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.

Promo image for 2019 Forum
May 6, 2019

Watch the livestream of the Library Publishing Forum

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For the third time, we will be livestreaming portions of the Library Publishing Forum (May 8-10)! 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: #LPForum19. 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: Kevin Hawkins (University of North Texas), Jody Bailey (Emory University), and Matt Ruen (Grand Valley State University). We couldn’t do it without you!

We will also be streaming the afternoon sessions at Opening the Classroom: Publishing Open Educational Resources preconference, so make sure to tune in on 5/8 starting at 1:00 pm PST. Access to the livestream of the preconference will be available via LPC’s Twitter account and the conference hashtag: #LPForum19


April 29, 2019

A check-in on LPC’s strategic plan progress

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It’s been nine months since LPC released our very ambitious 5-year strategic plan (PDF), setting out a range of objectives in three goal areas: 1) promulgate best practices in library publishing, 2) strengthen the community of library publishers, and 3) act as a focal point and a force multiplier for library publishing. The Board is still building up our tools and processes for tracking and reporting progress on the plan, but in anticipation of the Forum where there will be opportunities for reflection and conversation we wanted to let the community know about some work that has been happening in each of these areas. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it gives a flavor of some activities happening within the organization.

Promulgate best practices in library publishing

Training: In addition to our regular program of webinars, LPC partnered with Educopia this year to offer a number of Library Publishing Curriculum pilot workshops – in person, synchronous virtual, and asynchronous virtual – using this fantastic new resource. LPC is also in the process of taking on the long-term stewardship of the curriculum, and will be putting out a search for a Curriculum Editor-in-Chief this summer.

How-to guides: In the last year, we released two new publications – the Ethical Framework for Library Publishing and a how to guide for DOAJ Applications – to help library publishers follow best practices in their work.  

Research: Library publishing is a relatively new field, and there are still plenty of areas where best practices aren’t yet known. To encourage investigation and development of these areas, LPC’s Research Committee is creating a research agenda for the field. Look for a draft for comment this summer!

Strengthen the community of library publishers

Growth in membership: LPC has welcomed 20 new member libraries in the last year! We also launched a new mentorship program to support new library publishers and new member libraries in getting the most out of the community.

Growth in outreach: We added three new strategic affiliate organizations this year (SPARC, Open Textbook Network, and Creative Commons USA) and the number of organizations sponsoring the LPC and the Library Publishing Forum continues to grow.

Growth in international engagement: While LPC’s membership is primarily North American, supporting and learning from the international community of library publishers is a priority for us. We are participating in the new Special Interest Group on Library Publishing that formed this year within the International Federation of Library Associations, and a Board subgroup is currently drafting a strategy for sustained international engagement.

Act as a focal point and a force multiplier for library publishing

Engaging with vendors: We continue to build out our Publishers and Service Providers List as a starting point for library publishers looking to outsource services. We are also working on some exploratory projects that will investigate the system and support needs of library publishers with the goal of contributing to the development of targeted solutions – stay tuned for more information.

Raising awareness about library publishing: At a variety of conferences, we have increased our capacity to engage with related communities of practice, and are regularly presenting on our work. This year, the LPC Blog has been an active platform for commentaries that explore issues important to library publishers and profiles that raise the visibility of the transformative work our members do on their campuses. We also published a scholarly article highlighting LPC’s work and the importance of library publishing.

Creating community spaces: The Library Publishing Forum serves as an important and growing venue for sharing best practices, identifying trends, and tackling thorny problems. Many groups within LPC – including the Program Committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee, and the Board – have worked this year to grow the Forum in breadth, depth, and inclusivity, while retaining its unique character and welcoming environment.

We want to hear from you!

These achievements and the efforts that are underway indicate a very strong launch to accomplishing the goals outlined in our plan. All of this work was done by you, the LPC membership, along with our talented Educopia staff. We welcome your feedback on this work and your ideas for bringing the LPC Strategic Plan to life.


April 10, 2019

AUPresses-LPC Cross-Pollination Program recipients announced

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The Cross-Pollination Conference Registration Waiver aims to promote greater interconnectivity between members of the Association of University Presses and the Library Publishing Coalition. The program helps two people from each organization’s membership to attend the other’s annual meeting.

