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.

Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
January 20, 2022

Sustainable and Thoughtful Growth

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Workflow Evolution series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on how journal publishing workflows at their libraries have evolved over time. You can see the full documentation on the Library Publishing Workflows page.


By Jennifer Beamer, Ph.D., writing about her experiences at The Claremont Colleges Library

In 2012, The Claremont Colleges launched an Open Access journal publishing program. Through its institutional repository, Scholarship@Claremont, we now have nine active journals that the library hosts and supports. The journals must be edited or sponsored by a faculty member of one of the seven Claremont Colleges campuses. The Library helps onboard and set up the journal, onboard the editors, and offers some minor services like ISSN registration, assigning DOIs, and training on peer review. 

Our strongest journals, the ones that have had the most longevity have been CODEE, the Community of Ordinary Differential Equations Educators, and the Mime Journal. Recently, our newer journals like Envirolab Asia have been very interdisciplinary, and focus not only on articles, but also on events that coincide with the papers. 

Quote from Jennifer Beamer: If we are to be “different than traditional” publishers, we need to understand the role we play, and offer services that are better and distinct from those of the closed journals and that will make faculty WANT to publish with us!

Over the past year of working with the Library Publishing Workflows partners and Educopia, I have realized three things: 1) our workflows are really simple! 2) this means we have a lot of room for growth, 3) we don’t want to grow too much! 

Some simple things that we have planned to do this year to make our workflows more sustainable—that I have humbly and am so grateful to have learned from the other partners—are that is necessary to set up a journal proposal form for faculty to apply to, to have some selection criteria, and to form a Publications Advisory Board. In the past, we have been a “boutique publishing model,” and we have standardized our service offerings and some journal policies to those that support our mission across journals, which will promote efficiencies for our staff (as there are only 2 of us). As well, the most important is we need to partner only with faculty that have journals that are aligned with our mission to have an impact on the Open Access movement.  

In the coming year, I would also like to keep having discussions about the library as a publisher and its role as a gatekeeper in the publishing process. If we are to be “different than traditional” publishers, we need to understand the role we play, and offer services that are better and distinct from those of the closed journals and that will make faculty WANT to publish with us!


December 16, 2021

LPC Peer Mentorship Program Update and 2022 Signups

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It’s time to wrap up the 2021 Peer Mentorship Program and look ahead to 2022! This year, we continued to develop and refine the peer mentorship model. Keep reading to find out more about the program and how to participate in the next cohort. 

The 2021 Cohort: A Year in Review

Following a successful pilot launch in 2019, the Library Publishing Coalition Professional Development Committee has continued to develop the LPC Peer Mentorship Program. In 2020, the program began to focus on peer-mentor relationships, which continued into the 2021 iteration. 

The two goals for the Mentorship Program are:

  • To orient participants to the LPC, encouraging them to build relationships and get involved, and 
  • To facilitate professional mentorship around library publishing. 

The program kicked off with a virtual orientation and getting-to-know-you meeting for participants, and then continued with monthly calls and emails between peer pairs. The committee provided monthly discussion prompts to guide possible discussion between pairs, though conversation could take whatever direction appealed to a particular pair. Mid-way through the program year, mentors were encouraged to fill out a survey to assess the program and provide feedback. We received six responses, and some valuable insights into how the program was working for participants. Happily, most respondents felt supported and were enjoying their time working together! 

Interested in being a peer mentor? Share your expertise! The LPC Professional Development Committee will offer the peer mentorship program again in 2022. Applications are out now! We hope you’ll join us as part of the 2022 LPC Peer Mentorship Program!

The 2022 Cohort: Timeline and Invitation to Apply

  • Apply for the 2022 Peer Mentorship Program now! We’ll be accepting applications through January 7, 2022.
    Note: The deadline for applications has been extended to January 21, 2022.
  • We’ll match you with your new Peer Mentor by early February.
  • Participants will receive instructions and orientation materials in February.
  • Optional meet-up at the Library Publishing Forum (May 25-26, 2022).
    (The LPC Professional Development Committee will host a meet-up for participants. Stay tuned for more information!)

More throughout your time in the program!

  • Attend special mentorship calls hosted by the Professional Development Committee (topics and schedule TBD)
  • Discussion topic suggestions (monthly)
  • Mid-year (6-months) survey
  • Post-cycle (12-months) cohort evaluation with exit survey

Apply for the 2022 Peer Mentorship Program, or contact the Professional Development Committee with any questions.

