LPC Blog

The Library Publishing Coalition Blog is used to share news and updates about the LPC and the Library Publishing Forum, to draw attention to items of interest to the community, and to publish informal commentaries by LPC members and friends.

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


August 1, 2018

Reflection on research: The relevance of information behavior studies to the work of library publishing

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

This is a guest post by Dan Tracy, the 2018 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing. LPC’s Research Committee asked Dan to write a post for the blog to highlight his research and inspire others in the community to investigate topics of interest to our growing field.

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“Experimentation in online publishing that would not translate well to pdf is still a good thing…but my suspicion is that the really interesting innovation in digital scholarly publishing is not going to come in modifying legacy formats that people still find useful.”

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When the LPC Research Committee notified me that they had chosen my article on user studies in the context of library publishing programs for its annual award, I was delighted and honored. When I began my master’s degree in LIS, one thing that stuck early on was the disciplinary emphasis on understanding the information needs, preferences, and behaviors of different populations as a key element of service design. This concept was (and continues to be, from my ongoing experience with the program as a librarian) probably the foundational concept of one of the required courses at University of Illinois MS-LIS program (which I took with Professor Kathryn LaBarre), and it is a touchstone I come back to in all the work that I do now.

The research that led to this article stems back to a couple of experiences during my first years as a librarian, but the most important was attending the inaugural Library Publishing Forum in 2014. It was an exciting, groundbreaking event, but one that left me with one nagging question: where were the users, by which I mean the readers, of our publications in our design of these services? They were oddly absent from the program and discussion. (I’ll note that I heard more people raising these issues in the second and third forums.) Don’t get me wrong: libraries had and have a lot to do as they build up publishing services, so there is justification in spending a lot of time talking about relationships with authors, models for sustainability, and other key issues that were very much on the agenda. However, in talking about why libraries might have something to offer in publishing, a key theme for the inaugural conference, why not emphasize our tradition of investigation into how and why people use our resources as a strength in delivering publications to users? (more…)


July 27, 2018

Three publishing conferences with a common theme of diversity and whiteness

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Fellows Journal text over an image of a desktop

The Fellows Journal is a forum for the current Library Publishing Coalition fellows to share their experiences and raise topics for discussion within the community. Learn more about the Fellowship Program .

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“The lesson that we are all learning, myself included, is that to simply do our jobs as we’ve been doing them is not enough. We must not only examine our publishing lists, but our editorial boards, reviewers, and ourselves, to learn and improve to move toward a more equitable profession. LPC, SSP, and AUP are three organizations that are very much a part of the same scholarly ecosystem, and we can all work together toward the goal of intersectional diversity and accessibility.”

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Previous to my career librarianship, I worked in academic publishing, and therefore had experience in the world of academic conferences as a vendor and editor. In all my time in academic publishing, however, I never attended a conference that was for my own professional development. In contrast, as a librarian, this year I attended the Library Publishing Forum, the Association of University Presses Annual Meeting, and the Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting.

Library Publishing Forum

I’ll be frank that I’m very biased toward the Library Publishing Forum, and not just because I’m one of the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) Fellows. A first-time attendee at the conference asked me, “Are people always so friendly?” I was able to answer Yes: I’ve attended four out of the five forums, and it’s always been a warm community. My personal theory is this is because so many of us library publishers are departments of one or very few within our institutions, so coming to the Library Publishing Forum is an opportunity to be amongst colleagues with similar roles. But it’s also a very collaborative community, and this conference was just another example of how we are cooperatively engaged with each other to improve software platforms and create new processes for publishing more effectively. The sessions are frequently practical and full of helpful examples, while still honest about difficulties and limitations in execution. I feel that every year, we as a community move forward together, regardless of the resources at each institution, simply because we share knowledge with each other so well.

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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.


