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.

LPC Forum 2020
March 12, 2020

The 2020 Library Publishing Forum and COVID-19

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In light of ongoing developments surrounding COVID-19, including increasing travel restrictions, the Library Publishing Coalition Board and Program Committee have made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person Library Publishing Forum. We feel that the community- and people-centered spirit of the LPC is reflected by this decision to support public health initiatives and maintain the safety of the larger community. We took this step in consultation with our local host, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, to whom we are deeply grateful for their diligent work on behalf of the community of library publishers. 

The Program Committee will discuss the feasibility of a virtual conference or other programming to be held either during the week of May 4-8 or later this year. Please stay tuned for further announcements and plan to engage with the library publishing community from where you are! Announcements about virtual programming will be made via LPC’s public news list, which you can sign up for on our homepage

We deeply regret the necessity of this step, and we look forward to convening again in person in 2021.


March 10, 2020

Update on the Library Publishing Forum and COVID-19

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The Library Publishing Coalition is closely monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 virus and the resulting travel restrictions. As of right now, it is our intention to move forward with the Library Publishing Forum as planned, but we recognize that the situation is evolving quickly. We are in consultation with our host, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, to actively investigate all options for the conference, as well as appropriate timelines for decision-making. We will have a more definitive statement and decision ready by March 23 at the latest.

The Program Committee and LPC staff will also be considering the possibility of other options should the in-person event be cancelled. We will provide further information here when it is available.

In the meantime, we recommend keeping an eye on the CDC’s COVID-19 website and the state of Massachusetts to inform your travel planning.


March 4, 2020

Call for Applications: Library Publishing Curriculum Editorial Board Members

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The LPC Board seeks applications for the Library Publishing Curriculum Editorial Board. Created in partnership with the Educopia Institute as part of a project generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Library Publishing Curriculum is moving to its permanent home as an ongoing program of the LPC. Under the leadership of the Curriculum’s new Editor-in-Chief (EIC), Cheryl E. Ball (Wayne State University), the editorial board will identify maintenance and development needs for the Curriculum, oversee (and occasionally perform) that work, and promote the wide adoption and use of the Curriculum. The editorial board will consist of nine volunteer members, working under the guidance of the EIC and reporting to the LPC Board. 

Membership Qualifications and Term Lengths

Highly desired qualifications include:

  • Accomplishment and expertise in library publishing 
  • Research/publishing experience
  • Experience with curriculum development 
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion 

It is not necessary for candidates to possess robust experience in all the above areas, but they should be able to demonstrate experience with at least one or two. While service on most LPC working groups is limited to staff at member institutions, a limited number of editorial board spots will be open to non-members. All interested individuals are encouraged to apply. 

Members will serve three-year terms, which can be renewed once. Members who want to serve more than two consecutive terms must reapply. Estimated time commitment will be 5–6 hours a month, unless a member decides to take on additional writing/revision responsibilities. 

Responsibilities

Identifying work needed: The editorial board will be responsible for identifying gaps and opportunities in the curriculum, including new units, updates or adaptations of existing units (e.g., adapting the copyright unit for another country’s copyright landscape), translations, and other projects that will increase the currency, utility, and breadth of the curriculum. 

Recruiting and guiding project participants: The editorial board will recruit project participants and guide them through their project work; these individuals would work with the editorial board to devise and implement major revisions or additions to the curriculum. 

Authoring/updating curriculum content: For small projects, the editorial board may decide to undertake the work itself, rather than recruiting project participants. 

Identifying resources for curriculum development: For projects the editorial board wants to undertake that will require outside funding or other resources, the group will work with the EIC and LPC’s Board to identify potential funding sources and apply for grants. 

Ensuring high quality content: The editorial board will ensure that existing content is still useful and relevant, and that new content developed meets project goals and quality expectations.

Curriculum promotion: The editorial board is responsible for promoting new and revised content, and encouraging adoption of the curriculum in a variety of settings. 

Application Process

Applicants should submit a one-page statement outlining your qualifications and a CV by May 22nd to Nancy Adams at contact@librarypublishing.org. Nominations will also be accepted at that email address until May 10, after which nominees will be invited to submit materials until the deadline. LPC’s Board will review candidates at its June meeting and select the new editorial board, which will start July 1, 2020

 


March 4, 2020

New LPC Board members elected

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The nine-member Library Publishing Coalition Board oversees the governance, organizational structure, bylaws, and the review and direction of the membership of the Library Publishing Coalition. We have three newly elected Board members, with terms running from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023:

  • Jessica Kirschner, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Ally Laird, Penn State University
  • Emma Molls, University of Minnesota

They will join the returning Board members:

  • Jody Bailey, Emory University (2018-2021)
  • Vanessa Gabler, University of Pittsburgh (2018-2021)
  • Scott Warren, Syracuse University (2018-2021)
  • Karen Bjork, Portland State University (2019-2022)
  • Christine Fruin, Atla (2019-2022)
  • Sarah Hare, Indiana University (2019-2022)

Many thanks to our outgoing Board members Kate McCready, Catherine Mitchell, and Ted Polley for their service!


