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.

December 1, 2020

Laureen Boutang and Willa Tavernier receive the 2020 LPC Award for Exemplary Service

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On behalf of the LPC Board, we are delighted to announce that the recipients of the 2020 LPC Award for Exemplary Service are Laureen Boutang, Publishing Services Coordinator at the University of Minnesota, and Willa Tavernier, Open Scholarship Resident and Visiting Assistant Librarian at Indiana University Bloomington. The Award recognizes substantial contributions by an LPC community member to advancing the mission, vision, and values of the Library Publishing Coalition. The Board determined that two awards were warranted this year in recognition of the enormous contributions made and leadership demonstrated by these nominees in two programmatic areas that emerged as critical for LPC in 2020. 

Laureen Boutang
Laureen Boutang

Laureen Boutang was nominated for the award for her steady leadership of the Program Committee and the success of quickly transitioning the 2020 Forum from an in-person to a virtual form in only 6 weeks. In 2018, Laureen also served as a dedicated and efficient host liaison for the 2018 Forum in Minneapolis. Now that her term on the Program Committee has ended, Laureen has continued her dedication to service to LPC by volunteering to chair the new Publishing Practice Award Committee, which is gearing up to launch its first call for applications.  Laureen shares: “Serving as a part of the LPC community inspires me and motivates me every day. I’m so pleased to receive this Award because it means that my contributions have had a similar, positive impact on those around me.”

Willa Tavernier
Willa Tavernier

Willa Tavernier was nominated for her commitment to and efforts for the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Her organizing and collaborating to prepare LPC’s Anti-Racist statement and subsequent Anti-Racism Community Call were essential to LPC’s acknowledgment of its responsibility to the current cultural moment. As stated by one of Willa’s nominators, “Willa’s advocacy efforts have improved awareness among LPC members (mostly white people) of our role in upholding white supremacy, holding our feet to the fire, and helping us face uncomfortable truths while also guiding us to think and talk about concrete actions we can take to begin to fix these problems.”

On receiving word of receipt of this year’s service award, Willa shares: “I am honored to be recognized by my peers and humbled that it was in large part to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.  As an immigrant from a small island, coming from an entirely different and very homogenous background and needing to find my way in U.S. society and institutions, this award is especially meaningful to me. I think we can all commit to doing the work necessary to see things from the perspectives of underserved/underrepresented groups.  I advocate for the Library Publishing Coalition to make anti-racism, equity, and inclusion foundational principles of its work, and to spearhead transformational change in library publishing.  I believe that the many unique and talented people in our community can make that happen.”


Laureen and Willa will each receive a complimentary registration to this year’s Library Publishing Forum and a $50 gift card. They will also be recognized at the Forum.

Please join us in congratulating Laureen and Willa.

On behalf of the LPC Board,

Jody Bailey, President
Christine Fruin, President-Elect
Scott Warren, Treasurer
Jessica Kirschner, Secretary
Karen Bjork
Vanessa Gabler
Sarah Hare
Ally Laird
Emma Molls
Melanie Schlosser, ex officio


Fellows Journal. Logo for the Library Publishing Coalition. Background image features bokeh lights in blues and greens.
November 19, 2020

OER, Accessibility, and STEM: An Interview with Anita Walz

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


Introduction

Photo of Anita Walz
Anita Walz, Assistant Director of Open Education and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Virginia Tech

Talea: Anita, you and I started having regular conversations as part of the mentorship that LPC organized for fellows. You’ve been

working for some time now on publishing open textbooks at Virginia Tech but we talked early on about the evolution you all have had when it comes to the accessibility of your OER. I thought it would be interesting to talk through some of the changes you have made, especially when it comes to making STEM textbooks accessible to students.

I’ll preface this by saying that accessibility has proven to be an especially sticky issue for STEM and OER. Complex STEM notation doesn’t translate well to screen readers unless it’s appropriately coded. When publishing workflows involve conversions between file types, all of this becomes still more complex—and PDFs, which are common in the OER publishing ecosystem, are notorious for dealing poorly with STEM notation. The Australian Disability Clearinghouse and Rebus Community discuss some of these issues for anyone who would like to read more.

