LPC Blog

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

Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
February 23, 2022

How it Started, How it’s Going: The Undergraduate Economic Review at IWU

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


By Stephanie Davis-Kahl, writing about her experiences at Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University

It all started with a catastrophic server meltdown in the fall of 2008 that erased IWU from the web.

Most of our student journals, which had resided on our website, disappeared. The sites, the pdfs, images – all gone. After everything came back up (in a matter of hours), many files were corrupted or had just simply vanished into the ether. 

The library had just implemented Digital Commons software from bepress, and we had started digitizing the print journals already, however, there was one born-digital journal that was a near-total loss, the Undergraduate Economic Review (UER). The faculty advisor for the UER, Robert S. Eckley Distinguished Professor of Economics Micheal Seeborg, had attended one of our presentations about Digital Commons and reached out to the library to see if we could help save the journal, first of all, and second, if we could use the journal publishing software in Digital Commons to streamline the editorial process. The answer to both, of course, was yes.

Flash forward thirteen years later, and the UER is still going strong: our student editors continue to do stellar work to review articles, the journal has robust, worldwide download statistics, and we regularly receive submissions from undergraduate researchers in economics from around the world. 

UER Roles & Responsibilities

The UER is run by students majoring in Economics at IWU, and the UER is open to any and all undergraduate researchers. A student is selected and compensated for taking on for editor-in-chief responsibilities, and leads the peer reviewers, made up of students who have taken the requisite econometrics and writing courses in the major. 

quote from Stephanie Davis-Kahl: The library’s connection with the UER began with a crisis, but has become a natural extension of our liaison librarian services as well as a visible signature experience for students, building on their Shared Curriculum requirements, writing intensive courses, and major coursework in the department of Economics which includes information literacy throughout their time here at IWU, from first year seminar to senior seminar.

Professor Seeborg has been the faculty advisor since the journal began in 2005, and has mentored many undergraduate research students at IWU. The journal has persevered in large part due to his advocacy, passion for undergraduate research, and belief in open access. An indication and testament to his dedication is the fact that he retired a few years ago, but continues to teach our senior seminar and advise the journal, and as the faculty managing editor of the journal, I couldn’t be more grateful for his continued involvement.

The work begins at the start of the academic year, when the new editor in chief, senior seminar and other interested students, and Professor Seeborg meet with me to get an overview of the purpose of the UER, how they will evaluate articles using a set of criteria developed over time, how to work in the Digital Commons software, and how to provide professional feedback to authors. Professor Seeborg works with the students to norm the evaluative criteria by using past published submissions, and the editor in chief then assigns students their first article to review. Professor Seeborg and I are on hand throughout the rest of the academic year to answer questions about submissions or about Digital Commons, but our editor in chief and student peer reviewers do all the editorial work of reviewing and recommending articles for publication. The issue is closed in late April or May, and if submissions come in the summer, I communicate with authors to let them know when our review cycle will restart. A new editor is appointed by the faculty in the department in late spring or over the summer, and they come into the journal with experience reviewing articles as a sophomore or junior, so they are well-versed in the journal’s purpose from the outset.

Library’s Role

The library’s connection with the UER began with a crisis, but has become a natural extension of our liaison librarian services as well as a visible signature experience for students, building on their Shared Curriculum requirements, writing intensive courses, and major coursework in the department of Economics which includes information literacy throughout their time here at IWU, from first year seminar to senior seminar. The fact that the journal is born-digital, peer reviewed, and intentionally open access from its inception is a testament to the students’ continued dedication to the journal over time; they understand and accept the responsibility to use their disciplinary knowledge of economics, economics research, econometrics, and writing to improve and share the work of their worldwide peers. It has been a privilege to work alongside both Professor Seeborg and the students on the Undergraduate Economic Review, and I look forward to reading the journal for years to come.

 


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
February 16, 2022

Fewer Steps for Fewer Journals: Sunsetting a Journal Publishing Program

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


By Isaac Gilman, writing about his experiences at Pacific University Libraries

Over the two years of the Library Publishing Workflows project, our documented journal publishing workflow for Pacific University Libraries has become much leaner. This is not because we’ve learned to do the work more efficiently—rather, it reflects the fact that we are doing less journal publishing overall now. For someone who, over six years ago, proclaimed that publishing should be considered a core service for academic libraries, and even said (insert wry smile here) that “Journal publishing has a [low] threshold to entry,” this feels sadly ironic to admit. So, what has changed for Pacific?