February 12, 2020

LPC Board election: Candidate bios and statements

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Elections for the Library Publishing Coalition Board open today and will continue through Friday, February 28. Instructions for voting will be sent to each member institution’s voting representative. The candidates are:

  • Ally Laird, Penn State University
  • Chelsea Johnston, University of Florida
  • Emma Molls, University of Minnesota
  • Dwayne K. Buttler, University of Louisville
  • Jessica Kirschner, Virginia Commonwealth University

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

(more…)


February 10, 2020

Now available: The 2020 Library Publishing Directory!

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The Library Publishing Coalition is pleased to announce publication of the 2020 Library Publishing Directory! This year’s Library Publishing Directory highlights the publishing activities of 153 academic and research libraries, and is openly available in PDF and EPUB formats as well as via a searchable online directory.

The Directory illustrates the many ways in which libraries are actively transforming and advancing scholarly communications in partnership with scholars, students, university presses, and others. Each year, the Directory’s introduction presents a ‘state of the field’ based on that year’s data, which we also publish in a related blog posting

You may notice some differences in the 2020 Directory. These emerged from ongoing work to evaluate the data model and survey collection process, to help ensure the information presented in the Directory accurately reflects the current state of the field and will be useful to a variety of users. Changes for this year include:

  • More granular information about publication numbers in the different models (open access, paid, and hybrid)
  • Three options for stage of publication instead of 5: Pilot, Early, and Established. Respondents were asked to elaborate on plans for expansion, change of focus, or future direction (including shrinking programs) in the Additional Information section.
  • Further exploration about partnerships, including publisher preference in working with external partners and what types of publications other programs should refer to them.

Publication of the 2020 Directory was overseen by the LPC’s Directory Committee:

  • Jessica Kirschner, Virginia Commonwealth University (2019-20 chair)
  • Robert Browder, Virginia Tech
  • Ellen Dubinsky, University of Arizona
  • Janet Swatscheno, University of Illinois
  • Amanda Wentworth, SUNY Geneseo

We want to acknowledge and thank Purdue University Libraries, Purdue University Press, and Bookmasters for their support for the publication of the Directory since the inaugural 2014 edition. This is Purdue’s final year as the publisher of the Directory, and we are grateful for their support as we established the Directory and created an ongoing program of annual publications. Look for an announcement about the new Directory publisher later in 2020!


Water with the word reflections in all caps with a horizontal line above and below
February 10, 2020

The state of the field: An excerpt from the 2020 Library Publishing Directory

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As much as we love the searchable online interface for the Library Publishing Directory, it doesn’t include the introduction found in the print, PDF, and EPUB versions. Each year, the Directory‘s introduction includes a ‘state of the field’ based on that year’s data that highlights trends and new developments in library publishing as reported by the programs that contribute their information. To make it easier to find, we are republishing that portion of the introduction here. This year’s introduction was written by Jessica Kirschner, Robert Browder, Ellen Dubinsky, Janet Swatscheno, and Amanda Wentworth with an assist from me. Enjoy!

THE 2020 LIBRARY PUBLISHING LANDSCAPE

As in previous years, the Directory Committee reviewed this year’s entries to identify trends in the data. Although not an exhaustive analysis, the following overview presents trends we find significant due to their value to the community or reflective of new information gathered in this year’s survey. These trends are often mentioned in comparison to the responses from last year’s Directory. However, it should be noted that such evaluation is not a one-to-one comparison: not only did we receive more total submissions this year (153 to 2019’s 138), but these totals are not composed of the same set of institutions, as some who submitted previously may not have submitted an entry this year. Thus, all data shared below should be taken as trends observed from our collected data rather than infallible descriptions of the library publishing field. Additionally, we point out instances of large variance, whether the causes are fully understood or not. We may offer possible reasons for such changes, but these should be taken as possible, rather than definite, explanations.

PROGRAM STAGE AND OA FOCUS

The 2020 Directory adjusted the stages at which institutions could qualify their publishing efforts from five to three categories, which were pilot, early, and established. Out of these categories, 71% of institutions reported their efforts as established while 37% reported being at the early stage. Only 7% reported being at the pilot stage.

As has been seen in previous years, open access features prominently in the mission of many library publishers. All respondents indicated that openness has some importance to their program. This year, 34% of respondents indicated that their program is “completely” committed to open access, number 5 on our 1–5 scale. This represents a decrease of 12% from the 2019 Directory. This difference seems to have been picked up by the 55% of respondents who indicated that open access is “very important” to their program. This represents an 11% increase from 2019. Those institutions who indicated that open access is merely “important” or “somewhat important” were found to be 6% and 3%, respectively.

FUNDING AND STAFFING

Forty-eight percent of respondents received 100% of their funding from their library’s operating budget. Five percent reported 100% of their funding coming from the library’s materials budget. Another 5% of respondents reported deriving some of their funding from sales revenues.

Staffing levels for both full-time professional staff and paraprofessional staff showed significant increases this year. The average number of full-time professional staff is 2.7, showing an increase of 0.4 staff members from 2019. The average number of paraprofessional staff is 2.2. This data point shows an increase of 1.7 staff members from 2019. The reason for such a large increase is unclear, although last year may be an anomaly as a look back at data from 2018 reveals a significant dip (–1.1) in 2019. Such difference could be a wonderful opportunity for deeper statistical analysis of the data and perhaps further research.