Recipients of a waiver to attend the 2019 Library Publishing Forum are: Meredith Carruthers (Concordia University Press) and Laraine Coates (University of British Columbia Press). Recipients of a waiver to attend the 2019 AUPresses Annual Meeting are: Sherri Barnes (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Dave S. Ghamandi (University of Virginia).

After attending the meetings, this cohort of 4 cross-pollinators will provide public reports on their experience. In addition to creating collegial networks between the two communities, this program is intended to encourage future collaboration between the two organizations.

Congratulations to these worthy recipients!

The 2019 Library Publishing Forum will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 8-10. Program details are available here: https://librarypublishing.org/library-publishing-forum/

The 2019 AUPresses Annual Meeting will be held in Detroit, June 11-13. Visit the meeting website for more information: http://www.aupresses.org/events-a-conferences/annual-meeting/aupresses-2019

 


April 9, 2019

LPC welcomes a new member: University of Illinois at Chicago

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome a new member: University of Illinois at Chicago.

Statement from University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Library’s mission is to empower the UIC community to discover, use and create knowledge. The Library is a central partner for collaborative learning, research and discovery and community engagement. One of the key components of the Library’s strategic plan is to expand integration of the Library into UIC faculty and students’ research life cycles through digital publishing services, institutional repository services, and supporting open educational resources.

UIC Library logo

 


LPC logo, quarterly update, image of pen and envelopes
April 3, 2019

LPC Quarterly Update

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Check out our latest Quarterly Update! It includes:

  • New and returning members
  • This year’s member profiles
  • New LPC Board members
  • Winners of the 2019 Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing
  • Launch of the pilot LPC Mentorship Program
  • Library Publishing Forum
    • Registration closing soon!
    • Full program available
    • Keynote speaker announced
  • Blog spotlight: Academy-owned? Academic-led? Community-led?
  • Featured resource: DOAJ Application Guide

Read the Update


March 29, 2019

New LPC Board members elected

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The 9-member Library Publishing Coalition Board oversees the governance, organizational structure, Bylaws, and the review and direction of the membership of the Library Publishing Coalition. We have three newly-elected Board members, with terms running from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022:

  • Karen Bjork, Portland State University
  • Christine Fruin, Atla
  • Sarah Hare, Indiana University

They will join the returning Board members:

  • Kate McCready, University of Minnesota (2017-2020)
  • Catherine Mitchell, California Digital Library (2017-2020)
  • Ted Polley, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis  (2018-2020)
  • Jody Bailey, Emory University (2018-2021)
  • Vanessa Gabler, University of Pittsburgh (2018-2021)
  • Scott Warren, Syracuse University (2018-2021)

Many thanks to our outgoing Board members Marilyn Billings and Joshua Neds-Fox for their service!


March 27, 2019

UMass Med School selected as the host for the 2020 Library Publishing Forum

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The formal announcement about next year’s Forum dates and location will be made at this year’s Forum, but to get the information out as soon as possible (and because we are just too excited to keep it to ourselves), we are letting the community know that, after an open call for proposals, the University of Massachusetts Medical School has been selected as the host for the 2020 Library Publishing Forum. Next year’s Forum will take place May 4-6 on UMass Med School’s campus in Worcester, MA.

Statement from University of Massachusetts Medical School:

“UMass Med School’s Lamar Soutter Library is excited to host the scholarly publishing community and promote the values of open and sustainable scholarship, diversity, and inclusivity in library publishing. The 2020 Forum will be held  in the Albert Sherman Center (ASC), the newest education and research building on the UMMS campus.

Lamar Soutter Library manages eScholarship@UMMS, the open access digital archive and publishing system for the UMMS community. Hosting the Forum will expose participants to the pivotal work in medical library publishing being accomplished at UMMS.

Thank you for the honor of hosting this international conference. We look forward to providing a venue of ease, stimulating and provocative scholarly publishing topics, and the opportunity to highlight a city steeped in history, diversity, and contemporary living. UMMS is excited to bring the ‘heart of the Commonwealth’ to the 2020 Forum.”

Statement from LPC:

“We are delighted to join the UMass Med School Lamar Soutter Library in bringing the 2020 Library Publishing Forum to a new geographic region, full of innovative library publishers. The 2020 Forum will be a fantastic opportunity to strengthen connections across our community of practice and to learn from UMMS’s leadership in medical library publishing. The LPC sincerely thanks UMass Med School for hosting next year’s Forum!”

We look forward to seeing you all in Worcester next year!