Quote from Isaac Gilman: While I still believe that small-p publishing (in the small-c catholic sense) should be a core service for libraries, what has become clear to me over the last several years is that “low threshold to entry” has the corollary of “high threshold for maintenance”: it’s easy to start publishing journals, but to do it well, continuously, requires a significant investment of time and resources (primarily people). While I still believe that small-p publishing (in the small-c catholic sense) should be a core service for libraries, what has become clear to me over the last several years is that “low threshold to entry” has the corollary of “high threshold for maintenance”: it’s easy to start publishing journals, but to do it well, continuously, requires a significant investment of time and resources (primarily people). Pacific’s involvement in this project has reminded me just how well many of our colleagues—at institutions small and large—are doing this work, and of the necessity of committed, ongoing stewardship to ensure that a journal remains a vibrant and visible home for a community of scholars and learners. And as we have tried to keep doing more with less (or the same) within the University Libraries in general over the past five years, I have been forced to admit that we don’t have the capacity to provide that type of ongoing stewardship for the journals that we were hosting and publishing, and that they would be better served at other institutions. With that in mind, we have migrated the majority of our journals to new homes at other libraries or non-profit publishers, keeping only two with close ties to academic programs at Pacific that require relatively low levels of support from the Libraries.

Shifting focus to monographs

As we have effectively wound down the journal publishing program, we have—perhaps counterintuitively—continued to invest time and resources in publishing work that could be perceived as having a higher threshold to entry: monograph publishing. While publishing books is in some ways more complex than publishing journals, and the scope of individual book projects can occasionally be daunting, each book is a finite project that doesn’t require the type of ongoing stewardship, year after year, that a journal requires. Books can be individually budgeted for and scheduled; if we don’t have resources or capacity to publish a book in a given year, we can decide not to—with no detrimental impact on the books that we’ve published before or the books that we will publish after. This is not to say that books don’t require some ongoing obligation; among other things, permissions may need to be renewed after several years “in print,” and author royalties for any revenue need to be tracked and paid. But in general, our book publishing program is able to roll with any financial or staffing interruptions we experience; it’s our publishing version of an earthquake-proofed building…it may shake a bit when things get rough, but it returns to its original shape and position.

There are tradeoffs, of course, to focusing our publishing program almost entirely on books. Our overall publishing output is lower—which means we aren’t creating as many opportunities for as many different authors to share their ideas and knowledge as we were before, and we aren’t contributing to the body of openly available scholarship as extensively as we were before. But my hope is that the quality of our engagement with each work we publish will be better—that we are able to take the time to focus on helping each book take its ideal shape in the eyes of its author(s) and its intended audience(s). And, while this is currently an aspiration and not a reality, I also hope that our focus on monograph publishing will directly support the creation of more free, open textbooks by Pacific’s faculty—ultimately benefiting both Pacific students and others across many institutions. As the Libraries increase our focus on affordability and open educational resources initiatives, I see greater opportunity for us to have a positive impact on student costs and student success through open book publishing than we did through our limited journal publishing program (if only for the perhaps simplistic reason that it is currently far easier for students to get free articles through library subscriptions or interlibrary loan than it is for us to license an unlimited user copy of a required textbook or otherwise provide access to similar required monographic course readings for every student).

What library publishing looks like

When the question of whether libraries should be publishers was beginning to be more broadly discussed a decade ago, common questions were about what ‘library publishing’ should look like and whether libraries in general were equipped to (or should even aspire to) maintain the same processes and standards as traditional publishers. It was within that context that Pacific started our journal publishing program—with the goal not only of contributing to the fight against the increasing commodification of scholarship but of creating publishing venues and publications marked by the quality that authors and readers expected. As we sunset our journal program and turn our focus more fully to books, I am proud to be able to say that our goals remain that same, and that those former questions have been definitively answered. The participants in this workflows project are prime examples of the extent to which libraries have been able to meet the standards established by our publishing peers and forebears, and Pacific is one of many examples of what ‘library publishing’ should look like: whatever we want it to (or, less succinctly: whatever we determine will best meet the needs of our communities and allow us to be responsible stewards of our authors’ work).


Library Publishing Coalition Quarterly Update
February 15, 2022

LPC Quarterly Update

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Check out our latest Quarterly Update! It includes:

  • Community News
    • New LPC member
    • New Strategic Affiliate
    • LPC Award for Exemplary Service
    • 2022 Library Publishing Directory
    • Documentation Month
  • Library Publishing Forum
    • Updates and keynote announcements
  • LPC Research
    • Library Publishing Workflows documentation released

Read the Update


February 14, 2022

2022 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, March 4. Instructions for voting will be sent to each member institution’s voting representative. The candidates are:

Perry Collins, University of Florida

Biography
As a librarian within the Digital Partnerships and Strategies team at the University of Florida, I manage a range of publishing and policy initiatives focused on open education, copyright, and digital humanities. I co-lead the campus-wide Affordable UF initiative, which intersects with my role as an editor for LibraryPress@UF, an imprint of the Libraries and the university press. Since beginning this role in 2018, I have shaped both foundational aspects of this imprint such as our core mission and rights policies as well as individual projects across formats. In 2021, under my leadership LP@UF published our first full-length textbook, Impact of Materials on Society, and launched a new web hosting service for library staff to broaden access to publishing platforms. I am also a liaison on publishing and rights issues to the Digital Library of the Caribbean, a network of 77 members collaborating in a shared governance framework. Before transitioning to academic librarianship, I spent six years as a program officer in the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities. In this role, I oversaw grants to over 50 projects and co-managed Humanities Open Book, a program funding open access to out-of-print press books. 