July 24, 2018

Call for entries: 2019 Library Publishing Directory

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Does your library publish journals, monographs, conference proceedings, or technical reports? Do you provide hosting and support services for digital humanities projects, data, or ETDs? Help us to document the range of activities that libraries are undertaking in “publishing” (broadly defined) through their work in scholarly communications, digital humanities, digital sciences, and institutional repositories. To promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing, and to raise the visibility of the unique contributions of libraries as publishers, the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) is compiling the sixth edition of our Library Publishing Directory.

To have a profile of your library included in the Directory, please complete our questionnaire by August 24th. 

The questionnaire takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete. You can save your progress and return later, but we recommend previewing the questions before you begin. If your library has had an entry in a previous edition of the Directory, you should receive an email with instructions on how to update it. Email contact@librarypublishing.org with questions. 

About the 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 156 libraries in half a dozen nations. The Directory is published openly on the web and includes contact information, descriptions, and other key facts about each library’s publishing services. Previous editions (in PDF, EPUB, and database versions)  can be found on the LPC website.

The Directory is made possible by the generous donation of services from Purdue University Libraries and Bookmasters.

Submit an Entry


July 18, 2018

LPC welcomes a new member: Dublin Business School

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome Dublin Business School as a new member! About DBS:

DBS Library aims to be a leading force in the creation of a library publishing culture in Ireland;  publishing journals and monographs, teaching and sharing best practice, fostering networks and communities within Irish academia and internationally. DBS Library Press is a centre for expertise in library publishing in Ireland; supporting academic discourse and pedagogy through the publication of peer-reviewed, open access journals and monographs.  DBS Library Press currently publishes two journals, DBS Business Review and Studies in Arts and Humanities Journal.  Both journals are open access, peer-reviewed, cross-institutional academic journals.  Library staff occupy key roles on both journals; Managing Editor, Senior Editor and Editorial Board membership.

DBS, Dublin Business School, excellence through learning


July 17, 2018

LPC welcomes a new strategic affiliate: SPARC

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SPARC with a red star graphic

The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) as a new strategic affiliate! A statement from SPARC:

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is delighted to officially join the Library Publishing Coalition’s Strategic Affiliates Program to promote openness and community-driven change in the scholarly communications arena. As a catalyst for action, SPARC focuses on collaborating with other stakeholders—including authors, publishers, libraries, students, funders, policymakers and the public—to build on the opportunities created by the Internet, promoting changes to both infrastructure and culture needed to make open the default for research and education. SPARC and the LPC share core values and a commitment to openness and advocacy, and we’re looking forward to expanding our collaboration to expand the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials. To learn more about SPARC and our global affiliates in Africa, Europe and Japan, please visit our site.

And a statement from LPC on the new relationship:

 LPC’s vision is “a scholarly publishing landscape that is open, inclusive, and sustainable,” and SPARC’s work advocating for openness around the world has been transformational – for libraries, for scholars, and for scholarship itself in many areas. We are thrilled to add SPARC to our list of strategic affiliates and to officially recognize our shared values and goals. We look forward to continuing and expanding collaboration between our two organizations.

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


July 10, 2018

Announcing a new LPC sponsor: Scholastica

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We are excited to announce a new organization-level sponsorship through our Publishers and Service Providers Program: Scholastica. We sincerely appreciate their support!

Statement from Scholastica

Scholastica is a web-based software platform with easy-to-use tools and services for every aspect of publishing academic journals— from peer review, to website design and article hosting, to typesetting. Scholastica’s mission is to create tools to publish academic journals more efficiently and affordably in order to facilitate a sustainable research future. Over 700 journals across disciplines use Scholastica software to manage peer review and publish modern open access articles online.

We see a future where the majority of academic journals are owned and operated by the academy, instead of large corporate publishers. And we believe the way to make that possible is to take the manual work and technical headaches out of publishing with great software so that any organization can run their own journals. Scholastica is proud to be a Library Publishing Coalition sponsor and committed to supporting community-led open access publishing.