 

(more…)


November 17, 2020

Apply for the LPC Publishing Practice Awards

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The Library Publishing Coalition is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the first 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 exemplify 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. The inaugural award categories are: Accessibility and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

Publishing programs do not need to be affiliated with an LPC member institution to be eligible. The deadline for applying is January 25, 2021.

Call for Applications


Fellows Journal. Logo for the Library Publishing Coalition. Background image features bokeh lights in blues and greens.
November 12, 2020

Thinking Politically About Scholarly Infrastructure

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


Maybe it’s not all that surprising that I’ve come to think about ScholComm in terms similar to US politics. Right now, as I draft this blog post, we are just a handful of days away from the 2020 election and in January 2020, as the next (and hopefully different) president will be inaugurated, I will be compiling my tenure application. It’s been like this from the start. I was hired in February 2016, when the Republican Party presidential primaries were beginning, which was the same month I joined Twitter to better follow both politics and librarianship. Sometimes we get what we ask for.

Twitter has been invaluable for keeping up with the latest ScholComm developments through conference live-tweets, article and policy announcements, and candid conversation between relevant figures in the field. I remember reading the first Plan S announcement tweet from cOAlition-S in 2018, and in fact the Library Publishing Coalition blipped onto my radar from #LPForum19 tweets. Using Twitter has also made me excruciatingly aware of the shape of our political fights, pushed me further leftward, and as I mentioned, caused me to think about ScholComm and politics through a similar framing. Here’s an example of how that can play out.

Tweet from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US Representative, NY-14. "Fracking is bad, actually."
https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1314018453192409102

 

(more…)


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
November 10, 2020

Library Publishing Pain Points – Sources of Chronic Pain Points

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Pain Points series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on the challenges they face in implementing, running, and sustaining their library publishing workflows.


brandon locke headshot
Brandon Locke, Library Publishing Workflows Project Manager

Over the past few months, we have published a blog series on pain points from our cohort of library publishers. Our amazing library partners have written about the challenges of quality control with distributed editorial and production teams, the difficulties of funding a non-commercial, scholar-led open access publishing program, the strains of scaling up a program while continuing to keep promises and meet expectations, and the work required to maintain and troubleshoot aging infrastructure. We want to supplement these thoughtful and in-depth pieces with some high-level information about the sources of frustration we identified in the first year of our project.

Time-consuming manual work

Unsurprisingly, the steps in journal workflows that require staff time and attention were the most common pain points mentioned. These manual processes make it difficult to scale up publishing programs or maintain regular publishing schedules. Publishers who typeset and layout articles in-house unanimously identified that work as a pain point. Typesetting and layout are often tedious (especially when working with equations or other types of special formatting), difficult to get correct, and not supported by platforms, requiring library staff to export, use a different piece of software, and re-upload. Several partners also identified quality control and the correction of partially automated processes as time-consuming pain points. Quality control issues occurred at all stages of the workflow, including correcting batch upload spreadsheets, DOI assignments, format conversions, and preservation.

Staffing

Our partners brought up an array of pain points regarding staffing, including inadequate number of staff, training of new personnel, and difficulties replacing or maintaining production when people leave. Staffing is, of course, closely related to the first issue of time-consuming manual work, because a larger number of employees allow for more of that work to be done effectively. Fewer dedicated staff also mean that publishers are less able to provide customized support to journals, including (but not limited to) software development. Most of the library workers we interviewed had library duties outside of publishing, meaning that it could be challenging to balance their work, particularly when publishing work may come in large batches. Several programs also mentioned that much of the work and institutional knowledge relied heavily on only one or two people, so the impact of that employee leaving, especially unexpectedly, could have a catastrophic impact on the program.

Lack of control over publishing process

Library publishing is a necessarily collaborative process that relies heavily on journal editors, authors, vendors, publishing platform(s), and library personnel. Many of our partners reported pain points that stemmed from the inability of the library to control the process, workflow, and timeline of the journals they are publishing. Our partners reported many workflow differences between the journals they publish, often depending on the journal’s field, policies, and editor preferences. These issues are especially prevalent in library publishing, as many of their journals that have been established elsewhere and come with preexisting norms and processes. High levels of journal autonomy mean that it can be difficult for library publishers to institute changes to workflows, or normalize processes across their different journals. In addition to this, many of our partners noted that because articles often come in large batches (sometimes as issues, or sometimes because the academic calendar impacts editors’ available time), it can be difficult to handle such irregular workloads.