Candidate Statement
I first attended the Library Publishing Forum five years ago, and I value this network as one that welcomes a range of experience, celebrates accomplishments, and shares lessons learned. This year, I chaired the LPC Directory Committee, which successfully published the 2022 edition and its underlying data. To increase the Directory’s impact, I am currently leading a task force of LPC community members to revise and simplify the survey while considering new areas of interest to the field. As a board member, my primary goal will be to steward and build upon what we have seen from LPC governance and staff over the past two years: a determination to foster community during an exceptionally difficult time. In a field where isolation is a challenge, many of us have benefited from community calls, peer mentorship, and shared resources, and I look forward to facilitating such work. My dual experience as both a librarian and former program officer also drives my interest in program sustainability, including funding models and community investment in ethical approaches to open access.

Statement of Anti-racist Practice
LPC has made important strides over the past several years toward acknowledging and taking concrete action against racism in our community practice, with projects such as the Ethical Framework for Library Publishing and Roadmap for Anti-Racist Practice as jumping off points for long-term discussion and iterative change. It is crucial that we acknowledge the labor it takes to sustain this work and its disproportionate impact on colleagues identifying as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC); the LPC board can play a major role in better understanding how that labor is distributed and how all committees–not only the DEI Committee–are proactively contributing. In my work at UF, I strive to model better practices for editorial teams and authors; I recently co-authored a guide as one starting point to promoting DEI through the lens of topics such as peer review and citation. I approach frequent collaboration with international partners through a lens of cultural humility, recognizing my privilege and the deeply rooted impacts of colonialism while taking steps to build shared infrastructure and to acknowledge and compensate partners for their expertise.

Kevin Hawkins, University of North Texas

Biography
Kevin S. Hawkins is assistant dean for scholarly communication for the University of North Texas Libraries, where he leads the Libraries’ services in support of graduate student and faculty researchers. He also currently serves as PI for “Developing a Pilot Data Trust for Open Access Ebook Usage”, a multi-institutional grant funded initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation, and as a member of the board of trustees for this data trust.  Prior to joining UNT in 2014, he was director of publishing operations for Michigan Publishing. Kevin has also worked as visiting metadata manager for the Digital Humanities Observatory, a project of the Royal Irish Academy. He has served on advisory boards for various efforts including Project MUSE, the Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study, and Editoria, served as the first president of the board of the Library Publishing Coalition, and contributed to the TEI, JATS, and EPUB standards for digital publishing.

Candidate Statement
Since serving on the first LPC Board (and as its first president), I have been pleased to see so many people step up to take their turn helping lead the organization. Besides my time on the Board, I have served on various LPC groups: overseeing the organization’s fiscal health on the Finance Committee, planning the 2018 preconference, reevaluating the membership structure, and contributing to the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force (predecessor to the DEI Committee).

I would bring to the Board not only the perspective of my broad experience in library publishing and longstanding connections with the AUPresses community but also a willingness to listen to the needs and desires of those newer to library publishing, for whom a community of practice like the LPC is so critical.

Statement of Anti-racist Practice
The UNT Libraries Scholarly Publishing Service welcomes and gives priority to projects that give voice to marginalized individuals and communities.

It is incumbent on people in positions of power to use that influence to provide more equitable opportunities for others, including speaking up as an act of anti-racism.  In addition to having served on the LPC’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, I recently contributed to writing the University of North Texas Libraries’ new statement on inclusive metadata, which explains our efforts to remediate harmful language—one admittedly small step for the UNT Libraries to engage in anti-racist practice. UNT is a Hispanic Serving Institution, but the workforce of the UNT Libraries does not reflect the racial composition of the institution or even the local community.  I am proud that the Libraries was given the Inclusive Excellence Award from UNT’s Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity in 2021 and has recently been engaging in efforts to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, such as through creating a Library Council for Diversity and Inclusion and improving our hiring practices.

Amanda Hurford, PALNI

Biography
Amanda Hurford is the Scholarly Communications Director for the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), a library consortium supporting 23 small private institutions. In her role at PALNI, she develops and supports scholarly communications initiatives, raising awareness of topics such as open access publishing and open educational resources. Under Amanda’s direction, the PALNI Press was formalized as a collaborative library publishing service, and the Publishing Services Admin Team was formed to support it. 

Amanda also directs the PALSave affordable learning program, which includes the publication of open textbooks.  She was instrumental in securing a half-million dollar grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to fund PALSave and its publishing efforts. She also serves as one of the leaders for the IMLS-supported Hyku for Consortia project, a cross-consortial effort to offer low-cost institutional repository service to academic libraries in PALNI and beyond. In former positions, Amanda spent over a decade managing and growing digital cultural heritage repositories, enjoying the process of making previously undiscoverable content available to the world. 