LPC Professional Development Committee
Chelsea Johnston, University of Florida (2021-2022 chair)
Erin Jerome, University of Massachusetts Amherst (2022 chair)
Liz Hamilton, Northwestern University
Matthew Hunter, Florida State University
Melanie Kowalski, Emory University
Mary Beth Weber, Rutgers University
Jessica Kirschner, Virginia Commonwealth University (Board liaison)


November 18, 2021

Erin Jerome receives the 2021 LPC Award for Exemplary Service

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On behalf of the LPC Board, we are delighted to announce that the recipient of the 2021 LPC Award for Exemplary Service is Erin Jerome, Open Access & Institutional Repository Librarian, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Award recognizes substantial contributions by an LPC community member to advancing the mission, vision, and values of the Library Publishing Coalition.

As a member of the inaugural LPC Documentation Month planning team, Erin played a key role in organizing this new program and developing invaluable resources for the library publishing community, such as the Documentation Toolkit. Not one to shy away from leadership, Erin is spearheading the planning of the now annual event in its second year. Through this award, we recognize Erin’s continued efforts to support the library publishing community through documentation month, acknowledge the hefty lift of organizing this new program, and celebrate the success of her hard work. 

A statement from Erin:

This award is particularly meaningful to me because last year was such a difficult one for so many of us. This was my first foray into participating in the LPC community, too. It’s hard to make documentation — something crucial to our work and yet so easy to continuously push to the bottom of the to-do list — into a captivating topic. Yet our work paid off and we received an incredibly warm and receptive response from LPC members. It means a lot to know that I helped contribute to a community that’s so giving with its time and expertise. Here’s to Documentation Month 2022!

Erin will receive a complimentary registration to this year’s Library Publishing Forum, $500 travel support for attending the Library Publishing Forum, and a $250 honorarium. S/he will also be recognized at the Forum.

Please join us in congratulating Erin.

On behalf of the LPC Board,

Christine Fruin, President
Emma Molls, President-Elect
Jessica Kirschner, Secretary
Ally Laird, Treasurer
Karen Bjork
Justin Gonder
Willa Tavernier
Sarah Wipperman
Jody Bailey, Past President
Melanie Schlosser


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
November 17, 2021

On Overcommitment and Scalability, Love and Loss

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Workflow Evolution series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on how journal publishing workflows at their libraries have evolved over time. You can see the full documentation on the Library Publishing Workflows page.


By Joshua Neds-Fox, writing about his experiences at Wayne State University Libraries

In my earlier blog post for this project, I reflected on the challenges of scaling up and the rewards of participating in a community of practice whose affinities are often more abundant than our differences. My own library publishing program’s contribution to the Library Publishing Workflows project is based on a unique process for our oldest faculty-led journal, the Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods (or JMASM, as we often refer to it in shorthand). What a remarkable publication for a new program to cut our teeth on! JMASM is math-heavy, which required mastering new software and learning new character sets and conventions, exploring TeX, MathML, and other forms of equation rendering, and just generally beginning our publishing program with the most complicated project possible. But we did it, because the editor placed his trust in us and we saw multiple opportunities: to support open access research at Wayne State and at the same time learn on the job what it means to be a library publisher.

Overcommitment

In pursuit of those opportunities, we took on the production responsibilities for JMASM, typesetting every issue ourselves. In retrospect, this was an overcommitment, and I wrote earlier about the ways that this limits our ability to scale up. Our commitment was complicated by the fact that JMASM has been very generous in its acceptance rate and publishing schedule: some issues topped 40 articles or more. As we slowly slipped further and further behind schedule, the ambient stress of that commitment weighed heavily on me, and I worked with the editor to implement practices that would make the journal more selective, including strict policies around text-recycling, which is common in JMASM’s discipline.

Quote from Joshua Neds-Fox, Wayne State University: I now see this workflow as a kind of bellwether for our current predicament: the intense labor encoded there is an indication of the thinness of the editorial structure supporting the journal, and a sign for other library publishers. Consider the cost in advance. If taking on the journal requires outsized labor on the library's end, it may mean that the journal itself has some difficult questions to answer about its sustainability and future.

But behind this stress was the reality that JMASM was essentially a one-man show, editorially. The founding editor continued to shoulder the entire herculean burden of managing and editing the journal, as a labor of love and a commitment to the scholarship of his discipline. In truth, our offer to publish JMASM when he first came to us was a lifeline that both rescued the journal from dying and extended its life a little unnaturally. JMASM’s editor was a remarkable man, one of those principled academics devoted to his field, to his students, to his ethics and to his work. When he passed away in January, it was a shock and a surprise. An intensely private man, he had hidden his illness, its severity, from everyone. In retrospect, there were signs that he anticipated his death, but hindsight is 20/20. We found ourselves with a novel challenge, never having dealt with the death of an editor, which in this case was also the dissolution of the entire editorial team. We’d known for a while that the associate editors for JMASM were consultative at best, and that the founding editor was doing the work. But his death made crystal clear the implications of this common aspect of library publishing: that we do not manage the editorial teams of our journals in quite the same way that commercial publishers do. We had neither process nor mandate to assemble a replacement editorial staff for JMASM.