SERVICES

Library publishing programs report a fairly broad set of services, offering everything from copyright advice to project budget preparation. The most commonly reported services are copyright advice (79%), metadata services (77%), persistent identifier assignment (70%), training (68%), and analytics (63%). The least prevalent services were budget preparation (9%), applying for cataloging in process data (10%), and business model development (11%). Such high-low trends have remained relatively consistent in comparison with previous years.

TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS

Across institutions, the majority of content published was a combination of faculty (99 institutions reported, over 65%) and student (84 institutions reported, about 60%) journals. The third most popular type of publication content reported was ETDs, which 85 institutions (about 60%) reported publishing. Monographs, textbooks, conference materials, newsletters, and reports are also common publication forms. More interesting is the wide variety of other publication types reported. Datasets and open education resources—both textbooks and other formats—are becoming more common. Book chapters, archival and special collections materials, policy briefs, posters, bibliographies, maps, digital projects, and oral histories were just some of the dozens of other formats noted in this year’s survey. Library publishers appear willing and able to support publication of an expanding array of material.

PLATFORMS AND TECHNOLOGIES

Leveraging technology to develop and manage library publishing activity is a necessity and ongoing challenge. The ability to do so often depends on a combination of factors including budget, staffing, and technical skills. Many publishing programs operate on lean budgets and lean staffing, while others enjoy robust institutional and grant funding that make large-scale software development, installation, and maintenance programs possible. Library publishing programs often take advantage of open source software technologies. While some libraries manage this infrastructure in-house, cloud-based and outsourced technologies are essential for others. The Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal Systems is the single most used library publishing software with 45% of 2020 survey respondents reporting its use—a 5% increase from the previous year. The bepress (Digital Commons) platform is used by 39% of respondents, a slight decline from the 43% usage reported by 2019 survey respondents. DSpace, a well-established platform for open access repositories, is the third most popular library publishing platform at 32%. Pressbooks is used by 21% of respondents. Locally developed software is still important in this field at 16%, a small revival (an increase of 4%) after having been on a downward trend for the past two years.

One interesting finding in the data is that most library publishers offer multiple publishing platforms: 43% offer three or more publishing platforms, 20% offer two publishing platforms, and 32% only offer one publishing platform. Of the 32% who only offer one platform, the most common platform was bepress (Digital Commons), which can be used as an institutional repository and for publishing journals.

MEDIA FORMATS

Today’s publications may incorporate a wide variety of media types from plain text to interactive data visualizations. All respondents indicated they work with text. Eighty-six percent of publishing programs currently work with images, 70% of publishers report working with video, 69% report working with audio, and 68% of publishers report working with data. Multimedia/interactive content, concept maps and visualizations, and modeling are reported at 39%, 29%, and 14%, respectively.

DIGITAL PRESERVATION

In-house methodologies continue to be the leading preservation strategy among publishers with 34% of respondents managing their own preservation. Twenty-five percent of respondents use LOCKSS and 20% report using Amazon S3. Use of the Public Knowledge Project’s preservation network was reported by 14% of respondents. Notably, 20% of respondents indicated that preservation services are under discussion.

PARTNERSHIPS

Internal Partnerships
Most library publishing programs are developed initially to serve the publishing needs of their institutions, and the Directory has consistently reported strong partnerships between the libraries profiled and their campus (or other) communities. This year’s survey results continue to support this, with 83% of respondents reporting partnerships with campus-based departments and programs and 85% reporting partnerships with individual faculty. These numbers are consistent with previous years, showing only slight increases from 2019. The biggest change from 2019 was partnerships with graduate students, which increased from 57% to 75%.

External Partnerships
As library publishing grows, there is an increasing need for information about which libraries are willing to work with external partners and under what circumstances. Libraries need to know to which colleagues they can refer publications that aren’t a match for their program’s scope and capacity, and editors and societies need to know which library publishers might be willing to consider working with them. To facilitate these conversations, we added a question this year about whether the programs profiled are interested in working with external partners. Eighteen percent of respondents reported a willingness to work with any external partner, 59% of respondents indicated a willingness to work with external partners who can demonstrate a tie to their institution, and 5% percent expressed interest in working with external partners based on their disciplinary specialties. Ten percent reported that they are only interested in working with internal partners. These results indicate substantial opportunities for scholarly societies and independent publications to partner with libraries.

ABOUT THE DATA

The LPC maintains archived datasets for each year’s survey. All datasets are available from the LPC in their raw format (comma-separated value) upon request. A full statistical analysis of the data from the past seven years, as a set, has never been completed and is a rich opportunity for research.


Library Publishing Coalition Quarterly Update
February 6, 2020

LPC Quarterly Update

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Check out our latest Quarterly Update! It includes:

  • Community News
    • New members, new strategic affiliates
    • Jessica Kirschner receives the 2019 LPC Award for Exemplary Service
    • LPC and IFLA Library Publishing SIG launch new partnership
    • LPC Mentorship Program: Looking back and looking forward
  • Library Publishing Forum
    • Registration is now open!
    • Travel and Accomodations
    • Forum Schedule
  • Updates from the Library Publishing Workflows Project

Read the Update


January 7, 2020

Open Publishing Communities: An Information Session

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Professional communities can provide many levels of support as you develop open publishing projects and programs. In this info session, facilitated by Amy Hofer, Coordinator, Statewide Open Education Library Services at Open Oregon Educational Resources, you will have the opportunity to learn about three communities that support open publishing practitioners: the Library Publishing Coalition, the Open Textbook Network, and the Rebus Community. Conversation will focus on organizational similarities and differences, new programs to support publishing, approaches to community work. The webinar will be especially helpful to LPC members interested in Open Educational Resource (OER) publishing support. 

