Day/Time: May 15, 2024, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Title: Library Publishing Policy Writing: A Case Study of Challenges, Successes, and Student Engagement


  • Ally Laird (she/her/hers), Open Publishing Program Coordinator, Penn State University
  • Angel Peterson (she/her/hers), Open Publishing Production Specialist, Penn State University

Description: In Fall 2021, the Penn State Libraries Open Publishing Program began the process to draft and adopt formal policies to govern our work. We treated this process as a student engagement and learning opportunity and began by hiring a student intern to review the values from our university, the Penn State Libraires, and the Library Publishing Coalition to help inform the values we wanted to adopt for our program. Our intern reviewed additional resources before drafting our policy document, including sample policy documents from peer institutions, the Policy Module from the LPC Curriculum, various COPE guidelines, the DOAJ indexing guide, and more. After reviewing these documents, our intern reviewed our Journal Publishing Service Agreement and worked to map the outlined services and requirements for editors to our needed policy sections. Of note, the “Accessibility and User Accommodations” and “Copyright, Permission, and Open Access” sections were important as they support editor requirements in our journal agreement, while the DEIA sections proved tricky as we cannot make assurances for content we do have editorial control over.

Once an outline of needed policies was created, the full Open Publishing unit came together and worked collaboratively to flesh out the policies and ensure it would govern the whole of the Open Publishing program. We also drafted our first set of publication-type specific policies to support our scholarly bibliographies, as they are our most unique publication. Both documents were reviewed by our Publishing Advisory Board and members of our department prior to being formally adopted. This presentation will serve as an example of how one library publisher went about creating policies for our program, how we engaged our students in this work, the lessons we learned along the way, and the aspects of our policy design that present questions not yet fully resolved.

Title: My First Rodeo: Developing Publisher-Level Policy in an Emerging Library Publishing Program

Presenter: Miranda Phair, Publishing & Open Scholarship Librarian, Towson University

Description: Libraries play an increasingly important role in scholarly communication as publishing practices evolve. This shift results in a growing number of publishing programs managed by librarians who, while knowledgeable about information access and scholarly communication practices, may not have prior experience in academic publishing on the publisher’s side. Besides technical considerations such as selecting, implementing, and maintaining a publishing platform and journal-level considerations like mission and vision, publication frequency, and journal policy, managers of a library publishing program must also consider policies at a publisher level, a task some librarian-journal managers may not have undertaken before. Transparent and accessible publisher guidelines are not only recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), but they can also help libraries address questions of copyright, open access, and diverse representation as these programs expand. Clear policy is also crucial for promoting a set of values related to access, diversity, and equity in attracting and onboarding new and existing journals that fit with these values. In this presentation, I present some of my experiences as a new scholarly communications librarian at a mid-sized M1 university in the mid-Atlantic region, including challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned as a policy novice who has managed to establish publisher-level policy for our library journal program through collaboration with colleagues and guidance from university-level policy. I will share how I identified the need for publisher level policy and how I met that need and how I decided which policies to leave up to the journal editors.

Title: Top 10 Reasons for and against Student-Based Press Operations: What We Learned in our First Seven Years at the Press at Cal Poly Humboldt

Presenter: Kyle Morgan (he/him), Scholarly Communications and Digital Scholarship Librarian, Cal Poly Humboldt

Description: The Press at Cal Poly Humboldt launched as a full-service press in 2015. In 2016, the first two students joined and so started what has become a student training ground in publishing. Early on, we had little time for training and let students operate with an abundance of independence. Relying on students in this way had drawbacks that will be no surprise to anyone, but also benefits, many unanticipated. Kyle Morgan, the Scholarly Communications and Digital Scholarship Librarian and head of the Press, will talk about how students have been added and integrated into workflows, how the Press has adapted, and the top ten drawbacks and benefits of relying on student employment for professional work.