Moving on from loss

We reached out to a colleague of the founding editor, who served briefly and did yeoman’s work to try to tie up the loose ends. But the number of papers in review—either currently awaiting reviews, or accepted with a request for minor revisions, or returned for major revisions—spoke of the founding editor’s failure to imagine a future where he wasn’t available to continue his work. The backlog was bigger than we understood, and the work ahead of us will entail incredibly difficult decisions. What are our obligations to these scholars who have no recourse to the editorial expertise necessary to advance their papers to publication? What are our obligations to the Journal’s heirs, who now own an ongoing scholarly journal but may not know exactly what to do with it? How are any of these process realities reflected in the workflow we’ve created for the Library Publishing Workflows project? To that last question, I now see this workflow as a kind of bellwether for our current predicament: the intense labor encoded there is an indication of the thinness of the editorial structure supporting the journal, and a sign for other library publishers. Consider the cost in advance. If taking on the journal requires outsized labor on the library’s end, it may mean that the journal itself has some difficult questions to answer about its sustainability and future. And if, like Wayne State, your library publishing program does not manage editorial staff for its journals, consider whether your workflow doesn’t cross the line into fulfilling promises that the editorial staff makes on your behalf. The founding editor is gone, but the promises remain.

On a personal note, I miss JMASM’s editor. He was, as I said, remarkable: an Orthodox Rabbi and lifelong educator who provided a scholarly outlet for statisticians from across Asia, Africa, and North America in a discipline that had no journal prior to his, a mentor and a friend. My hope is that the lessons learned here do honor to his commitment to the pedagogy of assessment: that we would take away from this workflow and this experience the knowledge of how to do better for the next journals that come our way, and that we would put that knowledge into practice.


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
November 10, 2021

Small. Determined.

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Workflow Evolution series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on how journal publishing workflows at their libraries have evolved over time. You can see the full documentation on the Library Publishing Workflows page.


By Paige Mann, writing about her experiences at Armacost Library, University of Redlands

Our library publishes one scholarly journal. Maybe one day we’ll publish two. Maybe. 

In 2013, the Armacost Library at the University of Redlands launched its library publishing program. Through our digital repository, InSPIRe@Redlands, Armacost Library publishes student scholarship, grey literature, and more. Four years after our launch Dr. Nicol Howard, professor from our School of Education, approached us to start a scholarly journal. She and co-editor Dr. Keith Howard from Chapman University saw a need for scholarship with a focus on computer science integrations in the K-12 classroom. To overcome paywalls and reach scholars and practitioners, the editors pursued open access publishing. A few months, documents, and policies later we launched the Journal of Computer Science Integration (JCSI)

Quote from Paige Mann, Redlands: Compared to our fellow partners in Educopia’s Library Publishing Workflows project, Armacost Library’s journal publishing program is pint-sized. Nevertheless, change is constant, and Armacost Library is making a difference in small, but significant ways. We are small. We are determined.

As a non-commercial, values-oriented publisher of a bold and innovative journal, we strive to anticipate and respond to needs as they arise. With the hiring of a STEM and Scholarly Communications Librarian in 2017 and a part-time Digital Projects Manager in 2018, the Library provides a mission-oriented publishing foundation for our editors. Responsibilities include ISSN registration, general publishing guidance, policy development, open access education, platform management and funding, basic training and troubleshooting. Day-to-day responsibilities are primarily the assignment of digital object identifiers which is reflected in the publishing workflow. 

Platform Migration

This past summer, one year into the global pandemic, Armacost Library chose to migrate off our bepress Digital Commons platform. Sharing librarians’ deep concerns over Elsevier’s acquisition of bepress in 2017, Armacost Library waited patiently for alternative options to emerge. Although wary of migrating from one commercial vendor to another, we chose to work with Ubiquity Press, who provided the migration and on-going support we’d need to continue our publishing efforts. Our contract with Ubiquity also brought considerable savings. This has allowed us to pay for professional typesetting and articles in .pdf and .html formats. The former directly supports our editors while the latter enhances article accessibility. Both formats grant readers more flexibility enabling use of various devices and screen reading software, the ability to increase or decrease font size, annotate digital texts, and more. Cost savings have also allowed us to support open access efforts that were previously impossible.  