Presenters:

  • Karen Lauritsen, Publishing Director, Open Textbook Network
  • Zoe Wake Hyde, Assistant Director, Rebus Foundation
  • Sarah Hare, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Indiana University and Library Publishing Coalition Secretary

This webinar takes place at 2 PM EST/ 11 AM PST on January 23, 2020. The session will be recorded and captioned to share later.

Join the session

Call-in number: 669 900 6833

Participant PIN: 776 101 789

 


December 16, 2019

LPC welcomes Crossref as a new strategic affiliate

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The Library Publishing Coalition is delighted to welcome Crossref as a new strategic affiliate! A statement from Crossref:

“We have seen hundreds of library publishers join Crossref as members over the last few years so the Library Publishing Coalition is a vital partner in helping us to understand the needs of this growing and important group. We’re super happy to be a strategic affiliate and look forward to learning more, seeing where we can help, and to creating information-sharing opportunities and benefits for our mutual members.”

And a statement from LPC on the new relationship:

“Crossref provides important infrastructure for scholarly publishing, and we are very excited to have this opportunity to deepen our existing relationship. We are already planning some important collaborative work in 2020, and we look forward to learning more about how library publishers can most effectively participate in the scholarly ecosystem that Crossref supports.”

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

 


Fellows Journal. Logo for the Library Publishing Coalition. Background image features bokeh lights in blues and greens.
December 10, 2019

Introducing Talea Anderson, 2019-21 LPC Fellow: A Reflection on Accessibility

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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

(Photo credit: See note below)

Where I’ve Come From

For the last couple of years, I’ve been plugging away on a project that began with my participation in KairosCamp, a digital publishing institute run by Cheryl Ball and staff for the journal Kairos. For the camp, I’d proposed the idea of creating a digital text that would challenge readers by forcing them to read, navigate, and perceive the writing in an unfamiliar way. The idea was to replicate a feeling that one may experience when being excluded from accessing a particular space—a level of discomfort that readers wouldn’t expect to have when browsing online. 

As I designed my project, I found myself slipping into talk of simulations. As in, “this project will simulate the experience of [x] disability for [x] assistive device.” When I talked to web accessibility folks on my campus, they were excited about the possibilities of showing faculty how the structure of a webtext can limit or exclude people from reading and engaging with it. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there exists a whole literature about the problems with disability simulations, which can promote stereotypes about people with disabilities, inaccurately represent the full breadth of disabled experience, promote negative feelings about disability, and situate the “problem” of disability in particular people rather than in social and cultural barriers to inclusion (see French, 1992; Lalvani & Broderick, 2013; Nario-Redmond, Gospodinov, & Cobb, 2017; Olson, 2014). Not the territory I wanted to tread with my original project concept. 

Personal Perspective 

I was troubled when I began reading this literature about simulations, largely because I hadn’t been aware of it in the past. Partly, I thought that I should have been inherently cognizant of these issues because I also have a disability. I was born blind and, while I had surgeries that restored part of my vision, some was permanently lost. Recognizing faces is hard for me, as is navigation and a slew of tasks that I’m still identifying now as an adult. That said, I don’t use screen readers and my vision currently doesn’t substantially hamper my reading, unless distance is involved. Some of the key concerns in web accessibility aren’t automatically apparent to me because I fall somewhere between sighted and unsighted. Somehow I needed this reminder as my project evolved. 

In a way, I’ve always felt that I should “inherently” understand both disabled and able-bodied experiences—as if I could understand and empathize with both by sheer force of will. And of course, the truth is, none of us will automatically understand the challenges others face despite having all the best intentions in the world. 

Research Interests and a Call to the Community 

It’s a simple anecdote but I’ve thought about this a lot lately as I start this fellowship with the Library Publishing Coalition. As I continue working with library publishing at my own institution, I am hoping to deepen my engagement with accessibility as well as intersecting experiences that I and others have too frequently overlooked. I’m a Scholarly Communication Librarian and yet haven’t put as much time as I’d like into considering how access extends to people who have perceptual differences in how they read and engage with information. These are issues that deserve renewed consideration even if we are in a profession that’s devoted to fantastic ideals like universal access. There are always assumptions, misunderstandings, and oversights still to explore. 

Over the next two years, I hope to make these concerns a greater part of my focus professionally and share some of the things I find along the way. I’m looking forward to learning from others in the LPC community who have already thought deeply about these issues. In fact, if you have questions or research topics you’d like to see addressed related to accessibility and library publishing, please get in touch—talea.anderson@wsu.edu. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  

Thank you to the LPC community and leadership for welcoming me in and providing the opportunity to do this work—it’s a privilege I don’t take lightly, and I am grateful. 

Photo Credit: Gray framed eyeglasses, CC0


December 5, 2019

LPC Mentorship Program: Looking back at year one, getting involved for year two!