Scholastica


July 9, 2018

Digital Publishing Your Way: Moving Toward Multimodal, Flexible Platforms

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of reflections by community members on the recent Library Publishing Forum. See the whole series

The 2018 Library Publishing Forum preconference, Owned by the Academy, gave participants a chance to learn more about publishing platforms that have a commitment to community-owned infrastructure. Elsevier’s 2017 acquisition of bepress put a spotlight on this issue, so, for many, including myself, this preconference was a welcomed chance to explore both well-established and up-and-coming open source publishing alternatives.

Publishing platforms can be a place where libraries do research and development, finding new partnerships and collaboration opportunities, working with new types of scholarship and methods, and experimenting with new technologies. I thus found the most exciting takeaway from this preconference to be the possibilities of new (and continued) development in open source publishing. Many of these communities are thinking more actively about non-traditional forms of scholarship, multimodal scholarship, and other ways in which academia is embracing, incorporating, and sharing new expressions of scholarship. Many platforms are also emphasizing sustainability and trying to provide multiple ways of engaging in these systems, including options for assisted setup and/or hosting. While no platform is “perfect” (as if such a thing exists), progress towards the next wave of scholarly needs is tangible.

“We all have different services we provide to meet needs on campus, so I find it equally important to have tools that can support us as needs, workflows, and services change. Platforms should support people-based services, not dictate or confine what those services should be.”

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July 5, 2018

What’s it like to be the local host of the Library Publishing Forum?

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of reflections by community members on the recent Library Publishing Forum. See the whole series. This post is guest written by Kate McCready and Laureen Boutang, from the University of Minnesota Libraries. 

When we first considered the idea of hosting the Library Publishing Forum at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, we were very excited about the opportunities that could come from being a local host. We saw it as a way to strengthen our relationship with the Library Publishing Coalition, and support the work of the library publishing community. We also hoped that bringing the events to campus would allow our U of MN colleagues to have the opportunity to learn more about library publishing in general, and our program specifically. We thought it would build understanding about why our institution was devoting resources to scholarly publishing activities. Of course, we also wanted a meaningful conference for those attending! All of these hopes were realized and we learned a lot about bringing an event to campus as well.  

As we dove into thinking about logistics and providing on-the-ground knowledge of the location, we realized that for our hopes to succeed, we had a lot of work to do. There were many details that would need our attention if the Forum and affiliated events were to run smoothly. Looking back at our work preparing for the Forum over the last year, it can be loosely categorized in four areas. First, we needed to gain buy-in at our home institution at many levels. Second, we had to work with many constituents (local colleagues, program committee colleagues, event staff, LPC colleagues, etc.) to determine the priorities and requirements for the events. Third, while the Forum is a self-supporting conference and the Library Publishing Coalition provides financial and logistical resources for it, we worked to provide additional local staffing and financial resources to support our priorities as the host institution. Finally, we spent time to get and stay organized. (more…)


July 2, 2018

Call for proposals to host the 2020 Library Publishing Forum

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We are currently accepting proposals from LPC members to host the 2020 Library Publishing Forum. The Forum typically welcomes 150-200 guests for 3 days of preconference and conference activities. The LPC aims to hold the Forum in a variety of attractive locations throughout North America that provide convenient access for our members through geographic proximity or easily accessible transportation. The LPC seeks an institution willing to act as a partner in providing access to library-owned spaces, or co-signing contracts for spaces at reduced costs. The call is open through August 31, 2018.

Host responsibilities

The Forum is financed through conference registration fees and sponsor support, and the Educopia Institute will handle all conference planning and logistics. The host institution is not required to provide additional financial support. However, local organizers should provide referrals to appropriate venues for the main conference activities, pre- and post- events, and hotel stays. The host institution should also plan to have a staff member serve as the Host Liaison on the Program Committee. The Host Liaison has a one-year, non-voting role, and is invited to attend committee meetings, but is not obligated to undertake more general committee work. In addition, we welcome support from local hosts in planning a reception and coordinating appropriate social events. (more…)


June 11, 2018

Library Publishing Curriculum: Register for the Sustainability Virtual Workshop

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Colorful books with gray overlay and text that reads: "Library publishing curriculum. Virtual workshop. Sustainability module. July 9-30, 2018. Taught by Holly Mercer, Associate Dean for Research, Collections, and Scholarly Communications, University of Tennessee, Knoxville." Educopia Institute, Library Publishing Coalition, and IMLS logos included.