Compared to our fellow partners in Educopia’s Library Publishing Workflows project, Armacost Library’s journal publishing program is pint-sized. Nevertheless, change is constant, and Armacost Library is making a difference in small, but significant ways. We are small. We are determined.


November 10, 2021

LPC welcomes the University of Arkansas Libraries as a new member

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Please join us in welcoming the University of Arkansas Libraries as a new member of the Library Publishing Coalition. The voting rep is Melody Herr.

About the University of Arkansas:

As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation.

About the University of Arkansas Libraries:

Located in the heart of campus, the David W. Mullins Library is the university’s main research library. Branch libraries include the Chemistry and Biochemistry Library, the Fine Arts Library, the Physics Library and the Robert A. and Vivian Young Law Library. The University Libraries provide access to more than 3.1 million volumes and over 180,000 journals. They also offer research assistance, study spaces, computer labs with printing and scanning, interlibrary loan, delivery services and cultural exhibits and events.


November 9, 2021

LPC welcomes a new strategic affiliate: LAI

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) as a new strategic affiliate!

About LAI:

The Library Association of Ireland (LAI) is the professional body representing libraries and librarianship in Ireland.  The objectives of the association are to promote and develop high standards of librarianship and of library and information services in Ireland, and to secure greater co-operation between libraries.
The LAI Library Publishing Group (LPG) aims to raise awareness of the Library Publishing movement and to support all types of library publishing initiatives across the sector. The LPG works closely with the IFLA Special Interest Group on Library Publishing and the LPG Strategic Plan is aligned to the Strategic Action Plan of the IFLA SIG. The LPG is also a proponent of the Irish Government’s National Principles for Open Access Policy Statement.
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


November 4, 2021

Apply for a 2022 Publishing Practice Award

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The Library Publishing Coalition is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the second annual Publishing Practice Awards. These awards are designed to recognize and raise awareness of effective and sustainable library publishing practices.

The Publishing Practice Awards will highlight library publishing programs that implement concepts advanced in the LPC’s An Ethical Framework for Library Publishing and/or in the LPC’s Values statement. While a representative publication must be submitted, the focus of these awards is not on publication content but on the process of publishing the piece. This year, award categories are:

  • Accessibility
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Privacy

An award will be available in each category, though all categories may not be awarded each year. One additional category—Innovation—will be added in subsequent years. Each publisher may submit only one application per year, in a single category. Publishers applying for an award do not need to be affiliated with an LPC member institution. 

Award recipients will be publicly recognized by the Library Publishing Coalition and will receive a digital seal that they may place on their website and on the representative publication. Awardees will also share their publication process with the wider library publishing community through a post on the LPC Blog, adapted from the essay accompanying their application.

The deadline for application is January 17, 2022.

Learn more and apply


November 4, 2021

Nominations being accepted for the 2022 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, theory, and innovative practice in library publishing (for a definition of “library publishing”, see the LPC website home page), the Library Publishing Coalition is pleased to support the Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing, which recognizes the best publication from the preceding calendar year. The LPC Research Committee will evaluate submissions and select a recipient for the award. 

Winners will be officially announced in the spring and be recognized at the annual Library Publishing Forum. The award recipient(s) will receive a cash award of $250 and complimentary registration to the 2022 Library Publishing Forum. The awardee(s) will also have an opportunity to share their work with the community via a post to the LPC blog. 

Nominations may be made either by the author(s) or by any employee of a LPC member institution. Nominated author(s) do not need to be affiliated with a LPC member institution. The deadline for nominations is January 17, 2022.

Learn more and nominate


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
November 3, 2021

University of Alberta Library’s Changing Role in Publishing

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Workflow Evolution series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on how journal publishing workflows at their libraries have evolved over time. You can see the full documentation on the Library Publishing Workflows page.


By Sonya Betz, writing about her experiences at the University of Alberta Library

The University of Alberta is located in Edmonton, Alberta, and is one of Canada’s large research intensive universities. Our journal publishing program is now more than 15 years old, with the publication of the first issues of our first journal, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, in the spring of 2006. We’ve experienced sustained growth since those early days, and we now publish 70 active titles, host the archives of 13 ceased or transferred publications, and are working with about a dozen new journals as they move toward publishing their first issues with us. Twenty-four of our active publications are run by student groups, or exclusively publish students’ work, while the rest come from a mix of scholarly associations, professional associations, faculty groups, and research communities. Although we publish titles across a range of disciplines from construction engineering to constitutional law, all of our journals must have an affiliation with either a Canadian post-secondary institution or a Canadian scholarly, learned, or professional association. All of our journals are fully open access, and none of our journals charge APCs or other publishing fees. Recently we’ve begun partnering with other libraries in Canada to provide infrastructure hosting services for their own open journal publishing programs.