She has held leadership service roles on LPC’s Professional Development Committee, the Open Education Network Steering Committee, Indiana Digital Preservation (InDiPres, a MetaArchive member), the Indiana Memory DPLA Service Hub, and Academic Libraries of Indiana. Amanda holds a Master of Library Science with a specialization in Library Technology Management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. 

Candidate Statement
Being a part of the LPC community has been incredibly impactful on my growth as a library publisher. What started as an opportunity to learn soon evolved into active practitioner participation. I’ve presented at the Library Publishing Forum, written for the LPC Blog, chaired the Professional Development Committee, and I currently serve on the Preservation Task Force.  I’ve truly enjoyed and found it fulfilling to connect with other library publishers, and to help grow initiatives such as the Peer Mentorship Program and Documentation Month. 

I want to serve on the LPC Board to continue to connect with publishing colleagues, and to contribute to this amazing community.  I love that LPC is value-focused and works to meet its members’ needs. At PALNI, I’ve had a chance to hone my community leadership skills. We listen to the voices of our community, explore ideas until a scoped need arises, and finally implement services as a result. I believe this collaborative ethos would translate well in the LPC leadership environment, as well as a few of my other strengths: service documentation, policy review, and landscape scanning. 

Serving on the Board, my goal would be to contribute my skills and knowledge however they may benefit the community the most. Specifically, I would like to help ensure the stability and growth of the organization. As LPC’s strategic plan runs through 2023, I would enjoy reviewing current goals and helping to develop the next iteration of the LPC strategic plan.

Statement of Anti-racist Practice
I understand that anti-racism is not simply the absence of racist action or rhetoric — rather it is to actively oppose racism and to act consciously to promote equity. I continue to learn and seek opportunities to reflect on and apply anti-racist and anti-oppressive values. If given the opportunity to serve on the LPC Board, I’ll apply those same values in the work we do.

PALNI’s organizational values promote equal opportunities and a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful workplace which recognizes and embraces differences. As a collective, we do not discriminate on the basis of race or other characteristics in our operations. Similarly, in library publishing, PALNI Press promotes equal, equitable, and free access to research outputs, learning materials, and opportunities to disseminate scholarship from different voices and viewpoints. Diversity in our authors, peer-reviewers, and editorial groups are expressly encouraged.  More can always be done to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion; however these values statements provide a firm foundation to build upon.

Elizabeth Scarpelli, University of Cincinnati Press

Biography
Elizabeth Scarpelli was appointed founding director of the University of Cincinnati Press in 2017. At the Press I am director, acquiring editor and oversee operations and marketing.

Additionally I have developed a robust Cincinnati Library Publishing Services (CLIPS).  In 2022, I will launch her third imprint Cincinnati Affordable Textbook Services (CATS). Scarpelli has 35 years’ experience in textbook, university press and library publishing at Prentice Hall, Cambridge University Press, Rutgers University Press and as director of publisher services managing the print-on-demand program. I have moderated and participated in numerous panels for AUPress, LPC and Klopotek. I have served on the Library Relations committee and Marketing Committees for AUPress, DE&I and Organizational Development Advisory Committees at University of Cincinnati Library and the Textbook Affordability and Rapid Response Committees at the University Level.  I have also been a member of the Program Committee at LPC and AUPress.  She is currently a Member-at-Large Board Member for Midwest Independent Publisher Association.

Candidate Statement
My goal as a board member is to help the LPC board and members to develop strategic alignment strategies with their host library and university administration. Publishing is often a siloed area within the university, and sometimes behind the times.  Often it is not revenue generating which creates pressure for the university as well as the library. Understanding university goals and identifying how a library press can strategically align their efforts, and demonstrate it’s unique strengths to drive those university goals creates sustainability strategies. For Cincinnati, this means focusing on textbook affordability, faculty impact and creating a workflow and product that digital transformation of publishing.

Combining a university press with a library publisher and textbook services is unusual but has enabled me to be agile as a scholarly and build a press that can be sustainable and grow organically. I can easily pursue rigorous peer reviewed works while still focusing on university strengths and ways to close gaps on the impact of scholarship and faculty impact

My strengths include business development and networking and developing interdisciplinary interactive works. Building the University of Cincinnati Press has allowed me to work in an incubator testing business models, platforms, shared staff and communication strategies that build growth and awareness. Our press looks for ways to disrupt the publishing status quo in That means encouraging open access, if not the book, then resources and content that drives readers to a commercially sold book and expands author opportunity.  As a new publisher, it was critical for the University of Cincinnati to establish ways it could bring innovation to an author experience and I have achieved that by using open access platforms to stretch the boundaries and reach of traditional publishing. I discard the assumption that a book is a static snap shot in time, and instead look for ways to keep it relevant and fresh for readers through Manifold, OJS and short works that are dynamic and interactive. 

