Workflows

This section of the LPC Blog is for news and commentaries related to the IMLS-funded Library Publishing Workflows project.

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

Library Publishing Pain Points – Funding

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Library Publishing Pain Points – Quality Control

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


headshot of Vanessa Gabler
Vanessa Gabler, University of Pittsburg

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

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

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

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

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


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
October 24, 2019

Meet the Library Publishing Workflow Project Partners

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This post is part of a running series on the Library Publishing Workflows (LPW) project, which is investigating and modeling journal publishing workflows in libraries. LPW is a collaboration between the Library Publishing Coalition, Educopia Institute, and twelve partner libraries, and is generously funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. See all posts in the series

One of the key goals of Library Publishing Workflows is capturing a diversity of workflows from different types of institutions with different goals and methods. We want to introduce each of the libraries and their project representatives, who will be working with us over the next two years to document, analyze, and share the publishing workflow(s) they are employing.

University of Alberta Library

Based in Edmonton, Canada, the University of Alberta Library supports open, sustainable, and responsible models for ensuring a healthy and robust scholarly communications ecosystem. We hope that our participation in this project will enable us to contribute meaningfully to a shared understanding of common workflows, best practices, and documentation to help libraries demonstrate viable models for community owned, scholar-driven academic publishing.

Sonya Betz, Head of Library Publishing and Digital Production Services, has been working with the UofA’s open publishing program since 2015.

Robert W. Woodruff Library (Atlanta University Center)

Established in 1982, the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library serves the nation’s largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities, which includes Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. AUC Woodruff Library is involved in this project to capture and refine our current workflow(s) and learn how we can improve our library publishing services as we grow and adopt new publishing platforms.

The main library representative for this project is Josh Hogan, Assistant Head of Digital Services, who is heavily involved with assisting current journal editors and staff as well as reaching out to potential new journals in the AUC community.

(more…)


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
October 15, 2019

Meet the Library Publishing Workflows Advisors

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This post is part of a running series on the Library Publishing Workflows (LPW) project, which is investigating and modeling journal publishing workflows in libraries. LPW is a collaboration between the Library Publishing Coalition, Educopia Institute, and twelve partner libraries, and is generously funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. See all posts in the series

 

Our project advisory board bring diverse expertise and experience in library publishing, scholarly communication, and library infrastructure. The advisors will provide advice and feedback at all phases of the project. We are excited to introduce our awesome advisors!

Cheryl Ball

Headshot of Dr. Cheryl E. Ball

Cheryl is Director of the Digital Publishing Collaborative at Wayne State University Libraries, where she is building a digital publishing pedagogy based on open-access and multimedia-driven work. She is the Project Director for Vega, an open-source academic publishing platform, and serves as the executive director of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. Since 2006, Ball has been lead editor of the peer-reviewed, open-access journal Kairos: Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, which exclusively publishes scholarly multimedia, from which she founded KairosCamp, a series of institutes to teach scholars, editors, and publishers how to produce and publish digital (humanities) projects.

Cheryl brings extensive experience in diverse publishing roles and initiatives to support this project. She will draw upon her experience in these areas to assist project partners to develop research strategies relevant to library publishers and bring these much-needed insights to the library publishing ecosystem.


Rachel Frick

Rachel is Executive Director, Research Library Partnership, OCLC, overseeing OCLC’s work and engagement with the Research Library Partnership, a venue for research libraries to undertake significant, innovative, collective action to benefit libraries, scholars and researchers everywhere.

Rachel has nearly 20 years of broad-based library experience, including senior positions at the Digital Public Library of America, the Digital Library Federation at the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the University of Richmond.

At a time when commercial publishers are seeking control of the entire research lifecycle, this scaffolding for open publishing is increasingly important and potentially transformative.

This proposed work comes at a strategic moment for OCLC, as we investigate ways to best leverage our collections infrastructure to support libraries’ investment in open content. It is a great opportunity to be involved in this project as an advisory board member project.”