From Hosting Service to Publishing Partner

Quote from Sonya Betz, University of Alberta: [Approaching our relationship with journals as a partnership rather than a service] represents a significant shift for us in how we understand our role in this work—as more journals join our program...we’ve become increasingly comfortable taking a principled stance for ethical open access, and requiring the journals we partner with to agree to standards such as barrier-free open access, no APCs, and Creative Commons licenses.

During its early years, the publishing program was structured strictly as a hosting service, with the Library providing technical infrastructure through access to hosted instances of Open Journal Systems. However, as the program matured over time, and the Library developed expertise and confidence in publishing practices, we began to more fully occupy the role of publisher. In the last five years we’ve focused on documenting our procedures and policies, establishing consistent shared practices, and approaching our relationship with journals as a partnership rather than a service. This change represents a significant shift for us in how we understand our role in this work—as more journals join our program, and we establish a record of successful publishing partnerships, we’ve become increasingly comfortable taking a principled stance for ethical open access, and requiring the journals we partner with to agree to standards such as barrier-free open access, no APCs, and Creative Commons licenses. We feel much more comfortable saying “no” to journals that don’t fit the scope of our program, or who aren’t suitably prepared to publish. 

We’ve been fortunate to have increased our staffing levels over the past three years to reflect the growth of our program and the Library’s recognition of the strategic value of a home-grown open access publishing unit. Our team splits its time between journal publishing, OER, and digitization activities, and we estimate our current staffing for journal publishing to be about 1.5 FTE librarians, .5 FTE library publishing specialists, and approximately .25 FTE technical / systems staff, with occasional support from our staff external to our unit, and paid graduate student positions. We also frequently call on the expertise of staff from many other areas of the Library, especially for help with copyright and licensing, cataloguing and metadata, outreach to individual faculties and departments, and communications. Our costs are predominantly staffing, with smaller expenditures going to supporting hardware and systems, and to external services like CrossRef. We are funded entirely from our operations budget, and we do not charge back any of our costs to journals.

Visible and Invisible Work

Our current library publishing workflow certainly represents our position as a large, mature program, with staff dedicated to publishing activities. Our workflows are also a reflection of the platform we use to publish, Open Journal Systems, which manages many activities from submission through publication, and to a certain degree, provides structure for how we move through publishing processes. We found it a little challenging to capture in the workflow much of the behind-the-scenes work that we carry out across all stages of publication, often in the form of guidance and consultation, training, and troubleshooting. Although the workflow presents clear areas of responsibility for Library staff and editorial teams, in reality the Library is very much involved at every step of the process, from answering questions about updating an author agreement to providing a pep talk to a new editorial team before they click “publish” for their first issue. We hope that sharing our workflow will provide some insight into the work we do, and may encourage other institutions to think about how best to capture the visible and invisible work of their library publishing programs.


Library Publishing Coalition Quarterly Update
November 2, 2021

LPC Quarterly Update

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Check out our latest Quarterly Update! It includes:

  • Community News
    • New LPC members
    • New Strategic Affiliate
    • Kudos!
    • LPC’s Annual Report
    • Update on the 2022 Library Publishing Directory
  • Library Publishing Forum
    • Announcing the 2022 Library Publishing Forum
    • Call for proposals now open
  • LPC Research
    • Library Publishing Workflows documentation released
    • Updates from the Library Publishing Workflows Project
  • Blog Spotlight
    • Transitions & Intersections series

Read the Update


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
October 27, 2021

Transforming Services and Infrastructure at Robert W. Woodruff Library

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Workflow Evolution series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on how journal publishing workflows at their libraries have evolved over time. You can see the full documentation on the Library Publishing Workflows page.


By Josh Hogan, writing about his experiences at Robert W. Woodruff Library at Atlanta University Center

Library publishing activities at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library have undergone something of a transformation in the past six years, a transformation that has only picked up speed since joining the Library Publishing Workflows grant in 2019. AUC Woodruff Library currently hosts six active journals, four on Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal Systems software (OJS) and two on our Islandora-based repository, RADAR. When I joined the team at AUC Woodruff in 2015, there were several journals being hosted in bepress’ Digital Commons platform, only two of which were actively producing any content. Those two journals still exist as the two using RADAR as their access platform.

