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


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

  • Accessibility
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

An award will be available in each category, though an award may not be given out in every category, depending on the application pool. Two additional categories—Innovation and Privacy—will be added in subsequent years. 

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 publication associated with their winning submission. Awardees will also share their publication process with the wider library publishing community through a post on the  LPC Blog, adapted from their application narrative.


Any library engaged in scholarly publishing can apply for an award. Publishers applying for an award need not be affiliated with an LPC member institution. Each publisher may submit only one application per year, in a single category. 


Applications for the 2021 awards should be submitted via the application form by January 11, 2021.

Applications will include a link to the published work and a short narrative describing the process the publisher undertook to produce an exemplary publication in the category. The narrative should describe how the publisher met the goals of the author(s) and editor(s) while keeping goals related to Accessibility or to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the fore and should highlight any novel techniques or workflows used to accomplish these goals.

Narrative guidelines

  • Language: Application materials must be submitted in English, although fluency of composition in English is not a judging criteria. 
  • Length: The essay should be 500-1,000 words in length and should be formatted as a personal narrative.
  • Narrative: The narrative will describe the publishing process for this publication, and explain considerations addressed that relate to the award category. Describe in what ways the nominated publication is exemplary of publishing practices that address category goals. The narrative should highlight any novel techniques or workflows used to accomplish these category goals. **Please note that awardees will adapt their application narrative into a post for the LPC Blog.**

Representative publication eligibility

  • Date: May have been published at any time within the five years preceding the year of the award (i.e. 2016–2020 for the 2021 awards).
  • Format: We define “publication” broadly and include any work that can be argued to fit the definition of publishing laid out by the Library Publishing Coalition: “Generally, library publishing requires a production process, presents original work not previously made available, and applies a level of certification to the content published, whether through peer review or extension of the institutional brand.”
  • Language: May have been published in any language.
  • Open Access: Must be published in a format that is freely available and accessible online at the time of submission.
  • Peer Review: Given the broad definition of “publication” in this process, submitted works need not have undergone traditional peer review.

Apply for a Publishing Practice Award

Evaluation Guidelines

Each category will be evaluated separately. Applicants may address other categories in their submitted narrative, but the publication and narrative will be evaluated only according to the evaluation guidelines for the category selected for submission.

The LPC Publishing Practice Award Committee will oversee evaluation. Submissions for each category will be evaluated by a panel consisting of Committee members and independent judges selected by the Committee based on their expertise in that category. Recipients will be announced in the spring, before the Library Publishing Forum.

Below are descriptions of this year’s categories with potential questions specific to each. The questions provide a general framework for evaluating the publication and are not meant to be prescriptive or all-inclusive.


The application narrative should address how and when attention to accessibility was incorporated into the publication process. We are especially interested in processes and publications that push the boundaries of accessibility practice. We also encourage submissions of publications that follow current accessibility best practices. The judges for this category will be asking questions such as: 

  • What accessibility best practices are exemplified in the work?
  • Does the work push boundaries in its attempts to address accessibility concerns?
  • What accessibility concerns has the publisher attempted to address in the format for the published work?
  • How was the addressing of accessibility concerns integrated into the publishing process?
  • Was accessibility implemented as an afterthought, or as a necessary part of the production of the work itself?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The application narrative should address how diversity, equity, and inclusivity considerations were incorporated into the publication process. This includes approaches, activities, or policies which demonstrably increase equity between the historically centered and the historically marginalized, provide inclusive access to a traditionally exclusive space, or increase the diversity of your publishing program. The judges for this category will be asking questions such as: 

  • Does the publication expand diversity and inclusion in the published record? Specifically, did the publisher solicit diverse content and provide equitable opportunities for participation by authors and/or editors of diverse backgrounds?
  • Does this publication expand representation of geography and/or language? Is this publication available in translation, or does it provide original content in a marginalized or minoritized language?
  • If the publication was subject to peer review, was peer review for this publication managed in a way to demonstrate commitment to diversity, transparency, and accessibility in scholarly communication? For example, was the publishing process made accessible to authors and/or editors working in multiple languages, regardless of the language of the final publication?
  • If the publishing program has an existing commitment to diversity and inclusion, how did that affect/impact the publication? (aka if you had a commitment to recruit more editors and authors with diverse voices, how did that commitment impact/influence the development of this publication. OR, was this publication part of a larger programmatic initiative around DEI?)