, anthropology (including a very successful series on social media usage in different parts of the world), archaeology, history, education and sustainability. These subjects reflect some of the great strengths in UCL’s social sciences and humanities departments, with several ranked in the top 10 in the world, for example the UCL Institute of Education, the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Institute of Archaeology. We now publish around 35 books a year and aim to increase to around 40 or 45 next year.

Tell us something you have accomplished with your program that you’re proud of – big or small.

I am particularly proud that we have established a press that is a high-quality scholarly press in its own right and that attracts authors both from UCL and from all around the world. Many of our authors are motivated by our open access policy, but they also seek high-quality publishing services – from rigorous peer review, through copy-editing and strong marketing support – all the things that they would hope for from any other publisher. Many of our authors are now publishing their second and even third book with us, and our books are regularly reviewed in the national press. Strong publishing services, right from the acquisition stage, set up your future relationship with your authors and contribute to a positive reputation, and I think it’s crucial to provide such services alongside open access dissemination.

Five UCL Press staff members in front of a wooden door

Pictured (from left to right): Lara Speicher (Publishing Manager), Chris Penfold (Commissioning Editor), Alison Fox (Marketing and Distribution Manager), Jaimee Biggins (Managing Editor), Ian Caswell (Journals Manager)

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May 2, 2018

Syracuse University: Building capacity for open access and open publishing

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Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background

As we gear up for the Library Publishing Forum and the start of a new membership year in July, we are publishing a series of member profiles. These profiles will showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. Many thanks to the members who agreed to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week until the Forum. 

Check out Syracuse University’s latest entry in the Library Publishing Directory!

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

In 2017, Syracuse University Libraries created Open Publishing Services formally. (I started in June, and we just hired a project coordinator). Within the department of Research and Scholarship, our menu of services includes support for various needs relating to scholarly communications, research support, education, and the Institutional Repository. We currently take on library publishing projects selectively as time allows but do not have a full-blown library publishing program (yet!) Projects we are involved in include hosting numerous open-access journals, the institutional repository, and our Syracuse Unbound imprint. Syracuse Unbound is an imprint to foster library publishing of open-access works through collaborations between the Syracuse University Libraries and the Syracuse University Press that was created in 2013, through which we complete occasional ad hoc publishing projects. Digital Commons, Open Journal Systems, WordPress, and Ensemble are the main platforms in our publishing workflows. We have a varied program that is growing capacity.

Over the last year, our publishing projects and institutional repository (SURFACE) work focused on enhancing quality publishing practices and specifically on increasing accessibility (ADA) standards, usability, and discovery for the Digital Commons platform, our websites, and content. This is ongoing and we are continually striving to improve. For example, a re-design of our institutional repository website, SURFACE, was completed in February, and we are implementing new ingest processes for accessibility standards, and integrating accessibility into our open-access educational work.

Tell us something you have accomplished with your program that you’re proud of – big or small.

One project I am proud of is Triple Triumph: Three Women in Medicine, a monograph we published through Syracuse Unbound in August 2017. I am proud of this project because it focuses on three female physicians, who have had remarkable careers and lives. I am proud to have been a part of the process in making the work openly available for anyone to read because I found inspiration and hope in the stories. Besides that, we started the project right after I came onboard in June, and it was a lot of fun to jump right into the work.

Headshot of Amanda Page, Open publishing/copyright librarian at Syracuse University

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April 25, 2018

University of Pittsburgh: Making progress toward community-owned infrastructure

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Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background

As we gear up for the Library Publishing Forum and the start of a new membership year in July, we are publishing a series of member profiles. These profiles will showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. Many thanks to the members who agreed to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week until the Forum. 

To learn more about their program, check out Pitt’s latest Library Publishing Directory entry.

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

Our journal publishing program was a natural outgrowth of our work with subject-based open access repositories going back to 2001.  We were among the first libraries to offer publishing services to partners outside our home institution.  Today, we publish 40 peer reviewed journals with about half of our partners external to Pitt, as well as four subject-based archives and an institutional repository.  Our portfolio includes titles in the humanities, social sciences, technology, law, and health sciences.  Our partners are diverse and range from Pitt student groups, scholarly societies, and teams of independent scholars around the world.  We are committed to making open access a reality for publication and realize that libraries can do more than advocate – we can take action in this space to lower the costs of publishing and make tangible progress towards making scholarship available to all to read and use. Whenever we can, we use open source software for our publishing and our repositories because we believe that the best future is one where the community owns the infrastructure.

Five staff members holding books in front of a bookcase

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April 18, 2018

Minitex: Where academic and public library publishing meet

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Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background

As we gear up for the Library Publishing Forum and the start of a new membership year in July, we are publishing a series of member profiles. These profiles will showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. Many thanks to the members who agreed to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week until the Forum. 

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

Minitex is a multi-type consortium serving libraries primarily in Minnesota (MN), but also the Dakotas. We launched our publishing efforts in the summer of 2017 as a two-part system: 1) Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project (academic) and 2) MN Writes MN Reads (public). We designed the project to meet the specific needs of academic and public libraries, and then take advantage of the areas of overlap between the two.

The Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project (MLPP) provides a statewide instance of Pressbooks, an online publishing tool, as well as information sharing, training, and jointly-developed promotional materials for library staff. Our statewide version of Pressbooks is geo-authenticated, easy-to-access (e.g., does not require library ID), and is free of watermarks or any hidden costs. Our MLPP version of Pressbooks is being used by public, school, and academic libraries, and has seen a meteoric rise in use with 350 active authors in the nine months since we launched. We use Bibliolabs as our hosting vendor, and costs are shared by 20 academic libraries and Minitex.

MLPP also hosts a robust Community of Interest with over 30 academic libraries participating. Activities include frequent phone calls, workshop and conference programming, sharing of promotion and training materials, and peer advising to solve problems and help inform each library’s publishing practices. Academic librarians tell us that the ability to find and network with nearby peers has been one of the major advantages of MLPP.

Photo grig with staff photos and quote from text

The second linked project, MN Writes MN Reads, is funded by Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems. This project uses Library Journal/Bibliolabs’ SELF-e system to onboard, build metadata, and circulate ebooks written by Minnesota authors.  Bibliolabs created a direct link so that any book created in Pressbooks can be automatically uploaded into the Minnesota SELF-e author collection, called Indie Minnesota. Minnesota’s public libraries are making Indie Minnesota available on their websites and through their catalogs. The public library community has just launched a statewide self-published author contest to promote the system.

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