I want to serve on the board to work across organizations in a leadership position and bring this model and variations of this model to other existing and new library publishers and university presses.  Having built a hybrid press, I understand the strengths and weaknesses, benefits and challenges that come with a multi-mission publisher.  The benefits far outweigh the challenges and I believe university publishers can strengthen their position and relevance within the university by opening dialogues and breaking down silos.

Statement of Anti-racist Practice
As a publisher of social justice books, I have established practices and workflows recently that allow our books to identify bias language and bias and outdated content. I encourage diversity in our staff, most of which currently comes through our student workers. I am proud that we have 7 student workers, most of which identify as someone from a diverse or minority background.  We strongly encourage neurodivergent students, BIPOC, LGBQT and students with disabilities to apply as well as students who are financially disadvantaged in order to open our eyes to different situations, and provide an inclusive workforce and build bridges

My faculty board is also diverse and provides an additional rigorous review of projects to ensure anti-racist and inclusive content and perspectives while permitting academic freedom..

I am learning as I go, with how to increase diversity and support anti-racist practice and anti-oppressive practice.  Our social justice list does not simply focus on black studies and race relations.  It features works on all disparities from education to disabilities; urban planning to resources. We have a diverse group of authors. Recently through conversations with other publishers and deeper discussions with authors, we have begun to increase the number of peer reviewers from diverse groups and freelance copyeditors, sensitivity readers, designers and typesetters also representing diverse groups.  This is an important part of our new strategy to ensure that the individuals working on the book truly understand the content as well as the perspective of the content.  I am increasingly passionate about ensuring that the voices working on the books we publish be sensitive to and supportive of anti-racist and anti-oppressive behavior and intellect.

Janet Swatscheno, University of Illinois Chicago

Biography
Janet Swatscheno is the Digital Publishing Librarian and Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative at the University of Illinois Chicago. In her role at UIC, she supports a wide range of scholarly communication initiatives including Journals@UIC, an open access scholarly journal publishing program, and the UIC Open Textbook Faculty Incentive Program. She also runs the day-to-day operations of the University’s institutional repository and Domain of One’s Own initiative.

As Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative, Janet participates in organizing local digital humanities workshops and conferences to skill up students and faculty in digital humanities methods. In this role, she also consults on digital humanities projects throughout the university.

She has been an active member of the Library Publishing Coalition since 2016, presenting at the Library Publishing Forum, contributing to the Library Publishing Curriculum, and serving on task forces and committees. She has held leadership service roles for the Library Publishing Coalition, previously chairing the Directory Committee. She is also active in statewide committees related to open education. She co-chaired a statewide committee on Open Educational Resources for the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.

Candidate Statement
The Library Publishing Coalition has been instrumental to my growth as a library publisher. In my first library publishing related position, I had very little experience and I relied heavily on the resources provided by the Library Publishing Coalition along with the generous and supportive community to build my skills. I have found that this community is one of the most welcoming and well-organized, making it easy for new members to participate and meet new colleagues. Throughout my time as a library publishing professional, I have taken advantage of the many programs, webinars, and interest groups organized by the Library Publishing Coalition, including participating in the peer mentorship program for two years.

I would like to serve on the LPC Board to continue contributing to this community through service. It is both an exciting and uncertain time in scholarly communication and I believe that organizations like the Library Publishing Coalition are vital for preparing library professionals for the future. I also believe organizations like LPC have a role in reshaping how libraries meet the needs of diverse faculty, staff, and students through innovative and more equitable approaches to scholarly communication.

Statement of Anti-racist Practice
I acknowledge that racism is a societal problem that requires continuous education. I also acknowledge that racism is deeply embedded in academia and specifically academic libraries and scholarly communication. I think it is important to examine these structures closely, using an anti-racist lens. On a personal level, I work to understand my own privilege as a cis-gender, heterosexual woman from a middle-class background. I am committed to learning more about these issues and listening to the concerns of BIPOC faculty, students, and colleagues. In my career, I have worked on various projects that sought to amplify BIPOC voices, including the Publishing Without Walls Initiative from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On an organizational level, I think it is vital for universities, libraries, and professional organizations to develop and organize initiatives that foster anti-racism. I will continue to advocate investment by these institutions in anti-racist initiatives.