Conclusions

We saw an abundance of social issues in these pain points conversations. Communicating with staff members and editors, managing the expectations of editors and authors, and training staff and editors were all significant factors in mitigating pain points. While I had expected a mix of social, technical, and financial pain points to arise, our conversations made clear how closely those three aspects are tied together. This is not an area where much can be automated, so the technology only works as well as the people who maintain it, oversee its use, and fill in for its inadequacy. Library workers are only able to perform this step to the extent that libraries are adequately staffed and time is carved out for them to do the hands-on work and communicate with the other stakeholders.


November 4, 2020

2021 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 (LPC), but you do not need to be a member of the LPC to attend. The 2021 Forum will be held online, May 10-14.

Call for Proposals

The call for proposals is now open! Building on the success of the 2020 virtual forum, this year we invite proposals for full sessions, individual presentations, and lighting presentations. Each session type will include interactive Q&A segments, and we encourage presenters to think creatively about other ways to engage with a large, virtual, globally-distributed audience. We 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 and all disciplines. The proposal deadline is December 6th. [UPDATE: The deadline for submissions has been extended to January 8, 2021!]

Learn more and submit a proposal


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
October 22, 2020

Library Publishing Pain Points – Aging Infrastructure

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Pain Points series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on the challenges they face in implementing, running, and sustaining their library publishing workflows.


As we’ve expanded our Open Access journal publishing work over the last few years, growing from 20 or so journals to about 40, Michigan Publishing has encountered some pain in a particular point in our workflow: converting journal articles from the formats in which authors have written them into the flavor of TEI XML that our publishing platform, DLXS, requires. This work takes our team about an hour per article to complete, on average, and that means a significant time investment which can be hard to explain to journal editors. When a journal includes complex math or symbolic logic written in LaTeX, the time to move a single article through our system can easily increase from an hour to a full day, or even several days. All of this slows down our time to publication and, since we bill our journal partners for the time we spend working on their articles, it gets pretty expensive for them.

To further complicate matters, the work of moving a XML document through DLXS to the final web version takes place largely on the command line – an efficient way to work when you’re an expert, but one that requires a fairly significant learning curve for new members of the team. If anything goes wrong, we sometimes need to know perl, XSLT, or shell scripting in order to fix it. The high technical barrier to entry makes it hard to train students to help in our work unless they stick around a few years, and it keeps our developers busy supporting older technology.

DLXS was developed at the University of Michigan Library starting in the late 1990’s, and (although it’s done great things for us) it is clearly showing its age. The Library is planning to sunset DLXS relatively soon. Even if it weren’t going away, Michigan Publishing would still need a new journals platform to help us work more flexibly and efficiently.

We strongly support community-owned open source scholarly communication infrastructure (we have been building our own open platform, Fulcrum, to support digitally-enhanced book publishing), so it was an easy choice for us to select Janeway (from the Birkbeck Centre for Technology and Publishing) for our next-generation journals platform. We’re hoping to move all of our active journals off DLXS in 2021 or 2022, and transition them to a much more industry-standard JATS/HTML-based workflow that can play well with both existing content conversion tools and vendor offerings. We also plan to build an integration between the two platforms so that Fulcrum’s rich media capabilities can be embedded in Janeway journal articles.

There will, of course, be a big pain point here: migrating all of the thousands of journal articles we’ve previously published in these journals from DLXS to Janeway. But we’re optimistic that once we get through that project, the new platform will make the lives of our production team and editors much easier. The move will also help us keep costs low for our publishing partners, many of whose journals would never be sustainable in a commercial environment. Check back with me in 2022 and we’ll see if the pain’s been relieved!


October 6, 2020

Announcing C4DISC: Ways to Participate and Support

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Please join me in celebrating the creation of an important new organization, the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC). The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) is a founding member and C4DISC both closely aligns with the LPC’s values and multiplies the impact of our strategic plan! Formally launched September 15, 2020, C4DISC was created to accelerate the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work the scholarly publishing/communications ecosystem sorely needs. C4DISC began in 2017 as an idea among a group of scholarly publishing trade and professional associations, including the LPC, who all saw a critical lack of diverse voices in their professional arenas and decided to take collective action. The founding members worked hard to make their vision a reality and last year, with the generous support of Educopia (LPC’s parent organization), tackled the complex challenge of developing governance for a new organization (in many ways echoing LPC’s creation way back in 2014!) 