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It’s time to reflect on the pilot year of our new Mentorship Program and to kick off participation for year two! We’ve made some exciting changes for year two – keep reading to learn about our new focus for 2020 (peer mentorship) and how to get involved.

The pilot year: How did it go? (Spoiler: It was great.)

This year, the Library Publishing Coalition Professional Development Committee introduced a new member opportunity: The LPC Mentorship Program. The goals of the program were two-fold. First, the program aimed to orient mentees to the LPC, to enrich mentors’ experiences with the LPC, and build relationships between the two. A secondary goal of the program was to further the development of library publishing through a professional, semi-structured mentorship program. 

Activities of the program included a virtual getting-to-know you meeting to kick things off, continuing with monthly calls and email correspondence between mentors and mentees.  Participants were provided with a list of suggested questions to help start their mentor/mentee relationship, and were then encouraged to continue the discussions in whatever direction was most desirable for the partners. An in-person meetup also took place at the Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver to provide an opportunity to further strengthen relationships.  

The meeting at the Forum took place over the lunch hour on the second day, and proved to be quite fruitful! Not all of the mentor/mentee pairs could attend, but we spent the majority of the time sharing out about our experiences and discussing with other participants about what has worked for them, what they enjoyed most, what suggestions they had for improvement, and networking with others that were participating in the pilot year. After the lunch meeting, all mentors and mentees were sent the list of discussion questions we used at the lunch, and were also encouraged to fill out a mid-year survey to assess the program and provide feedback.

The first cohort is currently wrapping up their participation, and their reception of this program has been positive. Participants of the first pilot year had many good things to share, including the following:

“Things are going well! Really nice to have time and energy dedicated to chatting with a peer who does not have the same institutional context as me.” – Emma Molls, University of Minnesota

“I really enjoyed serving as a mentor during this inaugural year of the LPC Mentorship Program. Benefits included expanding my professional network through forming a strong relationship with my mentee, broadening my expertise through learning about library publishing at his university, and the opportunity to contribute back to this wonderful community. All of these positives resulted from a minimal time commitment of about one hour per month to meet with my mentee, so future program participants can be confident that they will receive an outstanding payoff with nominal effort.” — Jody Bailey, Emory University

“The LPC Mentorship program did a fantastic job pairing me with the best mentor for my individual professional development goals. My mentor and I connected from the get-go and I learned so much from her experiences and advice, and made a real friend. Given how thoughtful and personalized the process, I think that this program is an essential tool in an early-career library publishing professional’s toolkit as they start out!” — Amanda Wentworth, SUNY OER Services

“Being quite new to library publishing, the LPC mentorship program was a fantastic way to get a personal & friendly introduction to the world of library publishing outside of my own institution. It was incredibly helpful to compare & contrast how location, institutional history, funding, and size of operation affects our daily workflows. My mentor was very generous and I got access to some excellent resources to share with my team!” — Emily Zheng, University of Alberta

Interested in being a peer mentor in 2020?

In response to a successful pilot year, the LPC Professional Development Committee will be offering the program again, with one key change. The focus for the 2020 year will be on peer mentor relationships, rather than having specific mentor and mentee roles. We hope to welcome many more members into the 2020 LPC Peer Mentorship Program!

Timeline for 2020 Cycle:

  • Applications out now! (Don’t worry, we’ll remind you again about applications in early January! We’ll be accepting applications through Jan. 17.)
  • Matching: We’ll match you with your new Peer Mentor by Jan. 24.
  • Orientation: Participants will receive a packet of information and resources and will arrange their first meeting with their peer mentor in February. 
  • Library Publishing Forum: May 4-6, Worcester, Massachusetts 
    • The LPC Professional Development Committee will host a lunch or meet-up for participants.
  • More throughout your time in the program!
    • Check-in emails (1 month, 3 months)
    • A virtual discussion group (mid-way)
    • A Mid-year Check-in (6 months) with survey
    • Complete 12-month post-cycle/cohort evaluation with exit survey

Apply for the 2020 LPC Peer Mentor Program now!


Fellows Journal. Logo for the Library Publishing Coalition. Background image features bokeh lights in blues and greens.
December 4, 2019

Introducing A.J. Boston, 2019-21 LPC Fellow: Contingent upon serendipity

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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

(Image credit: See note below)

 

It is an honor to have been named in the second cohort of Library Publishing Coalition Fellows. I thank the community and its leadership for welcoming me, and providing structure and support. In this blogpost, I will introduce myself, my history, and my professional interests.

***

Best Predictor of Future Behavior

Our campus held a celebration of first-generation students a few weeks ago. A colleague on his way there stopped by and asked if I was first gen. I replied that I wasn’t. There is a bit of further nuance to that, which feels appropriate for me to reflect upon here. No, both of my parents attended college, and in fact both held master’s degrees. It was an incredible privilege to grow up in a home where the idea of higher education was not shrouded in mystique, and I don’t know that I ever independently questioned how tuition would be paid for. I suppose it came up, but never in a way that actually made me feel any real concern. Again, just an incredible privilege.