Starting a Library Publishing Program

Josh Hogan: Ultimately, our transition from Digital Commons to RADAR/OJS has enabled us to provide more services, but has necessitated two main workflows as represented in our workflow diagram published as part of the Library Publishing Workflows. And of course, we are still struggling with exceptions to our usual practices.During that period, our workflows were largely confined to uploading final PDF copies of journal issues and ensuring that any technical issues, which rarely occurred, were addressed. Our workflow could then be really represented as follows: 1) the journal editor emails a final copy of the issue to a member of the Digital Services Department, and 2) the Metadata and Digital Resources Librarian (my title at the time) uploads the final copy into Digital Commons and makes it available for download. All editorial functions and publishing workflows were confined to the individual practices of the journal’s editorial team.

In 2016, we added the optional service of assigning DOIs for journal articles published in the system, which added an optional workflow step of registering the DOI and adding it to the journal article’s metadata. This was not widely adopted by the editors and remained more theoretical than a concrete step. We also on-boarded a new (but currently defunct) student journal in 2016-17, which added the wrinkle of splitting an issue PDF into articles and helping create metadata for individual articles. We offered that service to the other existing journals and reorganized some of the content in Digital Commons to make articles more discoverable.

Migration to a New Institutional Repository

All of this added up to a rather ad hoc approach, tailored to the requests of the editors who avoided using any of the backend submission tools available in Digital Commons, preferring to stay with their email-based workflows. Then, in 2017, we decided to start moving toward a new system for our institutional repository and digital collections. Digital Commons had been an excellent choice for IR needs, but it was not well suited for digitized and born digital archival collections. As most of you have probably experienced, we yearned for one system that could do everything well. Unfortunately, we were not able to find that unicorn.

In the end, we adopted Islandora for our institutional repository and digital collections, but we found that it was unsuitable for journal publishing beyond sticking up PDF files. Therefore, we adopted OJS as our replacement for that functionality. We did so, however, with the understanding that any journals wishing to use the platform would agree to use the backend editorial workflows and not just display finished pdfs. Any journals who wished to use their own workflows would still use our existing ad hoc system, i.e., send us the finished copy for upload to RADAR. OJS users signed an agreement to use the whole system and to publish at least one issue a year.

Adapting Workflows & Services to New Infrastructure

These changes necessitated having a workflow in place to onboard and track the status of each journal and which platform they preferred. We also had to adopt a journal hosting agreement, spelling out what was expected of journals using the OJS platform as well as what they could expect from us. We also provided at least one overview training session and assisted editors with getting their teams registered for PKP School, PKP’s online training courses.

Our support at the beginning of the process includes assistance with selecting a theme, adding banners and logos, and other initial setup tasks. Once the journal is ready to accept submissions, they take over the workflow for the remainder of the process, with us providing technical support or additional training when needed. After publication, if the journal has opted for adding DOIs, we will provide registration of each article and update the metadata to reflect the DOI.

Ultimately, our transition from Digital Commons to RADAR/OJS has enabled us to provide more services, but has necessitated two main workflows as represented in our workflow diagram published as part of the Library Publishing Workflows. And of course, we are still struggling with exceptions to our usual practices. For example, one journal, published in RADAR, has the additional step of maintaining an embargo for on-campus readers and subscribers only. We have also developed and are working to refine workflows in OJS for publishing electronic theses and dissertations, a use that diverges somewhat from the purpose of OJS. Being a partner in this project, however, has helped us to be more deliberate in constructing our library publishing support and has provided us with the opportunity to learn best practices from more experienced institutions. The lessons learned will stand us in good stead as we grow our program.


October 22, 2021

Library Publishing Coalition Releases Inaugural Annual Report

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to announce the release of its inaugural Annual Report!

In addition to outlining the LPC’s finances, assets, and membership, the Annual Report details the many ways the LPC was able to develop and provide resources to the library publishing community despite the challenges of the last year. From the creation of the LPC Roadmap for Anti-Racist Practice, to holding a fully remote Library Publishing Forum, to assisting with the launch of the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communication (C4DISC), the LPC was able grow, improve, and build capacity for future endeavours. 

Most importantly, the Annual Report provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and accomplishments of the community. The Library Publishing Coalition has made tremendous strides toward meeting its strategic goals this past year, and that work is undertaken by LPC members, working individually, in groups, and alongside our partners and affiliate organizations. All of the people involved in this work offered their time, energy, and expertise to fulfill our vision of a scholarly publishing landscape that is open, inclusive, and sustainable. We’re grateful for their continued care and effort, and hope you will take a moment to celebrate their contributions to the wider community.


