May 15, 2024 | 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. | Memorial Hall

Title: Library Publishing Collective Action at the Big Ten Academic Alliance


  • Kate McCready (she/her), Visiting Program Officer for Academy Owned Scholarly Publishing, Big Ten Academic Alliance
  • Jason Colman (he/him), Director of Publishing Services, University of Michigan Library
  • Catherine Mitchell (she/her), Director of Publishing, Archives, and Digitization, California Digital Library
  • Ally Laird (she/her), Open Publishing Program Coordinator, Penn State University Libraries

Description: The Big Ten Academic Alliance is charting a course for collective action for their affiliated University-based publishing programs, focused on community engagement, shared services, and an aggregated BTAA publication collection.

Beginning in June 2022, the BTAA Library Initiatives appointed a visiting program officer to examine the scholarly publishing landscape across the Alliance in order to identify opportunities for both strengthening individual operations and finding common solutions to shared problems. The research conducted on the BTAA library publishing operations included surveys of the publishing community, follow-up interviews with practitioners, and community feedback sessions on the data and proposed recommendations. This information, originally shared in the BTAA’s 2023 Library Publishing Landscape Assessment Report, will be outlined and expanded on during this panel presentation to highlight the most common challenges and the related opportunities for collective action.

Within this context, this panel will provide a case study of how the BTAA is working to create a community of practice to build trust, establish shared values, and set shared priorities for strategic directions. Beyond strengthening awareness among the BTAA’s community of publishers of each others’ services, there are two specific courses of action planned for exploration through pilot projects. The first involves working collectively to extend local capacity by determining how to efficiently outsource work (e.g., typesetting, copyediting, indexing, hosting, etc.) to trusted, vended services. The second envisions creating an aggregated collection of publications and metadata from across the BTAA institutions, enabling better access to, as well as discovery and preservation of, these works.