March 21, 2019

Announcing the winners of the 2019 Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing

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As participation in library publishing grows, the development of a strong evidence base to inform best practices and demonstrate impact is essential. To encourage research and theoretical work about library publishing services, the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) gives an annual Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing. The award recognizes significant and timely contributions to library publishing theory and practice.

LPC’s Research Committee is delighted to announce that this year’s award recipients are Kate McCready and Emma Molls for their article, “Developing a Business Plan for a Library Publishing Program.” With the continued growth of library publishing programs, McCready and Molls’s article provides a business plan template that can be used to assist library publishers as they work to provide an understanding of program goals and services to their campus communities. This excellent article is highly relevant, very timely, and has the potential to change practice among library publishers.

Kate and Emma’s work will be formally recognized at the 2019 Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver, BC. They will receive a cash award of $250, travel support to attend the Forum, and an opportunity to share this work with the community.

In addition, the Committee has decided to award honorable mentions to Dave S. Ghamandi for his article, “Liberation through Cooperation: How Library Publishing Can Save Scholarly Journals from Neoliberalism”  and Stephanie S. Rosen for her work, Accessibility & Publishing, Ghamandi’s piece engages with both the practical and the theoretical, providing a conceptual foundation for the development of publishing models that offer an alternative to the current paradigm, which he argues operates from a neoliberal ideology. Rosen’s work foregrounds accessibility as a primary concern of publishing, drawing attention to the importance of an intentional focus on accessibility issues if we are truly to work towards an ethical and equitable publishing future.

Finally, the committee would like to recognize the important work of the Library Publishing Coalition Ethical Framework Task Force for their publication, Ethical Framework for Library Publishing.


Water with the word reflections in all caps with a horizontal line above and below
March 21, 2019

Reflections on the first meeting of the IFLA Special Interest Group on Library Publishing

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Sixty librarians met in Dublin, Ireland on Feb 28 – Mar1, 2019 as the first meeting of the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA)’s new Special Interest Group on Library Publishing.  The idea for this group developed from a pre-conference on library publishing in Michigan, USA prior to the 2016 IFLA World Congress/Annual Conference.  IFLA approved the new Special Interest Group in the fall of 2018.  The Dublin Business School eagerly offered to host the group’s first meeting, providing a comfortable venue for inspiring presentations and rich dialogue.  During the meeting, news broke of the University of California’s decision not to renew subscriptions to Elsevier’s ScienceDirect journals package, a reminder of the urgency of the need to make scholarly work accessible and the potential role of library publishing to address these needs.

Library publishing aligns well with the traditional library mission to share knowledge freely.  As knowledge has transformed from print to digital formats, library publishing is a logical modern application of the library mission.  Approaches in library publishing from the University of Florida, Stockholm University, White Rose University Press in the UK, Pennsylvania State University and case studies shared throughout the meeting affirmed the strategic role for library publishing.  Presenters candidly shared successes and challenges experienced in their publishing activities including resources utilized.  Librarians offer a unique perspective to publishing as a result of their expertise in knowledge curation, dissemination and preservation.

Academic library publishers are also keen to educate users throughout the publishing process.  A session on education and mentoring in library publishing highlighted the publication of appropriate curriculum including the Library Publishing Coalition’s An Ethical Framework for Library Publishing, a pilot course required of student editors at Columbia University, embedding library publishing within a university writing course at Simon Fraser University, and development of a certification program to improve digital pedagogy among faculty with resulting massive open online courses (MOOCs) demonstrating improved student performance at Olso Metropolitan University.  Library publishing lends itself to the production of Open Educational Resources and other informational literacy educational objectives such as addressing misconceptions on campus about open access, options for authors rights retention and types of peer review.

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March 8, 2019

Help us livestream the 2019 Library Publishing Forum!

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Help us livestream the 2019 Library Publishing Forum! Volunteers needed. No experience required, training provided. @LibPubCoalition. #LPForum19. http://bit.ly/lpforum19_livestream. Library Publishing Coalition.

In order to make our program more accessible to members of the community who cannot attend in person, the LPC Program Committee has decided once again to livestream the 2019 Library Publishing Forum. We’re seeking interested volunteers to join us in a coordinated effort to capture and stream conference sessions live to Twitter (via Twitter’s livestreaming platform, Periscope).