My upbringing could easily have been much different. I was born in South Korea to extremely young parents, who I recently discovered did not complete high school. When I was put up for adoption, I’ve always assumed the decision must have been largely related to financial concerns. The records show I have an older brother, who was not put up for adoption. Had I been firstborn, I would likely be living in Korea now, presumably engaged in some sort of occupation that would seem foreign to the person I became. Instead, I was raised in Louisville, Kentucky, in a solidly middle-class home, raised by white parents that were firmly married, employed, and socially connected. As I told my work colleague, no, I am not a first-generation college student, at least not technically.

With that part of my story established, let me expose another bit of nuance. Both of my American parents have been wheelchair-bound since childhood. My father, a son of Louisville, caught the poliovirus as a child. His mother had been a nurse who administered doses of the polio vaccine to students in his elementary school. To her regret, she did not vaccinate her son, because of the age cutoff. My mother, a daughter of Cincinnati, had a tumor growth on her spine; the surgeon assigned to her was drunk during the removal operation. My parents met each other at the University of Illinois, which was one of the more handicap-friendly institutions in the region at that time. Perhaps it’s the same for everybody, but it has always felt true for me that who I am today has largely been contingent upon serendipity.

How Quickly We Forget

These are things that rarely cross my mind anymore. I’ve lived in a college town in peaceful, rural Western Kentucky for almost 18 years now. Since 2016, I’ve been employed as a tenure-track scholarly communication librarian and assistant professor. My ethnicity, adoption, and parents’ wheelchairs no longer count among the top ten salient factors of my waking consciousness. Though it takes a painful long time for my family to load in and out of our van, it’s because I have three children who need help buckling in, not two parents who need extra time to strap in. When my wife is asked when she “got” her children, the factual answer is “upon birth” and not some date related to paperwork.

I am spilling guts here because I have realized how I have forgotten these things in recent years. It has been incredibly easy to forget both the privileges I grew up with and those I recently gained. In their use of this LPC platform, past Fellows Charlotte Roh and Reggie Raju have reminded me of my privileges. From what I understand, the work Talea Anderson has planned will do so as well.

My Fellow Fellows

From an external view, my road to scholarly communication was perfectly serene. As Reggie discussed in his introductory blog, he was born the son of indentured labourers, transplanted from India to apartheid-era South Africa. While I put in work to get where I am personally and professionally, the situational challenges I faced were a couple orders of magnitude simpler than had I not been the second born to my family in Korea.

At the 2019 Fellows Forum, Charlotte Roh live-streamed her presentation from home. Roh aptly concluded her talk on personal and professional intersections by revealing her (beautiful) newborn baby under her care. At times, I have wondered how much more productive my research output could be without the sleep deficits that accompany co-raising my three young children. That’s a pretty crude thought for me to have, considering the overall health of our family and the herculean efforts my wife puts in as a mother. In truth, I wouldn’t have a career at all without my immediate and extended familial support networks.

As I’ve become acquainted with Talea, I’ve come to know of her interests in web accessibility. In his twenties, my father served on the public transit board in Louisville, where he had a major impact on accessibility for wheelchaired people in the city. For a decade, I’ve luxuriated in my ability to move freely about in both physical and digital spaces. The intent of Talea’s projects seem to be akin to those of my father’s: advocating independence for those not secured it.

The concerns of Reggie, Charlotte, and Talea are not quite at the forefront of my research agenda. But thanks to them, and the experience afforded to me through this Fellowship, the blips these topics make on my radar are increasingly audible.

(My eldest. Credit: A.J. Boston, 2017.)

 

For Future Research

Let me now return to the ‘introductory’ purpose of this post, and discuss what I hope to bring to the table. The research areas I hope I can help initiate conversation on in the LPC community are open peer-review, open citation data, research assessment reform, and AI/machine learning in research. Open infrastructure and the Latin American publishing model are heavily on my mind as well. I’ve previously written about (and not abandoned) novel methods of introducing students to scholcomm concepts. (I may have a future blogpost in me, critical of my own work, tbh.) Earlier this year, I was wowed by Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s book Generous Thinking, on reconnecting the work of the academy with the community, which has helped inspire my planned future research writing project, centering around methods to make published research not just more accessible, but more comprehensible to public audiences.

It Could All Be Symposium

As part of my Fellowship, I will serve on the Forum Program Committee. At Murray State University, I coordinate two campus-wide student conferences and one statewide conference annually. (I also oversee a student-led journal, and assist with three faculty-led journals.) I’ve come to view conference planning as not dissimilar to managing a journal. As a community, we’re quite familiar with wrongdoing in scholarly publishing. We’ve also grown in our shared public awareness of wrongdoing in scholarly conferences.

Discourse on conferences has become a trending topic, at least in my feeds. Whether it’s been the harm directed toward our Hathcocks, the harm emanating from our Tennants, or the harms we disagree on as harms, it is no longer an option for us to ignore these. How we handle these as conference participants and organizers must be tackled. I am eager to be further conscious of and conversant in these topics, plus many others. To wit: enforcing mic usage at Q&As; making it more of a question than a comment (I’m guilty); slide accessibility; getting the bathroom sitch in order; considerations of alcohol and animal protein in catering; land acknowledgements; and carbon and currency costs of conference travel. I don’t purport to have the answers, but I am coming to learn that asking the questions is a healthy and vital practice.

***

Thank you for reading.

Image Credit: Suzy Hazelwood, 2018.