Kari Smith

Kari is the Institute Archivist and Program Head, Digital Archives at the MIT Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kari works to collect, make accessible and preserve for the future the Research output, Faculty papers, and Administrative records that document MIT’s engagement with the world and it’s academic and research missions. Kari previously served as the BitCurator Consortium President and member of the Executive Committee, and on the ArchivesSpace Technical Advisory Committee, and she serves on the SAA Research Forum Program Committee. She teaches on the Digital Preservation Management Workshops series and researches how creating durable documents and information forms can lead to a more complete historical record.

As a project advisor, Kari’s extensive experience in developing archives and library workflows and infrastructure will help inform the cohort creation and development of the project. She was also a partner participant in Educopia Institute’s OSSArcFlow Project, and brings valuable insights from that process.


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
September 23, 2019

Meet the Library Publishing Workflows Team

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This post is part of a running series on the Library Publishing Workflows (LPW) project, which is investigating and modeling journal publishing workflows in libraries. LPW is a collaboration between the Library Publishing Coalition, Educopia Institute, and twelve partner libraries, and is generously funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. See all posts in the series

We will be regularly publishing blog updates as this project advances—we are leading off this series with an introduction to the project team!

melanie schlosser headshot

 

 

Melanie Schlosser (Scholarly Communications Program Leader, Educopia Institute and Community Facilitator, Library Publishing Coalition) is the lead Principal Investigator for the project. 

 

 

brandon locke headshot

 

Brandon Locke (Project Manager, Library Publishing Workflows, Educopia Institute) will oversee much of the day to day work of the project, including coordinating between partner institutions and the project team, conducting research and documenting workflows, logistics and planning for the LPW in-person meeting, and preparing and presenting research outcomes from the project.

 

 

katherine skinner headshot

 


Dr. Katherine Skinner (Executive Director, Educopia Institute) is a co-principal investigator. She will ensure the project and its deliverables adhere to open access and community frameworks, and that they are both built and sustained by a range of committed partners. 

 

 

hannah ballard headshot

 

Hannah Ballard (Communications Manager, Educopia Institute) will oversee the project’s communications strategy and presence. Hannah will help share project stories and deliverables via a series of digital campaigns that will correspond with major moments and milestones in the project’s two-year timeframe.

 

 

Follow us on Twitter, or at #LibPubWorkflows, to keep current on project news!


Library Publishing Workflows. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
July 2, 2019

LPC and Educopia awarded IMLS Grant to study journal publishing workflows

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We are very excited to report that Educopia Institute, the Library Publishing Coalition, and twelve partner libraries (Atlanta University Center, California Digital Library, Claremont Colleges, Columbia University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Pacific University, University of Alberta, University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, University of Redlands, Virginia Tech, and Wayne State University) have received an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant to investigate and document journal publishing workflows being used in a variety of library-based publishing programs. Based on Educopia’s very successful OSSArcFlow Project, this project will create a set of model workflows that can be adopted and adapted by other libraries.

Library Publishing Workflows is one of a number of aligned projects (including an exploratory project LPC is undertaking in partnership with Longleaf Services) that are currently seeking to understand the needs of library publishers. Though each project is taking a different approach, they all share a goal – to strengthen library publishing by strengthening the infrastructure that supports it, whether that infrastructure be workflows, production support, or platforms. 

The Library Publishing Workflows project will officially start on August 1st. We are planning a strong program of communications, including regular updates on this blog, so stay tuned to learn more!  

About Library Publishing Coalition

The Library Publishing Coalition is an independent, community-led membership association. Its mission is to extend the impact and sustainability of library publishing and open scholarship by providing a professional forum for developing best practices and shared expertise. Visit librarypublishing.org for a wide variety of freely available resources to support scholarly publishing in libraries.

The LPC operates as an affiliated community of Educopia Institute.

About Educopia

Educopia Institute empowers collaborative communities to create, share, and preserve knowledge. Educopia also develops and manages applied research projects that benefit our affiliated communities and the broader information fields of libraries, archives, and museums. Learn more at https://educopia.org and follow us on Twitter

About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Educopia Institure, Library Publishing Coalition, US IMLS logo