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
February 9, 2022

Library Publishing Values: Collaboration, Capacity, and Control

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


By Robert Browder, writing about his experiences at University Libraries at Virginia Tech

The opportunity to take a step back from one’s own work and get perspective on it with the help of others in the field is an experience of incredible value. This can certainly be true for those involved in publishing open access journals from within a library. The LPC created just such an opportunity with the Library Publishing Workflows Project. The opportunity to participate in the project alongside other library publishers large and small has expanded my view of what is possible in the field. The opportunity to document, compare, and contrast workflows across institutions is invaluable and has helped me dial up my understanding of what works and why. It’s a privilege to be able to share the outcomes of this project with the world.

quote from Robert Browder: Do library publishers exist to facilitate experiential learning in the field of publishing or do they exist for the purpose of producing publications? In many cases, I believe it's some of both, and that is just fine. But, making conscious decisions about how the capacity of a publishing department is spent is essential to being able to predictably deliver services.So, what is the best workflow for libraries who wish to publish journals? It depends. While our documented workflows provide a progression of steps that describe the production work performed by publishers, the greater context within which a particular workflow succeeds is much tougher to represent. The LPC’s Library Publishing Directory is probably the best resource available for gathering context. For best results, I recommend using these workflow documents in combination with the Library Publishing Directory entry for each institution. Together, these documents form a clearer picture than either of them do on their own. However, even with both of these documents in hand the picture may still not be completely clear. 

While both the workflows documents and the Library Publishing Directory entries hint at it, neither of them address in depth the values of the communities that library publishers serve. I believe understanding and interfacing with those values to be key in shaping successful workflows. While a commitment to open access brings with it a fairly predictable set of shared values, the values conversation does not stop there. Beyond open access, those in library publishing may encounter another set of values that apply to the control of editorial and production processes. We can broach the topic with a simple question: who should be in control of editorial and production processes, publishers or scholars?

Editorial and production process control can be seen as existing on a continuum. Let’s imagine that scholars exist at one end of the continuum and publishers exist at the other. Who holds control of publishing processes determines how the productive capacity of publishing departments is spent. 

The less control publishing departments have, the more of their productive capacity is spent in supporting the choices of scholars who do have control. This grants scholars more freedom to experiment and make choices about editorial and production processes. In this paradigm the act of producing a publication is a learning experience for the scholar. Facilitating this experience is a valid way for a library publisher to create value for one’s community. 

At the other end of the continuum, the more control publishing departments have, the more they are able to standardize their production processes, thereby creating the ability to publish higher volumes of scholarship. In this paradigm the act of publishing is more about sharing scholarship, ideas, and research. This too is a valid way to create value for one’s community.

In the context of a publishing department that does not exert control over publishing processes, productive capacity is initiated through budget and staffing, but capacity is ultimately determined by the scholars the department chooses to support. The productive capacity of such departments is subject to the skills, experience, and time that scholars bring with them to the collaboration. Thus, partners must be chosen carefully and they should be helped to understand the levels of responsibility and stewardship they are taking on as a collaborator with the publishing department.

In the context of a publishing department that does exert control over publishing processes, productive capacity is initiated through budget and staffing, but maintained through carefully chosen workflows and a commitment to strictly adhere to those workflows. When publishers hold control and enforce a systematic process, opportunities for creativity and experimentation in the publication process are diminished for scholars. However, opportunities for producing and sharing a greater volume of scholarship may be increased.

In practice, scholars and library publishers are interdependent and, though it may not be explicitly addressed, share control of editorial and production processes based on what is feasible given available resources. The balance of control may be tilted to either side based on the values of the community of scholars which the publisher serves. The balance of control in either direction may also shift over time with the capacities of those involved or with changes in budget and staffing. The balance of control has profound impacts on the type of work that library publishers do and the workflows they use to achieve results. 

Viewing control of productive capacity in this way begs the question: do library publishers exist to facilitate experiential learning in the field of publishing or do they exist for the purpose of producing publications? In many cases, I believe it’s some of both, and that is just fine. But, making conscious decisions about how the capacity of a publishing department is spent is essential to being able to predictably deliver services. It’s fine and dandy to publish scholarship and/or facilitate the publishing experience for scholars. But, it’s important to know the difference between these two facets of library publishing and the capacity implications that come along with them.

 


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
February 2, 2022

Doing more with less, and making it good

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


By Vanessa Gabler, writing about her experiences at The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh

Do more with less, and make it good. That’s how I think of our publishing program, and it informs many of our decisions about workflows at the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh (ULS). This is evident in our publishing workflows, as you can see in our Library Publishing Workflows documentation. We provide our journals with training, tools, resources, support, and a final metadata quality control check at the time of publication, but they are doing the editorial and production work themselves. With this approach, we can publish a significant number of journals with limited library resources. That same ethos has guided the development of a workflow for evaluating and accepting new journal partners.

Expanding the publishing program

quote from Vanessa Gabler: Some of the early journals we accepted weren’t completely aligned with our mission to support open access to scholarly research, lacked the staff resources to support timely ongoing journal publication, or presented some other mismatch between the goals or structure of our program and the nature of the journal. These partnerships weren’t allowing us to do more with less, and make it good; they were taking up our limited resources (the less) with activities that weren’t completely aligned with our mission (to do more), and the results weren’t always good.In the early days of our publishing program (2008–2011), we were flipping Pitt faculty print subscription journals to online with delayed open access, starting new open access journals with Pitt Faculty, and then taking on new and existing open access journals from non-Pitt partners around the world. We were so excited! And we still are, but we learned some lessons along the way. Some of the early journals we accepted weren’t completely aligned with our mission to support open access to scholarly research, lacked the staff resources to support timely ongoing journal publication, or presented some other mismatch between the goals or structure of our program and the nature of the journal. These partnerships weren’t allowing us to do more with less, and make it good; they were taking up our limited resources (the less) with activities that weren’t completely aligned with our mission (to do more), and the results weren’t always good.