December 3, 2019

Jessica Kirschner receives the 2019 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 2019 LPC Award for Exemplary Service is Jessica Kirshner, Open Educational Resources Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Award recognizes substantial contributions by an LPC community member to advancing the mission, vision, and values of the Library Publishing Coalition. Jessica served as the chair of the Directory Task Force during the 2018-19 program year, and is currently serving as the chair of the Directory Committee. She was nominated for the award because of her dedication and effective leadership, both in steering the publication of the 2020 Directory and in revising the Directory’s data model for the future. This award recognizes her unique contributions to the community. 


A statement from Jessica:

“It’s an honor to be recognized with this year’s LPC Award for Exemplary Service. Having served on and chaired the Directory Committee/Task Force, I’ve had the opportunity to work with great colleagues from the library publishing community to review the Directory’s current data model. This work will ensure that the information we collect—and the process we use to collect it—serves the needs of both LPC members and the library publishing community at large. I look forward to the release of the 2020 Directory, as well as the exciting partnership with IFLA through which we will share information on library publishing programs on an even larger scale.”


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


Water with the word reflections in all caps with a horizontal line above and below
November 26, 2019

Society for Scholarly Publishing 41st Annual Meeting, May 30–31, 2019

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In its Strategic Plan for 2018–2023, the Library Publishing Coalition has a core goal of strengthening the community of library publishers. More specifically, objective 2.4 states that we will “build our support for and engagement with the international community of library publishers.” When the LPC Board of Directors started discussing this year what that support and engagement might look like, one of the ideas we landed on was increased attendance at international conferences (or U.S.-based conferences with many international attendees) since, after all, it is difficult to engage with people one does not know, and conferences are some of the best networking opportunities around. Until this point in LPC’s history, LPC Community Facilitator Melanie Schlosser had been attending all conferences where we felt an LPC presence would be beneficial, but with our goal to increase international engagement, a sole individual could not do it all. Therefore, the Board made the decision to begin sending Board members as representatives to select conferences with an international focus and an alignment with library publishing, and I was selected to attend the 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). The theme this year was “Shaping the New Status Quo: Global Perspectives in Scholarly Publishing,” so it met the goals of the LPC Board members to become more involved in conversations with scholarly publishing stakeholders beyond North America. 

I was excited to attend this conference for several reasons. First, I’m a long-time reader of the Scholarly Kitchen (SSP’s widely read official blog) who has been at times thrilled, frustrated, and downright angered by the views expressed by the SK “chefs” (regular blog contributors). Second, I’ve worked as a librarian for 10 years, focusing on scholarly communications for the past 4 years, so the conversations at SSP are squarely in my wheelhouse. Finally, before obtaining my MLIS, I worked in scholarly publishing for 10 years; therefore, I was looking forward to chatting with folks in that world again.

What I discovered during the conference was surprising on many levels. Here are a few of the things that surprised me most.

Scholarly publishers and librarians working in scholarly communications have many, many common interests. 

In fact, many of the people I met who work in scholarly publishing have the same primary goal as mine: a fully open environment for scholarly communications. Granted, some of these folks work for publishers that are already fully open, such as PLOS, but some do not. What everyone seemed to be focused on, however, was Plan S and how we are all going to get to an open access environment and still be able to keep subscription revenue–reliant businesses afloat. Yes, some of the big guys were there (Wiley, Taylor-Francis, Elsevier, etc.), but many (most?) of the attendees were from small to medium publishers who are just trying to figure out how to survive in a post–Plan S world. 

SSP offers sessions of great interest to anyone working in scholarly communications, no matter their home base.

In the days leading up to the conference, I perused the program and was frankly surprised to see how many sessions were of interest to me. The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) hosted a well-attended premeeting, “Fact or Fiction? OASPA Lifts the Lid on OA Publishing,” and my day started off on the right foot as I got to chat with a colleague working for Annual Reviews, an SSP Fellow from Nigeria, and another attendee from OCLC. The sessions to follow that day (all sponsored) and in the subsequent two days of the actual conference offered a cornucopia of topics; in fact, for almost every concurrent session, I had a really difficult time choosing which session to attend since for most time slots, a choice of six sessions was offered. Also of particular note were the two keynotes: one by Dr. Mariamawit Yeshak, a faculty member in pharmacognosy at Addis Ababa University, focusing on scholarly research and publishing in Africa; and the other by Betsy Beaumon, CEO and founder of Benetech, in which she discussed the role of technology in increasing equity and inclusion for people with disabilities. 

Highlights of the conference included the following:

  • A presentation from John Maxwell, Director, Publishing Studies Program, Simon Fraser University (who also presented at the Library Publishing Forum 2019), on his survey of open-source publishing tools (a full written report is now available);
  • A panel on publishing expansive digital projects such as the Chinese Deathscape (from Stanford University Press) in which panelists discussed the bleeding-edge technology used to produce these projects and burning questions around how they will be preserved; 
  • A fascinating presentation on the progress of the pilot project to flip some Annual Reviews titles to open access in a “subscribe to open” formula in which subscribers are offered a small discount to make the title open—if enough agree, then the title will be open for that year. 
  • A panel discussion on strategies to move humanities publishers to open access with speakers from De Gruyter, Duke University Press, and the California Digital Library, as well as SK Chef (and librarian) Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe—panelists were still grappling with the question but thought that answers will be a mixed bag of transformative agreements (e.g., publish and read), subscribe to open, and platinum models (i.e., free to authors and to readers)—in fact Hinchliffe offered here that library publishing is a small but growing platinum option.