To have the broadest possible impact it was decided C4DISC would target membership organizations such as the LPC as well as consortia, rather than individual universities or libraries. Two founding members, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and the Association of University Presses (AUP), generously agreed to serve as joint hosts. After governance was settled, the founding members established a joint statement of principles and mission, vision, and values statements.  As a founding member, the LPC has a seat on the C4DISC steering committee (rotating LPC Board members will represent the LPC). Like the LPC, C4DISC is committed to valuing differences, welcoming diverse perspectives, learning from different communities, making space for marginalized voices, eliminating barriers, and serving as allies to our colleagues who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. 

Now that C4DISC is firmly established, next steps include creating several working groups to begin turning the shared vision into action. One group will continue work started by Niccole Leilanionapae‘aina Coggins, University of Virginia Press; Gisela Fosado, Duke University Press; Jocelyn Dawson, Duke University Press; and Melanie Dolechek, Society for Scholarly Publishing, who created the “Toolkits for Equity: Transforming Scholarly Publishing Communities” initiative at the 2019 Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute. Their first toolkit, Antiracism Toolkit for Allies, is openly licensed and on the C4DISC website. C4DISC is seeking volunteers to help develop the next two toolkits: the Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and the Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations. Another working group will focus on communications and outreach. Members of the LPC community would make fantastic additions so if you are interested in leading or participating in any working groups please complete the Working Group Application Form.

Another thing LPC members can do is advocate for their home libraries/organizations to sign on as C4DISC supporters. Organizations who wish to support C4DISC may join as partners. Examples include publishers, libraries, industry suppliers, etc. Three partnership levels exist: Bronze ($1000), Silver (up to $2500), and Gold (up to $5000) and funds raised will support activities focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications. C4DISC also plans to hire a part-time program assistant to provide administrative support for C4DISC’s work and activities, thus furthering its capacity. C4DISC also gladly and gratefully accepts donations from individuals, no matter how small. 

Finally, if participating formally as a C4DISC partner is not possible for your home institution, LPC members can still support C4DISC by urging their organization to join the more than 60 organizations that have so far adopted C4DISC’s Joint Statement of Principles. Simply complete this form

To learn more, please visit c4disc.org or write to c4disc@gmail.com.   


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
September 30, 2020

Library Publishing Pain Points – Scaling Up

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Pain Points series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on the challenges they face in implementing, running, and sustaining their library publishing workflows.


