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.

April 23, 2020

Announcing the winners of the 2020 Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing

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

The LPC Research Committee is delighted to announce that this year’s award recipients are Katrina Fenlon, Megan Senseney, Maria Bonn, and Janet Swatscheno for their article “Humanities scholars and library-based digital publishing: New forms of publication, new audiences, new publishing roles.” Library publishing programs need to constantly adapt to the ever-changing needs of their publishing partners, and this article provides rich survey data for practitioners to use to inform their own strategies for addressing the needs of their humanities scholar partners. The results of the survey conducted by Katrina, Megan, Maria, and Janet will provide invaluable data for publishing programs looking to expand their services to support the advancement of digital scholarship projects in the humanities , increase the diversity of supported scholarly outputs, support new modes of authorship, and increase the reach and impact of that scholarship through interdisciplinary and openly accessible publishing. The survey instrument itself will also be a useful tool for institutions interested in tailoring these results for their own particular communities.

The authors will receive a cash award of $250 and travel support to attend a future in-person Forum. They would also normally be formally recognized at the 2020 LPC conference reception, but in this time of decreased physical contact let’s all celebrate this achievement virtually just as robustly! 

In addition, the LPC Research Committee would also like to award an honorable mention to Kate Shuttleworth, Kevin Stranack, and Alison Moore for their article “Course Journals: Leveraging Library Publishing to Engage Students at the Intersection of Open Pedagogy, Scholarly Communications, and Information Literacy.” The committee felt that the intersection of pedagogy and journal publishing explored in this article was an exciting new avenue for Library Publishing programs to explore, and looks forward to continued growth of partnerships such as these across the LPC community.

Please join us in congratulating the Katrina, Megan, Maria, and Janet, as well as all the other nominees on their valuable contributions to our shared body of knowledge.


April 13, 2020

LPC Resources Roundup: Journal Best Practices Checklist

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We know that many library publishers are dealing with new staffing and workload patterns while physical locations are closed. To make it easier for you to draw on LPC’s resources during this time, we are pulling them together into a series of themed “roundups.” This first one is an action-oriented list of resources to support work on your journals:
This isn’t a new resource or a comprehensive list of best practices for journals – it just pulls our existing resources together into a format that may make it easier for you to hand off work to others or to frame a project to use available staff time. Look out for the next two planned roundups, on professional development and research.


Research Agenda promo image
April 9, 2020

Announcing the Library Publishing Research Agenda

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The Library Publishing Coalition Research Committee is pleased to announce the release of the Library Publishing Research Agenda. The agenda offers exploratory overviews of six topics of importance to library publishers: Assessment, Labor, Accessibility, Non-traditional Research Outputs, Peer Review, and Partnerships. The document is divided into sections corresponding to each of these topics, which include brief descriptions of the topics, potential research questions, and a list of relevant resources. 

Cover of the PDF version of the AgendaHow to use the Research Agenda

The research agenda is offered as a starting point for individuals interested in learning about and conducting research related to library publishing, and aligns with the LPC Research Committee’s mission to promote research that can provide an evidence base to inform best practices for library publishers. 

We encourage the members of the library publishing community to use this document in a variety of ways, including purposes aimed at both research and practice. The research questions in each section can be used to develop research projects that investigate general trends in library publishing, or as a means of examining current practices and policies within one’s own institution. The relevant resources listed may be used as a starting point for individuals simply interested in learning more about aspects of library publishing, regardless of whether they are interested in conducting research in that area. 

This document is by no means comprehensive, and many highly important topics have been left unaddressed, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; resource allocation; and sustainability. Our hope is that the document will be a living one, and that it will continue to develop and evolve to address these and other areas of importance to library publishing programs. Hence, we hope that this document can serve as a foundation to which the community can contribute and that these contributions can be incorporated into future versions of the research agenda. 

Where to check it out

The Library Publishing Research Agenda can be accessed in PDF (generously hosted by Purdue University Libraries) and in HTML. As with all LPC publications, the Research Agenda is released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, and we encourage others to share and adapt it as widely as possible. Questions and comments about this document can be emailed to contact@librarypublishing.org

The creators of the Library Publishing Research Agenda

The Library Publishing Research Agenda  was created by the Library Publishing Coalition Research Committee: Nicky Agate, Jennifer Beamer, Elizabeth Bedford,  Jason Boczar, Karen Bjork, Corinne Guimont, Ian Harmon, Matthew Hunter, Annie Johnson, Sarah Wipperman, Vanessa Gabler (Board liaison); Melanie Schlosser (Educopia Institute). Production: Nancy Adams (copyediting) and Hannah Ballard (design). Educopia Institute.


Library Publishing Competencies promo image
April 9, 2020

Announcing the Library Publishing Competencies

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With thanks to the Library Publishing Coalition community for its input, the LPC Professional Development Committee is now releasing the final version of the Library Publishing Competencies. This document provides a broad list of skills and knowledge useful in the development and provision of publishing services in libraries. 

The Competencies is organized into three sections: publishing (the work libraries do to publish content), program development and management (the work involved in creating, managing, and sustaining a publishing program), and teaching and consulting (reflecting both the consulting work libraries do with publishing partners and their larger educational mission around publishing on campus). 

Cover of the PDF version of the competencies

Why Library Publishing Competencies?

Library publishing is a fast-changing discipline that requires library publishers to engage with an environment of continual learning and research in order to keep up to date on publishing practices. Due to this fast pace, a collection of guidelines and competencies to support and educate library publishers is a valuable asset, especially when roles or programs are newly formed, in early stages, or in transition.

How to use this publication

We encourage the community to use this document in many ways, both in their library publishing career and for program development. For example, library publishers may reference the Competencies when creating or seeking out professional development. Or, they may use the document to identify skills needed for new or transitioning  positions. Though no one position can encompass all of these competencies, this broad list can help programs think about positions in context and identify which skills are essential to the work being performed. Finally, we encourage individual library publishers to use the competencies to identify both their strengths and areas in which they are interested in growing. 

Where to check it out

The Library Publishing Competencies can be accessed in PDF (generously hosted by Purdue University Libraries) and in HTML. As with all LPC publications, the Competencies is released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, and we encourage others to share and adapt it as widely as possible. Questions and comments about this document can be emailed to contact@librarypublishing.org

The creators of the Library Publishing Competencies

The LPC Professional Development Committee created this document as part of their mission to provide professional development for those in the LPC membership and in the larger community of library publishers.  Created by: Allison Brown, Emily Cole, Adrian Ho, Amanda Hurford, Melanie Kowalski, Ally Laird, Jessica Lange, Devin Soper, Carrye Syma; Ted Polley and Christine Fruin (Board liaisons); Melanie Schlosser (LPC staff). Production: Nancy Adams (copyediting) and Hannah Ballard (design). Educopia Institute.


March 31, 2020

Mark Your Calendars: 2020 Virtual Library Publishing Forum, May 4-8, 2020

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The Library Publishing Forum Program Committee is delighted to announce that the 2020 Library Publishing Forum will continue as a virtual conference!

The Forum will be held May 4-8, 2020, between 12 PM and 5 PM ET via Zoom web conferencing. The program will run over the course of one week, incorporating presentations with live Q&A, workshops, and interactive sessions.

The entire conference will be free, with registrations open to all. We look forward to providing a robust program with opportunities for learning, professional development, and connection. The schedule and instructions for registration are forthcoming. We encourage you to take a moment to hold the dates on your calendar.

We are very excited about this new direction and thankful for the ongoing support from the LPC Program Committee, our presenters, and our sponsors in keeping the Forum moving forward.

We look forward to seeing you in May!


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

By

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.

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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.