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
October 13, 2021

Workflows Release Teaser: Workflow Framework and Recorded Panel

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The Library Publishing Workflows project is gearing up for a whole set of major releases — starting next week with the full workflow documentation for all twelve of our partner libraries. This week, we have a couple of teasers to whet your appetite and get you thinking about publishing workflows! For those of you who like to start with the nitty gritty, we are sharing our workflow framework. And for those of you who want to skip right to the big questions (Why do we publish? How do our workflows reflect our values?), we have a fantastic recorded panel discussion. 

Workflow framework

Our goal in this project is to document a variety of journal publishing workflows. The “right” workflow for one library won’t necessarily fit the needs of another, but all current and prospective library publishers could benefit from seeing how different programs are staffing and carrying out the publishing process. The differences in workflows between our partners occur for many different reasons, including the mission and goals of the library publishing program, staffing and budget, preferences of editors, and historical contingencies of the library and publishing programs.

That said, in the course of our data collection and analysis, the project team has developed a framework for the kinds of work that go into library journal publication. The workflow activities our partners undertake fall roughly into five high-level phases—Submission, Review, Production, Publication, Post-Publication. This framework is both less detailed and more comprehensive than any individual publishing workflow, but it has helped us to understand the broader context and compare different workflows. We hope that this framework will be useful to you both in thinking about your own workflow, and in contextualizing the partner workflows we will release next week. 

Note: We have listed each activity only once in the framework, though one of the ways that workflows differ is the order in which activities occur, so something like the licensing agreement could take place as part of a variety of different phases.

  • Submission: Manuscript submission, license/author agreement
  • Review: Desk review, peer review, developmental editing, prior publication check
  • Production: Copyediting, typesetting, galley review, XML (and other format) conversion, fact checking, checking DOIs in references, processing PDFs, cataloging, create journal issue
  • Publication: Quality review, publication, assign DOIs, OCR PDF, print
  • Post-Publication: Communications and marketing (notifying authors, social media, etc), preservation, indexing

Recorded panel: Our workflows, our values

In this 38 minute-long recorded panel discussion, representatives of six of our partner libraries—Jennifer Beamer (Claremont Colleges Library), Paige Mann (Armacost Library (University of Redlands)), Justin Gonder (California Digital Library), Michelle Wilson (Columbia University Libraries), Sonya Betz (University of Alberta Library), and Vanessa Gabler (The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh)—grapple with the big questions raised by creating and documenting publishing workflows, including: “What role do library publishers play in ensuring high quality fact-based scholarly publishing,” “What role do they play in social justice and increasing access to means of production,” and “What is the role of library publishing in the Open Access movement and scholarly communications models?”

Coming soon

Keep an eye out next week for the release of the full workflow documentation for each partner library, and then watch this space over the next few months for more workflows-related content and tools! 

 


October 6, 2021

2022 Library Publishing Forum Call For Proposals

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The Library Publishing Forum is an annual conference bringing together representatives from libraries engaged in or considering publishing initiatives to define and address major questions and challenges; to identify and document collaborative opportunities; and to strengthen and promote this community of practice. The Forum is sponsored by the Library Publishing Coalition, but you do not need to be a member of the LPC to attend. 

The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) is now accepting proposals for the 2022 Library Publishing Forum! After the success of our Virtual Forums in 2020 and 2021, we are thrilled to offer both in-person and online options this year, with a virtual preconference the week of May 16, 2022, followed by the in-person Library Publishing Forum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 25–26, 2022We invite proposals for both of these events, and warmly encourage proposals from first-time presenters and representatives of small and emerging publishing programs. Proposals may address any topic of interest to the library publishing community.

The proposal deadline has been extended to November 30, 2021.

Proposal submissions for both the virtual preconference and the in-person Forum are welcome from LPC members and nonmembers, including library employees, university press employees, scholars, students, and other scholarly communication and publishing professionals. We welcome proposals from first-time presenters and representatives of small and emerging publishing programs.

We are committed to expanding the diversity of perspectives we hear from at the Library Publishing Forum. Working towards some of the “Continuing Initiatives” from the LPC Roadmap for Anti-Racist Practice, this year we ask all proposals to explicitly address how they are inclusive of multiple perspectives, address DEI, or incorporate anti-racist and anti-oppressive approaches. We also encourage speakers to provide us with information about themselves that will assist us in identifying proposals that balance geography, identity, and representation, especially from marginalized groups. Presentations about specific communities should include members of that community in their speaker list, and for sessions with multiple speakers, we seek to avoid all-white and all-male panels. Everyone submitting a presentation will also have an opportunity to complete a brief, anonymous demographic survey so we can better understand who is submitting proposals to LPF.