headshot of Joshua Neds-Fox
Joshua Neds-Fox, Wayne State University
In my contribution to a series of social media posts on pain points for the Library Publishing Workflows project, I wrote that “the sheer volume of articles is a significant challenge for our team” (https://twitter.com/LibPubCoalition/status/1280511836744495108). Upon reflection it strikes me that I’m really describing the discomfort that any successful project brings, as demand begins to grow in response to that success. A new library publishing program can often feel like a start-up: a scrappy entrepreneur in the library has a bright idea, access to the tools for production and a platform for dissemination, and a generalist’s competence in many of the skills and tasks necessary to effect library publishing (LPCPDC 2020). But the entrepreneurial energy involved in an early start-up, which can often be maintained by a few highly motivated individuals, eventually either dissipates or becomes insufficient to the work of producing a successful stable of titles. Even if a library publishing program doesn’t grow substantially in output, the production work that felt exciting at volume 1 issue 1 may start to feel insurmountable by volume 6 issue 4.
Some of this may have to do with the temperament of the library publisher. Lacey and Parlette-Stewart (2017) write about the incidence of imposter syndrome (IS) in the profession, and theorize that the need to appear intelligent about a range of poorly defined responsibilities may lead librarians to overwork a program. The failure to properly delegate tasks, commonly associated with IS, can saddle a small library publisher with an unmanageable workload. Delegation requires identifying what we can’t do well, which can be difficult for academic librarians, who are constantly being asked both to do more with less and to justify our value to the academy.
In my own publishing program, which fits most of the above bill, the entrepreneurial energy with which I began publishing journals is matched in some truly driven faculty editors. Their output can be prodigous, and while I remain committed to the success of their journals, my team struggles at times to meet their production needs given the volume of scholarship they review and publish. Identifying, sourcing, and training the labor necessary to do the technical, tailored and often tedious work of turning manuscripts into published articles is itself a demanding process, which can feel at odds with the imperative to produce. Recruiting volunteer labor or attracting graduate student interest means enhancing the learning and project opportunities of a role in the digital publishing unit, often at the expense of the sometimes monotonous work of production. But the unique skills and detailed requirements of production also often preclude using un- or underskilled labor to prepare manuscripts for publication. And we are very aware of the tendency for academic work-study opportunities to be exploitative and inequitable, and hesitant to continue those practices simply to meet our production schedule.
We have experimented with outsourcing production work to a third party contractor. While this has yielded some possibilities to ease our backlog, it also requires additional manuscript preparation and quality control labor which reduces the total net gain in capacity (not to mention chasing funding). We have worked to increase the quality of the editorial processes and policies in our journals, which results in a more selective acceptance rate and helps create a more sustainable production slate. And as our program grows, so does my commitment to designing a sufficient policy and procedure infrastructure around our publishing activities. Our participation in the Library Publishing Workflows project is part of that commitment, to help create a body of standards that can in turn inform our own practice.
My digital publishing program was the pilot interview of the Workflow project, and the resulting flowchart is one of the two test cases being used to fine-tune the process that will be used to document the remaining data. To be honest, I felt slightly naked seeing our own workflow outlined so starkly in directional arrows and decision diamonds. I recognize my anxiety is really about seeing our process evaluated against other publishing programs’ processes. Will we end up on our own, looking foolish? But again and again, collaborating with other institutions in the Library Publishing Coalition on capacity-building projects like this helps reveal the extent to which our pain is shared, and not an indication of failure. Jason Coleman at the University of Michigan related in another social media post that XML conversion of incoming content can be intensely frustrating (he called it “just a bear”). Knowing something about Michigan’s platform and process, thanks in part to our work in the Coalition, helps me picture that pain clearly, and creating XML from tricky input myself for aspects of our publishing program helps me identify with it. As a small shop in comparison to Michigan, it’s a good reminder that I work in a community of practice with affinities across vastly different publishing programs. That’s something worth sustaining.

References:

Lacey, S., & Parlette-Stewart, M. (2017). Jumping Into The Deep: Imposter Syndrome, Defining Success and the New Librarian. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.21083/partnership.v12i1.3979

Library Publishing Coalition Professional Development Committee. (2020). L​ibrary Publishing Competencies. A​tlanta, GA: Educopia Institute. https://doi.org/10.5703/1288284317123


September 21, 2020

Nominations open for the third annual Award for Exemplary Service

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

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

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

NOMINATIONS FOR THE AWARD FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE ARE NOW CLOSED.

Criteria for the award

Awardees must:

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

Substantial contributions may include:

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

Submit a Nomination


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
September 1, 2020

Library Publishing Pain Points – Funding

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Pain Points series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on the challenges they face in implementing, running, and sustaining their library publishing workflows.


Sonya Betz
 Sonya Betz, University of Alberta

Operating a non-commercial, scholar-led open access publishing program through our library is intensely rewarding work. On a daily basis we connect with motivated and resourceful editors and scholars, who are deeply committed to open scholarship and to enriching the commons. Each new issue published on our platform feels like a small victory for our team, and we know what we’re doing is meaningful, not just to our small community, but also to all the invisible readers who come across our content and engage with it in some way. However, this work also comes with its own set of complex challenges and thorny issues.

Our program is provided at no cost to eligible Canadian open access scholarly journals and we wholly fund the staffing and infrastructure of the program through our library’s operating budget. Our institution has elected to do this, rather than charge service fees, as an effort to reduce one of the many barriers to publishing that small scholarly associations face. We’ve also chosen to take a strong stance against charging APCs or submission fees at the University of Alberta, and one condition of participating in our program is that our journals do not charge fees to authors. While we believe this model benefits both journals and their communities, this lack of externally generated revenue comes with predictable challenges around resource constraints.