The Library Publishing Coalition and the Educopia Institute are excited to host a series of virtual pilot workshops based on the IMLS-funded Developing a Curriculum to Advance Library-Based Publishing project. Our first virtual workshop – Library Publishing Curriculum: Sustainability – will begin on July 9, 2018 and will last four weeks, ending on July 30. The workshop is limited to 30 participants, and registration is first come, first served. There is no registration fee.  

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June 11, 2018

Challenges and opportunities (but mostly opportunities) for open source infrastructure in library publishing

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of reflections by community members on the recent Library Publishing Forum. See the whole series. This post is guest written by Alison McGonagle-O’Connell, Editoria Community Manager and Owned by the Academy presenter. 

As a first-time Library Publishing Forum attendee, presenter, and a participant in the “Owned by the Academy” pre-meeting, I was struck by how truly welcoming and collaborative this group is! These meetings also provided me with a few key takeaways:

  1. Open Source (OS) publishing technologies are proliferating, and are of increasing interest to the broader library publishing community.
  2. These tools and platforms represent one way for the community to reclaim some control of the scholarly communication marketplace.
  3. Hosted service models for OS tools will be necessary for some to take the leap from commercial products.
  4. OS providers need to work together to ensure interoperability, and to effectively map tool capabilities to the unique needs and requirements of the community

The first two takeaways are general observations, largely supported by those who attended, tweeted, and have subsequently discussed the meetings openly. OS technology gives organizations the ability to design and customize platforms to support their own needs and values. There is significant freedom in not being locked in to a commercial solution’s unalterable roadmap. Want to design accessibility into the platform with your user community? Go ahead! Concerned about security? Need support for interactive images including integration with data sets? Want to support multiple languages? Done. Nothing is off the table with this kind of community-driven and -supported infrastructure. (more…)


June 8, 2018

From services to access: Reflections of a first-time Forum attendee

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of reflections by community members on the recent Library Publishing Forum. See the whole series. This post is guest written by Talea Anderson, Scholarly Communication Librarian at Washington State University and recipient of a Library Publishing Forum First-Time Attendee Scholarship. 

In May I attended my first Library Publishing Forum with support kindly provided by LPC. The conference was filled with meaningful experiences for me. I’d mention in particular the time I was able to spend with the editorial staff of Kairos as part of KairosCamp and the opportunity I had later in the week to participate in the first pilot of the Library Publishing Curriculum. I manage a small, service-focused scholarly communication program at Washington State University, and these two workshops provided a glimpse of the editorial services that help keep journals running. On my campus, we are currently moving forward with supporting faculty who would like to create and publish open educational resources and I came away with a better understanding of the kinds of needs these faculty members may have when it comes to preparing, editing, and publishing their work.

These workshops were a great introduction to editorial work and publishing services, but for me the most meaningful part of LPF came on the first day when Catherine Kudlick spoke about web accessibility (slides coming soon). Kudlick invited us as library publishers to build accessibility into our workflows from the start, and to see this work not as punitive but as a service to all people, including disabled communities. This message is certainly important but I connected to it on an unexpectedly personal level. I learned, on introducing myself to Kudlick after her keynote, that we share the same eye condition and face similar challenges when it comes to doing things like presenting to audiences and reading texts on mobile devices. I rarely encounter others who can relate to the way I see—it’s rarer still to find people in academia who cope with vision loss while engaging with publishing and scholarly communication. The brief chat I had with Kudlick was, to say the least, a special opportunity for me. In the end, thanks in part to this encounter, I came away from LPF feeling inspired to continue improving access to information for everyone, including people like me and Kudlick and many others who benefit from inclusive publishing practices.