Focusing on mission alignment

So, we created selection criteria for our program and began asking prospective journals to complete a journal proposal form (2011). The selection criteria are a first pass to determine whether a journal fits with our mission. The journal proposal form is a deeper dive into the journal’s scope, people, policies, resources, and other pieces of information that help us to determine whether a partnership will be a good match. A journal proposal is the beginning of a collaborative process, and journals often learn for the first time what kinds of things they need to have in place to make a journal successful.

We also formed a Publications Advisory Board to review these proposals and make recommendations about whether to accept a journal (2012; it also provides input on our program policies and general direction). That process has also been collaborative, with Board members offering valuable advice to journals entering our program. We began soliciting external peer reviews by subject experts of journal proposals to assist the Board with making their recommendations (2019).

So how do selection criteria, a journal proposal form, a Publications Advisory Board, and external peer reviewers help us do more with less, and make it good? We standardized our service offerings and some journal policies to those that support our mission across journals, which promotes efficiencies for our staff (the day-to-day more). We partner with journals that are aligned with our mission to have an impact on the Open Access movement (the big more). We educate prospective journals about the resources, skills, and staffing needed to successfully run a journal in the long term, particularly in our program (how we do what we do with less). And we trust that our evaluation process, the program’s structure, and the ongoing relationships we cultivate with our journals will…make it good.

 


February 1, 2022

2022 Library Publishing Directory now available

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The Library Publishing Coalition is pleased to announce the publication of the 2022 Library Publishing Directory! This year’s online, print, PDF, and EPUB versions of the Library Publishing Directory highlight the publishing activities of 145 academic and research libraries. 

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.

The 2022 Directory continues our partnership with the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Library Publishing Special Interest Group (LibPub SIG), and includes international entries, translated by IFLA LibPub SIG members. Libraries who chose to complete the full survey appear in the online, print, PDF, and EPUB versions of the Directory. Those who chose to complete the shorter survey will appear only in the IFLA LibPub SIG’s map of global library publishing initiatives.  

We are also happy to report that the associated research data set, first published last year in collaboration with the LPC Research Committee, has been updated to include data from the 2022 Directory.

Publication of the 2022 Directory was overseen by the LPC’s Directory Committee:

The Library Publishing Coalition Directory Committee
Perry Collins, University of Florida, Chair
Ian Harmon, West Virginia University
Karen Stoll Farrell, Indiana University
Nicholas Wojcik, University of Oklahoma

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

 


January 27, 2022

The state of the field: An excerpt from the 2022 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 Perry Collins, Ian Harmon, Karen Stoll Farrell, and Nicholas Wojcik with an assist from me. Enjoy!

THE 2022 LIBRARY PUBLISHING LANDSCAPE

The yearly Library Publishing Directory provides insights into library publishing activities, allowing us to consider how the field has evolved, prevalent current practice, and possible future directions. While we discuss trends below – often in comparison to prior years – please note that the number and composition of the data set of Directory listings changes yearly, thus a strict comparison year to year is not possible. Further complicating any analysis of the data are changes to the survey itself. We do try to update the survey as changes in technology and publishing platforms emerge. The Directory Committee routinely evaluates the data model to ensure that it best reflects the library publishing field. Many of the survey questions remain the same year to year and new questions are periodically added.

GENERAL DEMOGRAPHICS

Over 60% (87) of library publishers are organized as a centralized library publishing unit or department, while approximately 22% are organized across multiple units or departments within the library.

Library publishers continue to report programs that have made substantial progress moving beyond initial efforts. Only two survey respondents considered their publishing programs to be in the “pilot” phase of development, while over 68% of the library publishers in the 2022 Directory consider their publishing efforts to be “established.” Of the 138 respondents that stated when their publishing operations were established, half were operational prior to 2010, and a strong majority (68%) have been operational for at least a decade. In 2021, 28 library publishers reported that they worked with an established editorial board or advisory group for their work; in 2022, this number climbed to 34 publishers.

(more…)


January 27, 2022

February is the return of Documentation Month!

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Documentation: we all know it’s important. It helps to preserve institutional memory, allows future you to get up to speed, and can be a useful resource to share with colleagues. Yet this important activity is often neglected for a variety of factors. To help newcomers get their documentation started, or to revive the initiative of established programs, this February the LPC Professional Development Committee is excited to announce the return of Documentation Month. For the second year, Documentation Month will provide resources, community support, and strategies to encourage library publishers to undertake this important work. Follow along in the LPC-l mailing list for event details and login information to our events.