While we provide a fairly robust suite of services to journals – including technical infrastructure and hosting, training and consultation in publishing tools and practices, digital preservation, content dissemination, and client support, we only provide minimal support for content production. Many (but not all) large commercial publishers provide copyediting, layout and design, and journal management services as part of their service offerings, funded through revenue collected by the publisher through subscriptions or APCs.  Within our no-fee model, we simply cannot offer these services to the 70 journals that we publish and instead, we grudgingly off-load the problem to our editorial teams, who must immediately face this issue when they join our program. Finding revenue to fund some of the operational elements of their journal production, without resorting to subscriptions or APCs, is a constant pain point for all of us. 

Journal editors have been incredibly resourceful in addressing this challenge. Some, like Evidence Based Library & Information Practice, have fostered a community of dedicated journal volunteers who carry out this labour. Many of our journals belong to scholarly societies, and are able to direct revenues from membership fees into paid positions for copy editors or technical managers. Some of our journals have been successful in securing grants, such as the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Aid to Scholarly Journals grant, which provides three years of funding to cover costs associated with the journal. Some journals are supported by their home institution or department, and some editors use their own research funds to pay salaries for graduate students to carry out this work. Occasionally, journals have been able to negotiate royalty payments from commercial aggregators to supplement their operations. We have even worked with journals who solicit donations from their community, and very rarely, those who bring in advertising revenues.

Despite this demonstrated variety and creativity in approaches, most of these measures don’t provide stable and consistent support to journals to help cover some of the real costs of publishing. We need a better model! 

In my ideal world, libraries, post-secondary institutions, and research granting agencies would redirect their budgets away from paying commercial for-profit publishers indirectly for this work (through APCs, pay-for-open fee options, and subscriptions that prop up for-profit models), to invest instead in directly supporting community-based not-for-profit publishing infrastructure and labour. Here in Canada, we are making small strides forward. For example, Coalition Publica and the Partnership for Open Access directs funds from a consortium of Canadian research libraries into real financial support for open access journals. This is not a radical or new idea – scholarly journal publishing in Latin America has successfully operated under this model for decades. However, a recent exchange between Eduardo Aguado López and Arianna Becerril García from Redalyc, and Johan Rooryck from cOAlition S, on the London School of Economics blog illuminated for me how divergent some opinions are around what a new scholarly communications ecosystem might look like.

Of course, solving a deeply broken and inequitable global publishing system is (perhaps!) out of scope for the Library Publishing Workflows project. However, I am hopeful that the work undertaken to describe and document our own local processes will help to highlight just how much of the work of publishing library programs like ours are already successfully carrying out. Perhaps it’s not such a stretch to imagine a future where we can more confidently occupy this space and present better alternatives to the status quo.


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
August 18, 2020

Library Publishing Pain Points – Quality Control

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post in our Library Publishing Pain Points series, featuring reflections from our Library Publishing Workflows partners on the challenges they face in implementing, running, and sustaining their library publishing workflows.


headshot of Vanessa Gabler
Vanessa Gabler, University of Pittsburg

Library publishing programs often operate as a collection of individuals or teams working both independently and together throughout various stages of the process. An editorial team (Editor in Chief, editorial board, managing editor, etc.,) typically manages the editorial process, perhaps with guidance from the library. Other portions of the workflow like production, indexing, and support of the software platform, may be managed by the library, the editorial team, third parties, or a mix. Many people work on the same journal with a variety of roles and responsibilities, people are often coming and going throughout the lifetime of a journal, and the work is performed at various locations rather than in a central office housing all participants, so who does what and how can sometimes get confusing.

A significant pain point for us is control over the “publish button.” We use the OJS software platform, and anyone with the role of an editor in the system is able to publish content. Editors create issues in the system and can then publish the issue with the press of a button. We also have several journals using a publish-as-you-go model, and to adapt OJS to this workflow we publish an issue and then add content to it one article at a time. In that workflow, articles become published at the time they are scheduled for publication in a current or back issue, something anyone with the role of editor in the system can do. 

However, our program’s workflow requires that only the library publishes content after a quality control review. Our journals’ editorial teams perform the production activities, but we perform a quality control review of the articles to ensure the metadata is complete and matches the content in the PDFs and that there are no problems with the PDFs. This is particularly important for DOIs, which appear on every page of the PDFs we publish.