Learn more and submit a proposal


September 20, 2021

Nominations open for the 2021 LPC 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 8, 2021. 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.

The award will consist of a complimentary registration to the 2022 Library Publishing Forum (May 25-26, Pittsburgh, PA), $500 travel support for attending the Library Publishing Forum, and a $250 honorarium. 

Submit a Nomination


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August 17, 2021

Intersections: Collections, Scholarly Communication, and the “Transformation” of Open Access

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Intersections is an occasional series where community members reflect on what they are seeing in other parts of their professional world and what library publishers can learn from it. 


By Shawn Martin, Head of Scholarly Communication, Copyright, and Publishing, Dartmouth Library

What are transformative agreements changing exactly? Are they promoting open access? Are they shifting the way libraries access and pay for collections? Are they good for small private institutions as well as large public systems? The answers to these questions are incredibly difficult, but as the head of scholarly communication at the Dartmouth Library, they are issues I need to contend with on a regular basis. Fundamentally, I believe that transformative agreements are about the values not only of open access, but also of individual colleges and universities. Values can be implemented in many ways and may vary depending on local conditions. Dartmouth is perhaps not representative of academic libraries broadly speaking. Nonetheless, Dartmouth Library has characteristics of both smaller liberal arts colleges and research universities that, I think, could help a variety of different institutions think about how they work through implementing the values of open access within the economic context of a transformative publishing agreement.

Dartmouth is, comparatively speaking, smaller than its Ivy League peers and is proud of its model for blending the qualities of a research university and a liberal arts college. The scholarly communication program itself is situated within the digital strategies unit, meaning I report to the same Associate Librarian who also oversees the library’s IT infrastructure and digital scholarship initiatives. Because of the library’s small size, however, I have the privilege of working with our collections team and being part of the collection steering committee, which determines how our collection budget is spent. I also meet regularly with the Associate Librarian of the unit overseeing collection strategies. Additionally, I have sat on committees at the Dartmouth Library that evaluated the functionality of databases used for scholarly metrics such as SCOPUS (Elsevier) and Web of Science (Clarivate). I have led discussions within the collection steering committee about the analytics that Unsub provides and how it might need to be supplemented in order to make data-driven decisions managing new budget. In other words, discussion of open access and scholarly communication at Dartmouth has been a hybrid of both a collections and an IT conversation (among others). (more…)


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August 10, 2021

Transitions: From Sanskrit to Schol Comm

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Transitions is an occasional series where community members reflect on the things they have learned while moving from one institution to another or one role to another. 


By Karen Stoll Farrell, Head, Scholarly Communication Department, Librarian for South and Southeast Asian Studies, Indiana University – Bloomington

In May 2020, as the pandemic was steamrolling forward, I was asked to step in as interim head of the Scholarly Communication Department at Indiana University-Bloomington. I have been at IU since 2014; hired on by virtue of my background and training in things like Sanskrit to be the Librarian for South and Southeast Asian Studies. Later, I added Head of Area Studies Department to my title. While Scholarly Communication is far outside my area of expertise, this wasn’t my first time pinch hitting at IU; I had previously served as interim Head of Scholars’ Commons (think reference, workshops, programming), and I knew I enjoyed the opportunity to learn new things about our organization and about librarianship in general.

In all honesty, I had no idea what I was stepping into. I was completely lost for many months after joining the Scholarly Communication folks. I could blame it on the pandemic, or the new virtual work environment, or perhaps my own abilities, but I suspect much of this readership will know that I could just as easily blame it on the unwieldy boundlessness that is scholarly communication work, as well as the depth of technical expertise needed to fully understand any single piece of that work.

Over the course of that long pandemic year, I dove into as much as I could. Colleagues sent me links to core readings and to more organizations than I thought possible for one sub-field of librarianship, and walked me through many, many issues that I had only the most vague conception of. Eventually, I got a bit better; I know that because my colleagues, whose expertise I relied on so heavily, started to say things like, ‘that’s a really good question,’ or ‘that’s something I also think about.’ I wasn’t caught up, but I was at least gaining a grasp of the true problems and issues of scholarly communication work. (more…)


August 5, 2021

LPC welcomes a new strategic affiliate: Jisc

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome Jisc as a new strategic affiliate!

About Jisc:

Jisc’s vision is for the UK to be the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. At its heart is the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection.  Jisc also provides technology solutions for its members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions.

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.

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