Here’s how this will work:

  • If you have a smartphone that you can use to capture and stream sessions to Twitter, and if you are interested in joining us in this effort, please let us know your name and contact information via this form by Monday, April 8. Please note that we will have access to campus wifi, so you will not be required to use your wireless data connection for this.
  • Educopia’s communications manager will send a training manual to each volunteer and will be available to answer any questions before and during the conference. If a volunteer would like additional training ahead of the conference, one-on-one training sessions can be arranged.
  • Educopia will provide tripods and microphones in each room to improve the quality of the streaming.
  • Each volunteer will receive their livestreaming assignments (including session, room number and location, tweet text, and presenters) via email the week before the conference. We will take volunteer preferences for livestreaming assignments into account whenever possible.
  • We will only stream presentations where the presenter has given us permission to do so.

We hope you’ll consider helping us make this year’s Forum more accessible and inclusive by volunteering to livestream sessions! Please do sign up if you’re interested, or feel free to email Hannah Ballard (hannah@educopia.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

Volunteer


Promo image for 2019 Forum
March 6, 2019

Preliminary program for the Library Publishing Forum is live!

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The preliminary program for the 2019 Library Publishing Forum is now available, with titles and presenter names for all sessions.  Abstracts and other details will follow later this month.  As you can see, we have a ton of fantastic sessions from a wide range of presenters, as well as a couple of optional lunchtime meetups. We are also delighted to announce that the Forum reception on Thursday evening (May 9) will be held at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art!

Past Forum attendees may note a difference in this year’s program, with four concurrent sessions in each time slot. This is an experiment by the Program Committee to balance the limitations of space and time with the many excellent proposals which were submitted. We look forward to hearing the community’s feedback on this setup to inform the program for future Forums!

View the Preliminary Program


Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background
February 26, 2019

Wayne State University: Widening spheres of influence

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In February 2019, we are publishing our second series of member profiles. These profiles showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. This series will also spotlight resources the profiled institutions have contributed to the Shared Documentation library. Many thanks to the members who volunteered to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week in February. 

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

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

Wayne State University Libraries’ publishing program grew out of our commitment to supporting scholarship on campus, to advancing open access in scholarly communications, and to creative service to our scholarly community. The journals that have found a home at the WSU Libraries each have a unique arrangement:

  • a journal in applied statistics that another department could no longer support was rescued because our hosting platform represented a sunk cost that didn’t need to be recovered;
  • because we were able to invite and train collaborators, a medical student journal could design a workflow that incorporates student editors and uses the platform as a pedagogical tool to introduce future doctors to scholarly publishing;
  • and our experience developing hosting policy made it easy to draft an arrangement that opened up the backlist of a long-running fraternity journal.

We very much see these efforts as providing space or support for scholarly work that doesn’t fit in other parts of the publishing ecosystem, and therefore see our publishing program as a vital niche in supporting the overall scholarly endeavor at Wayne State.

Photo of three men, two standing and one sitting in a chair. Text reads: "What is something you have accomplished with your program that you're proud of - big or small? It’s a small but significant story: there’s a literary journal run out of the School of Medicine at Wayne State (Brain Candy: Wayne State University School of Medicine Journal of Arts and Culture, http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/ghhs/), that uses our publishing program as a distributor. When it was languishing, our program pitched in design and production work that helped it bridge the lean years, until the School could re-establish an editorial team. I’m proud that we contributed to the life of this humanist outpost in an intense medical education.
Standing, Joshua Neds-Fox and Cole Hudson, and seated, Graham Hukill, Digital Publishing Librarians in the Wayne State University Libraries. Not pictured: STEM/Digital Publishing Librarian Clayton Hayes, Digitization Technician Beck Caterina, and adjacent teammate Dr. Cheryl Ball.

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Promo image for 2019 Forum
February 25, 2019

LPC-AUPresses Cross-Pollination Waivers for 2019 are here!

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Last year, LPC and our strategic affiliate the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) partnered on a very successful cross-pollination program for our two conferences. Two LPC community members received registration waivers to attend the AUPresses Annual Meeting in San Francisco, and two AUPResses members joined us for the 2018 Forum in Minneapolis. You can read the reflections from the awardees on our blog. To keep up the cross-pollinating, we are offering the same program this year! Applications are due March 8th.

Association of University Presses logo

Details and Application


Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background
February 20, 2019

Michigan Publishing: Focus on discoverability and accessibility

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In February 2019, we are publishing our second series of member profiles. These profiles showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. This series will also spotlight resources the profiled institutions have contributed to the Shared Documentation library. Many thanks to the members who volunteered to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week in February. 