Common errors caught during our reviews are mismatches in authorship, e.g., an author is missing in one place or formatted differently between the metadata and PDF; changes to titles, abstracts, or references during copyediting that were not updated in the metadata; incorrect issue enumeration in the PDF; and incorrect DOIs in the PDF. Errors that affect the metadata or the DOI cannot simply be corrected in the online system and often require an erratum and/or cleanup work with CrossRef and indexing services. Journal editors typically want to avoid publishing errata whenever possible, and cleanup of downstream services can be complicated. It is far better to catch these errors prior to publication whenever possible.

With our current setup of many people working independently but together, a member of the editorial team will occasionally publish content without notifying us. Our Service Agreements state that only the ULS can publish content after receiving notice at least 3 business day in advance of the intended publication date, but these Service Agreements are not always shared with the entire editorial team and incoming members. We also discuss this requirement during the initial stages of taking on a new journal, but that information can be easily forgotten or not shared with other team members. We will continue to communicate the importance of this to our journal partners and find ways to improve that communication, but the best solution for us would be for the system to allow for greater limitation of the publish and schedule for publication functionality, perhaps allowing for one or both functions to be limited to only admin users when those options are selected by the site administrator.


August 3, 2020

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

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Library Publishing Coalition logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Library Publishing Directory

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

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

About the IFLA Library Publishing SIG database

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

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


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July 28, 2020

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

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Editor’s note: When we changed the 2020 Library Publishing Forum to a virtual conference format, we gave presenters the option of converting their presentations into blog posts. This is a guest post in that series


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

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

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

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

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


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July 14, 2020

2020 Library Publishing Forum Round-up

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It’s now been two months since the 2020 Virtual Library Publishing Forum. We’ve been busy gathering many of the videos, slides, notes, etc., from the Forum, which you’ll find linked from the 2020 Forum page on our website. Though not all sessions are online, an unprecedented number are, so this is a great time to revisit or investigate a session you weren’t able to attend.

When we transitioned the 2020 Forum to a virtual format, we gave those who were not able to present during the Forum the opportunity to convert their session material and present via a posting on the LPC blog. If you haven’t already, check out this array of new Forum material—impressive and varied in both content and format! 

Fellows Forum
Talea Anderson, A.J. Boston

Make the Open Access Directory Better for All: A Library Publishers Edit-a-thon
Julie Goldman, Sally Gore, Lisa Palmer, and Regina Raboin

“OK Publisher”: Undergraduate Internships as a Model for Sustainable Publication
Jonathan Grunert, Nicole Callahan

Leveraging Library Expertise for Student Journal Success: A project to increase the impact and value of student journals
Stephanie Savage, Gavin Hayes

Institutional Repository Collaboration: Providing Flexibility and Responsiveness with Hyku
Gretchen Gueguen, Amanda Hurford

Peer-to-Peer Blended Learning: A Model for Training Undergraduate Journal Editors
Calvin Chan, Christopher Chan, Shelby Haber, Portia Rayner, Keanna Wallace, Nadiya Zuk

Leveraging a Library Journal for Grounding and Growing a Library Press Journal Program
Tracy MacKay-Ratliff, Perry Collins, Chelsea Johnston, and Laurie Taylor

Accessibility beyond web standards for improving User Experience
Israel Cefrin

So you’ve been rejected from MedEdPORTAL: Demystifying Open Access to Medical Educators
Hannah J. Craven and Rachel J. Hinrichs

Our thanks again to all presenters and to all who were able to attend the 2020 Forum. We hope to see many of you next year in Pittsburgh!


July 13, 2020

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

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

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

LPC plans to begin with these steps:

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

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

Library Publishing Coalition Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Library Publishing Coalition Board of Directors

 


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July 2, 2020

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

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Editor’s note: When we changed the 2020 Library Publishing Forum to a virtual conference format, we gave presenters the option of converting their presentations into blog posts. This is a guest post in that series


By Hannah J. Craven and Rachel J. Hinrichs

Introduction to MedEdPORTAL

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

The Issue

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

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July 1, 2020

LPForum20: Accessibility beyond web standards for improving User Experience

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Editor’s note: When we changed the 2020 Library Publishing Forum to a virtual conference format, we gave presenters the option of converting their presentations into blog posts. This is a guest post in that series


By Israel Cefrin, PKP

Background

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

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

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June 30, 2020

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

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Editor’s note: When we changed the 2020 Library Publishing Forum to a virtual conference format, we gave presenters the option of converting their presentations into blog posts. This is a guest post in that series


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

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Collaboration as Foundation

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

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

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