Talea Anderson
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Washington State University


June 7, 2018

Library publishing services visualized

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Have you ever asked yourself, “What do library publishers actually DO, and can I see it represented in the form of a word cloud?” If so, you’re in luck! I was mucking around with data from the 2018 Library Publishing Directory in support of a project the Professional Development Committee is working on when it occurred to me that it would make a great word cloud. Just for fun, here is a visual representation of more than 100 libraries’ answers to the question, “Which of these additional services does your library offer in support of library publishing activities?”

created at TagCrowd.com


June 7, 2018

What do we value in academic ownership?

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of reflections by community members on the recent Library Publishing Forum and Owned by the Academy: A Preconference on Open Source Publishing Software. See the whole series

When I learned that this year’s Library Publishing Forum preconference was called “Owned by the Academy,” I knew right away that I had to attend. I was just beginning my new job as Scholarly Communications Librarian at West Virginia University, and our Dean had recently mentioned to me the idea of academically-owned publishing. So the preconference presented a perfect opportunity to learn more about an area of interest at my new institution.

I anticipated that I would learn about lots of different open source publishing platforms, and leave the conference better informed to make recommendations as to which of these would be a good fit for my library, and this certainly happened. But since returning from Minneapolis, I’ve also been spending a lot of time reflecting on owned by the academy as a concept, and so I’m going to dedicate this post to sharing some of my thoughts on this issue.

Prior to the preconference, the phrase owned by the academy brought to my mind open source publishing software built and supported by a community of academic librarians, IT and development staff, and academically-oriented non-profits. I imagined that under an “academically-owned” setup, the software and infrastructure would be hosted at the institutional or consortial level and that commercial entities would not have a role to play.

But in light of my experience at the Owned by the Academy Preconference (and the Library Publishing Forum as a whole), I’ve been reconsidering what owned by the academy really means. At the preconference, there were representatives from colleges, universities, and non-profits, but some for-profit businesses were represented as well. So I’ve been thinking a lot about whether for-profit involvement is compatible with academic ownership. (more…)


May 16, 2018

Watch the livestream of the Library Publishing Forum

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For the second time, we will be livestreaming portions of the Library Publishing Forum (5/22-23)! You can see which sessions will be streamed on the Program Page (look for the little camera icon next to the presentation title). All streaming will be done via LPC’s Twitter account and will be shared via the conference hastag: #LPForum18. Can’t watch the stream live? Links to the recordings will be added to the program after the conference.

A BIG “thank you” to our Forum livestreaming volunteers: Lauren Collister (University of Pittsburgh), Sean Crowe (University of Cincinnati), Kevin Hawkins (University of North Texas), and Jody Bailey (University of Texas at Arlington). We couldn’t do it without you!

We will also be streaming the plenary sessions at Owned by the Academy: A Preconference on Open Source Publishing Software, so make sure to tune in on 5/21 starting at 8:30am CDT. Access to the livestream of the preconference will be via LPC’s Twitter account and the preconference hashtag: #OwnedByTheAcademy.


May 10, 2018

Announcing two new LPC sponsors: ProjectMUSE and BiblioBoard

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We are excited to announce two new organization-level sponsorships through our Publishers and Service Providers Program: Project MUSE and BiblioBoard. We sincerely appreciate their support!

Statement from Project MUSE:

Project MUSE was born from a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. We are delighted to continue our involvement with the library community by supporting the Library Publishing Coalition. Project MUSE provides a full-service journal and book hosting platform. Libraries can publish open access journals and books on MUSE or use our fulfillment services to offer subscription-based journals. Content on MUSE benefits from synergies with our corpus of 600+ journals and 50,000+ books from non-profit publishers.

Project MUSE logo

Statement from BiblioBoard:

BiblioBoard is a leader in OER and OA content creation, curation and distribution software. Our platform transforms access to information by delivering a simple, intuitive user experience along with the best content creation tools. We work with public and academic institutions of all sizes to democratize access to information and lower costs for students.

BiblioBoard logo


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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