To learn more about their program, check out the University of Michigan’s latest Library Publishing Directory entry.

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

Michigan Publishing brings together the University of Michigan Press, Michigan Publishing Services, and the Deep Blue data and document repository into one big publishing team. Our home is in the Buhr Building, which is an old ball bearing factory that also holds a few million library books and could double as a labyrinth. Every year, we publish about 125 books, 30 journals, and thousands of documents and datasets. We’re also the production and distribution arm of Lever Press, an author-fee-free Open Access publisher of peer-reviewed scholarly works that resonate with the mission of liberal arts colleges, and we’ve spent the last few years building a publishing platform, Fulcrum, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We’re pretty busy these days, but we do still find time for the occasional pun battle.

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

We recently launched the University of Michigan Press’s eBook collection (more than 1,000 books) on Fulcrum, our digital platform. It was a ton of work for folks across the whole organization and we’re really proud of the finished product.

On a more whimsical note, we just published our first board book, Off He Goes! – it’s for kids who have a medical condition called Brachial Plexus Palsy, and was put together by a neurosurgeon at Michigan Medicine. The project brought us our very first plush toy tie-in, Wimbo the Elephant!

Photo of man in plaid shirt holding stuffed elephant and book titled "Off He Goes!" Text reads: "One thing that really gets our team up out of bed in the morning is our work continuing to push the boundaries on making our books and journals more accessible. Fulcrum aims to meet WCAG 2.1 AA standards, and we’re committed to having all University of Michigan Press books published in Fall 2019 and after having basic textual descriptions of images (alt text). By June 2021, all titles the Press publishes will have complete textual descriptions of images (alt text and, when applicable, long descriptions) supplied by our authors."
Patrick Goussy, Senior Digital Publishing Coordinator, poses with Wimbo the elephant and Michigan Publishing’s first foray into board books.

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February 18, 2019

LPC featured on Educopia’s blog as part of community cultivation series

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New blog post on community acceleration

To accompany the release last fall of its Community Cultivation Field Guide, the Educopia Institute launched a new blog and a series of posts on community cultivation. The series includes a case study of each stage in the community lifecycle, featuring Educopia’s affiliated communities. To illustrate what the “acceleration” stage might look like, I contributed a post on LPC’s recent strategic planning process. Check it out!

Read the Post


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February 13, 2019

Indiana University Bloomington: Educating and onboarding editors with the New Journal Toolkit

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In February 2019, we are publishing our second series of member profiles. These profiles showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. This series will also spotlight resources the profiled institutions have contributed to the Shared Documentation library. Many thanks to the members who volunteered to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week in February. 

This post was written by Sarah Hare and Jenny Hoops

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

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

Indiana University Bloomington has been publishing journals using the Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal Systems platform since 2008. The Office of Scholarly Publishing, a strategic partnership between IU Press and IU Libraries Scholarly Communication Department to support publishing at IU broadly, was created in 2012. The program centers on access: journals only need an Indiana University affiliation to participate in the library publishing program. 50 journals currently participate in the publishing program in some capacity. This includes formally peer-reviewed faculty publications, student journals, informal serials like newsletters, active journals, and journals that are no longer active but have an extensive, open access back list. Journals receive hosting and operational publishing services at no cost, with the exception of more resource-intensive services like copyediting and print on demand.

IU Libraries’ journal publishing program is part of a larger suite of services centered on “open scholarship” and ensuring that all IU affiliates can make their scholarly outputs–including journal articles, book chapters, media, data, and learning objects–open, regardless of the level of openness they are interested in. Other services the library provides include data management planning, assistance finding and creating OER, repository deposit, and consultation on demonstrating impact. These services contribute to the journal publishing program, giving IU affiliates a comprehensive support structure for engaging with openness.

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

We have reached a major milestone of 50 total journal publications. While our journals were initially focused on folklore, history, and education, we now host journals on university administration, public affairs, optometry, art, and several other subjects, with journals published by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students across several schools and departments. We take pride in making our legacy journals with comprehensive backlists more discoverable. For example, recently we have been providing metadata clean up and article-level discoverability, ensuring open access back lists are appearing in searches.