Documentation toolkit

To support the community in creating documentation, members of LPC’s Professional Development Committee have created a Library Publishing Documentation Toolkit. It consists of four sections: Getting started with documentation, Planning a documentation day, Suggested documentation projects to tackle, and Sharing documentation beyond your institution. The toolkit is available in PDF and as a Google Doc.   

Ways to participate in Documentation Month

How can you participate in Documentation Month?

For everyone: 

  • Follow along on Twitter using the #LPCDocMonth hashtag to see what great work the community is accomplishing this month. 
  • Organize a local documentation day (see the toolkit for instructions). Share a photo or agenda from your event on Twitter with the #LPCDocMonth hashtag & join in on the fun. 
  • Create some documentation! The purpose of this event is to support LPC members in creating documentation about your publishing program, so if it inspires you to create even one piece of documentation, you’re participating!

For LPC members: 

  • Attend this month’s upcoming community calls and workshops
    • February 7th, 2pm Eastern, Documentation Month kick-off community call
    • February 14th, 2pm Eastern,  Library Publishing Workflows: How to Get Started with Journal Publishing Workflow Documentation hosted by Brandon Locke
    • February 24th, 2pm Eastern, Documentation Needs Workshop hosted by Cheryl Ball
    • February 28th, 10am-4pm Eastern, Zoom drop-in Documentation Day sprint
  • Participate in an accountability group: Join us during the February 7th kick-off community call to join an accountability group for the month. If you can’t make the kick-off call, but want to be paired up with some colleagues to support each others’ documentation efforts, email mhunter2@fsu.edu or ewjerome@library.umass.edu

Scheduling information and call-in details for these events will be sent out each week to the listserv. Please feel free to share widely within your institution, but these calls are open to LPC member libraries only, so please do not share outside the community. 

Happy documenting! 

From the Documentation Month planning group (Erin Jerome, Matt Hunter, and Melanie Schlosser) on behalf of the LPC Professional Development Committee


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

Sustainable and Thoughtful Growth

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


December 16, 2021

LPC Peer Mentorship Program Update and 2022 Signups

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

The 2021 Cohort: A Year in Review

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

The two goals for the Mentorship Program are:

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

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

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

The 2022 Cohort: Timeline and Invitation to Apply

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

More throughout your time in the program!

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

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

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


November 18, 2021

Erin Jerome receives the 2021 LPC Award for Exemplary Service

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

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

A statement from Erin:

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

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

Please join us in congratulating Erin.

On behalf of the LPC Board,

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


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

On Overcommitment and Scalability, Love and Loss

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


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

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

Overcommitment

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

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

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

Moving on from loss

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

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


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

Small. Determined.

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


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

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

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

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

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

Platform Migration

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

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


November 10, 2021

LPC welcomes the University of Arkansas Libraries as a new member

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

About the University of Arkansas:

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

About the University of Arkansas Libraries:

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


November 9, 2021

LPC welcomes a new strategic affiliate: LAI

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

About LAI:

The Library Association of Ireland (LAI) is the professional body representing libraries and librarianship in Ireland.  The objectives of the association are to promote and develop high standards of librarianship and of library and information services in Ireland, and to secure greater co-operation between libraries.
The LAI Library Publishing Group (LPG) aims to raise awareness of the Library Publishing movement and to support all types of library publishing initiatives across the sector. The LPG works closely with the IFLA Special Interest Group on Library Publishing and the LPG Strategic Plan is aligned to the Strategic Action Plan of the IFLA SIG. The LPG is also a proponent of the Irish Government’s National Principles for Open Access Policy Statement.
Strategic affiliates are peer membership associations who have a focal area in scholarly communications and substantial engagement with libraries, publishers, or both. See our list of strategic affiliates or learn more about the program.
LPC Strategic Affiliates icon


November 4, 2021

Apply for a 2022 Publishing Practice Award

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

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

  • Accessibility
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Privacy

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

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

The deadline for application is January 17, 2022.

Learn more and apply


November 4, 2021

Nominations being accepted for the 2022 Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing

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As participation in library publishing grows, the development of a strong evidence base to inform best practices and demonstrate impact is essential. To encourage research, theory, and innovative practice in library publishing (for a definition of “library publishing”, see the LPC website home page), the Library Publishing Coalition is pleased to support the Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing, which recognizes the best publication from the preceding calendar year. The LPC Research Committee will evaluate submissions and select a recipient for the award. 

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

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

Learn more and nominate


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

University of Alberta Library’s Changing Role in Publishing

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


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

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

From Hosting Service to Publishing Partner

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

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

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

Visible and Invisible Work

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


Library Publishing Coalition Quarterly Update
November 2, 2021

LPC Quarterly Update

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Check out our latest Quarterly Update! It includes:

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

Read the Update