The conversations at SSP are not all about how to maximize profits in journal publishing. 

I confess that I had a somewhat simplistic idea in my head of what scholarly publishers talk about these days, and it all revolved around money and how they could make more of it. What I found instead was a group of thoughtful professionals who are sincerely looking for a way forward into a fully open-access world. Most wholeheartedly agree that open access publishing has many positives; chief among them is increasing readership generally but also expanding access to critical research in parts of the world that currently cannot obtain it. As a scholarly communications librarian, I can certainly relate to this goal. Their desire to keep their businesses afloat may be different from academic librarians’ goals of ensuring that our libraries are perceived as vital to the work of our campuses, but we definitely share a passion for increased access to knowledge for the global community.

Jody Bailey
Head of Scholarly Communications Office, Emory University Libraries
Library Publishing Coalition Board of Directors, President-Elect

 


Library Publishing Forum 2020, May 4-6, Worcester, MA
November 20, 2019

Attending the 2020 Library Publishing Forum? Interested in joining the LPC?

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The Library Publishing Forum has grown significantly over the last few years—both in size and in the communities and institutions that send representatives. It isn’t necessary to be at a Library Publishing Coalition member institution to attend the Forum, but many libraries use attendance as an opportunity to learn more about LPC as they consider joining. 

After two years of successful preconference events with separate registration fees, we are trying out a three-day Forum with a single registration fee. To cover the cost of the third day, we have raised the standard registration rate from $300 to $400. We recognize that this will increase the cost of Forum attendance for some non-member institutions (especially those who didn’t attend the preconference), and wanted to find a way to let them invest that money in continued involvement in the community of library publishers. 

To that end, we have created an LPC membership opportunity for Forum attendees! Any non-LPC-member library that registers an attendee at the standard ($400) rate can apply $200 of their registration fee (the difference between the member and non-member rate) towards a 2020–2021 LPC membership (which runs from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021). LPC’s annual membership dues are US$2,000, so new members taking advantage of this opportunity would have already paid $200 of their dues, leaving them with a $1,800 balance. 

Some details: Only libraries and library consortia eligible for membership in LPC can take advantage of this opportunity. The library would need to apply for LPC membership by August 1, 2020, and it would be limited to applying the $200 from one registration (even if they registered multiple attendees at the standard rate). Libraries that wish to take advantage of the two discounted 2020 Forum registrations that come with LPC membership would need to join for the 2019–2020 membership year, as well. 

How to participate: Forum registration will open in January of 2020. To take advantage of the membership opportunity, register for the Forum at the standard rate and then submit a membership application by August 1st. Mention in your application that you would like to participate in the Forum membership opportunity.

About LPC membership: Membership and engagement with the community can be transformative for new and evolving publishing programs. LPC provides access to a large network of expertise in addition to discounted Forum registrations and member-only resources! Learn more about membership. 


November 12, 2019

LPC and IFLA Library Publishing SIG launch a new partnership

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The Library Publishing Coalition was originally founded as a membership organization for North American libraries involved in publishing. After a couple of years, when we had our feet firmly under us, we opened up membership to libraries around the world. Since then, we have welcomed a handful of members from Europe and Australia, and have been thrilled to include them in the community. However, given our small size, lean staffing and infrastructure, and our continued geographical center of gravity in the U.S. (where the staff and the majority of our member libraries can be found), we remain primarily a North American community. 

We are also deeply committed to participating in the growing international community of library publishers. [1] Over the last couple of years, LPC’s Board has carefully considered various strategies for international engagement. In a typically strategic move, the Board has decided to focus our efforts on supporting and participating in the new Library Publishing Special Interest Group (SIG) within the International Federation of Library Associations. Over the next two years, we will be partnering with the new SIG on two projects:

  • The Library Publishing Directory: It is one of the goals of the new SIG to document library publishing activities among IFLA’s global membership. This winter, the SIG will be working with our Directory Committee to create more paths for international libraries to participate in the Directory. 
  • The Library Publishing Curriculum: Another area of focus for the SIG is increasing the availability of professional development for library publishers around the world. Volunteers from from the SIG and from LPC will identify portions of the Library Publishing Curriculum to adapt, package, and/or translate for greater international impact.

To support this partnership, LPC has joined IFLA as a library membership organization and has committed to sending representatives to international library publishing-related events (including the annual IFLA conference and any mid-term meetings organized by the SIG). We have also invited the SIG to appoint an official liaison to our community, who will help ensure regular communication and coordination between our two organizations. We are delighted to welcome former LPC Fellow Reggie Raju as the first IFLA SIG liaison to LPC. Melanie Schlosser will serve as the primary liaison to the SIG from LPC. Interested in supporting any of these efforts? Please reach out to Melanie (melanie@educopia.org) to find out where volunteers are needed. 

We are very excited to have this opportunity to participate in the important work of building the international community of library publishers! 

1. See Objective 2.4 of our 5-year strategic plan: https://librarypublishing.org/about/#strategic-plan