Our program also completed a major platform upgrade last year, updating our instance of Open Journal Systems from 2 to 3. OJS 3 provides our editors with an enhanced, user-friendly interface and customizable editorial workflows. We’ve worked with our editors to help them adapt to the new system and take advantage of the new features while providing support for journal indexing and website design. As we continue to onboard new journals, we hope to publish and support innovative scholarship for a diverse set of editors and disciplines.

Looking ahead, what are you excited about, or what’s on the horizon for your program?

For Open Access Week 2018, we held a workshop on starting an open access journal with IU Libraries. We also interviewed editors of journals we currently publish and our new Open Scholarship Resident, Willa Liburd Tavernier, to learn more about their passion for open access. We hope to continue to use these materials when promoting the program but we are also excited to start to promote our program more systematically. We’re currently working with marketing and communications experts within the Libraries to create more promotional and informational material about our journal publishing program. Right now, editors learn about our program by word of mouth or by interacting with our team through another service. More systematic promotion will enable us to reach IU affiliates that are unaware of our program and are interested in creating or “flipping” a journal to open access.

Photo of seven library staff members at Indiana University Bloomington
Pictured from left to right: Willa Liburd Tavernier, Richard Higgins, Jamie Wittenberg, Jenny Hoops, Sarah Hare (top row), Allison Nolan, and Brian Watson (bottom row)

 

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February 11, 2019

LPC Board elections: Candidate bios and statements

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Elections for the Library Publishing Coalition Board open today and will continue through Friday, March 1st. Instructions for voting will be sent to each member institution’s voting representative. The candidates are:

  • Jennifer Beamer, The Claremont Colleges Library
  • Karen Bjork, Portland State University
  • Christine Fruin, American Theological Library Association
  • Sarah Hare, Indiana University
  • Annie Johnson, Temple University
  • Mark Konecny, University of Cincinnati

Each candidate has provided a brief biography and an election statement:

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February 6, 2019

Academy-owned? Academic-led? Community-led? What’s at stake in the words we use to describe new publishing paradigms

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Editor’s note, 6/21/19: A Spanish translation of this post is now available on Blog Ameli: “¿Propiedad de la academia? ¿Dirigido por la academia? ¿Dirigido por la comunidad? Lo que está en juego cuando utilizamos palabras para describir los nuevos paradigmas de publicación.” Our thanks to AmeliCA for the translation!

Editor’s note: This blog post is LPC’s official contribution to Academic Led Publishing Day (ALPD), a global digital event to foster discussions about how members of the scholarly community can develop and support academic-led publishing initiatives. LPC is participating in ALPD because it presents an opportunity to have a multi-stakeholder discussion about an issue of growing importance to libraries, and to call attention to the lack of a shared vision in this critical area. Our goals in this post are to highlight some of the unresolved questions in this space and to call on libraries to grapple with them.

This post was co-authored by Melanie Schlosser (LPC Community Facilitator) and Catherine Mitchell (Director, Publishing & Special Collections, California Digital Library; Past President of the LPC Board).

***

There is no question that we are facing significant challenges and opportunities as the traditional publishing model begins to falter. How the academy positions itself at this moment will have consequences for years to come.

***

“Academy-owned” seems to be the descriptor du jour in scholarly communications circles.  We talk increasingly about academy-owned infrastructure, academy-owned publishing, academy-owned publications, etc. We find ourselves at meetings and conferences where we explore the challenges of supporting new forms of scholarly research, new modes of publication, new communities of readers — and there it is again — “academy-owned,” lurking in the conversation. We write grants whose very premise is that the academy will rise to claim its rightful place as the source, the maker, the distributor, the curator of its greatest asset — knowledge. There is definitely a movement afoot.

Why has this phrase taken hold lately? The landscape is increasingly dominated by large, multinational corporations that are vacuuming up tools and platforms throughout the scholarly communication lifecycle. Although many of these corporations are familiar to libraries as content publishers, they are expanding their reach well beyond publishing to control both upstream and downstream activities: pre-print servers, OA publishing platforms, current research information systems, etc. A rebellion is stirring among those who worry that we are increasingly abdicating control of the academy’s intellectual property, its data, its ability to share information — even its values — to for-profit companies. The more we rely on licensed resources to read, distribute, and measure the impact of our research — as well as to determine the success of our researchers and the value of our institutions — the more in thrall the academy is to a set of values that are derived from a profit-driven marketplace founded on restricted access to information and abstract performance metrics.

And yet this noble impulse to claim a space for the academy in the exchange and evaluation of scholarly research is also rife with linguistic confusion. While the drive toward “academy-owned” solutions is pervasive, the language we use to articulate this drive lacks precision. Sometimes we talk about “academy-owned” projects, but just as often we describe them as “academic-led” or “community-led” or any number of other permutations. [1] These phrases are not synonymous — their distinctions are actually quite important — yet we use them interchangeably and nod to each other, as if we know what we mean. What, exactly, do we mean? It’s time to ask ourselves to identify the big issues and difficult questions embedded both in the terms themselves and the vagueness with which we use them.

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February 6, 2019

UNC Charlotte: Resourceful staffing, strategic publishing

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In February 2019, we are publishing our second series of member profiles. These profiles showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. This series will also spotlight resources the profiled institutions have contributed to the Shared Documentation library. Many thanks to the members who volunteered to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week in February. 

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

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

The J. Murrey Atkins Library Digital Publishing Services was established in 2012 as part of the then Digital Scholarship Lab. The service currently resides within Technology and Digital Strategies and is staffed by two full-time employees. The two positions that report directly include the Head of Library Technology and Innovation and the Special Collections and Digital Projects Assistant. In addition, the library draws upon the expertise of the Copyright and Licensing Librarian and Graphic and UX Designer for guidance and technical assistance. The mission of Library Digital Publishing is to support the publication of scholarly works, including online journals, ebooks, digital exhibits, and conference proceedings for researchers and faculty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The services are built on robust publishing platforms that promote open knowledge exchange, wide scholarship discoverability, and innovative dissemination of scholarly communication. We utilize Open Journal Systems, Open Monograph Press, Open Conference Systems, and Omeka to support open access publishing for the campus. Since its inception, Atkins Library Digital Publishing Services has published five open access journals, five ebook titles, one conference, and four Omeka exhibits. All of our publications are sponsored by a faculty editor and are available freely online. The library provides the mechanism to launch new OA titles and the infrastructure for long-term access and preservation. In summation, we offer technical support, platform-specific software training, graphic design assistance, and one-on-one consultations to increase awareness and adoption of open access publishing.

Photo of four staff members at University of North Carolina Charlotte library

From left to right: Christin Lampkowski (Special Collections and Digital Projects Assistant), Somaly Kim Wu (Head of Library Technology & Innovation) with Special Collections and University Archives staff, Rita Johnston (Digital Production Librarian) and Olivia Eanes (Reading Room & Archives Assistant) at the book talk for Miss Bonnie’s Nurses.

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January 24, 2019

Article on LPC published in Library Trends

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There’s an article about the Library Publishing Coalition in the Fall 2018 issue of Library Trends! If you’re not familiar with it, Library Trends is a quarterly journal published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Each issue is guest-edited and focused on a single theme. This issue’s editor is Lewis G. Liu (City University of New York), and its theme is “The Role and Impact of Commercial and Noncommercial Publishers in Scholarly Publishing on Academic Libraries.” Dr. Liu reached out to me in late 2017 and invited a contribution to the issue on the LPC. The resulting article, “Building Capacity for Academy-Owned Publishing through the Library Publishing Coalition,” explores the history, current activities, and future directions for the LPC.

A note about rights: Library Trends is a subscription journal that asks for a full copyright transfer from its authors. While LPC’s Board and I were excited about this opportunity to share the work we are doing with a broader audience, openness is a central value of the LPC community, and we were not comfortable contributing to a journal under these terms. With the support of the Board, I asked for and received an alternative author agreement that allowed me to retain copyright ownership of the article (the issue-level copyright statement on the PDF notwithstanding) and share it openly.

With thanks to Dr. Liu for the invitation, the Library Trends staff for their flexibility, and LPC’s Board for their support and suggestions on the manuscript, here is the final article!

  • Citation: Schlosser, M. (2018).  Building Capacity for Academy-Owned Publishing through the Library Publishing Coalition. Library Trends, 67(2), 359-375.

Read the Article (PDF)

 

The issue also includes two other articles related to library publishing, one of which is written by a number of LPC community members!

  • Li, Y., Lippincott, S., Hare, S., Wittenberg, J., Preate, S., Page, A., & Guiod, S. The Library-Press Partnership: An Overview and Two Case Studies. 319-336.
  • Moulaison, H., & Bially Mattern, J. Academic Library-Based Publishing: A State of the Evolving Art. 337-358.