Wednesday, May 23, 4:00-5:00pm
Room: Ski-U-Mah Room

On Adding Platforms to Improve Sustainability: The Case for the Minimal Journal

Kerri O’Connell and Alexander Gil Fuentes, Columbia University

Description: Library publishing programs extend significant value to the scholars on their campuses through service-based partnerships in which the particular needs of individual publications and their editors may be uniquely accommodated. Especially for programs with dedicated library IT personnel and a preference for open-source platforms, the idiosyncratic needs of scholars and their scholarship may be attended through platform selection and customization—but such programs mature at a cost. The accretion of “technical debt,” attributable to platform multiplicity and bespoke solutions, when combined with robust approaches to online security and software patching, creates negative downstream consequences as staff time becomes increasingly allocated to maintenance tasks over new project builds. Many successful projects and publications result from this high-touch approach, but are there less resource-intensive approaches available over time? And how might one assess and tack toward such solutions?

In an attempt to mitigate against the future costs to maintain software customizations made to legacy publishing platforms, program staff at Columbia University Libraries have begun to examine our current offerings and the extent to which peer review and submission management software is necessary for each of our partners. Our goal is to identify editors who may not have a need for elaborate publication management and editorial workflows and to provide them with a lightweight alternative. With an eye toward sustainability, scalability, and reduced overhead around future platform maintenance and upgrades, we have begun to formalize discussions with current and prospective editorial partners: How extensively are the editors of this journal using the platform(s) provided to them? Is the perpetual availability of a content management system necessary for the publication of each journal’s content? Are there alternative workflows and software solutions that the library’s digital scholarship group can offer to scholars who require only minimal infrastructure to publish online?

To accommodate editors who fit into this category of minimal publication needs, we are experimenting with new options for journal publishing that will not rely on our standard toolset (WordPress and Open Journal Systems), but will instead leverage static site generation in order to share scholarly outputs. This panel will explore the project requirements, assessment frameworks, and service implications of this additional platform offering.


Strategies to Improve Visibility and Reuse of Library-Published Journals

Marianne Reed, University of Kansas Libraries

Description: Library-published journals all need visibility in order to survive and thrive. Visibility increases the journal’s standing in the scholarly community and attracts readers, submissions, reviewers, and editors. It’s especially important for niche journals or those that are just launching to take steps to make sure that journal content reaches as wide an audience as possible. The success and visibility of library-published journals also enhances the prestige of the library publishing program and encourages more journals to publish with the library.

My presentation will outline the practical steps that the University of Kansas Libraries’ Digital Publishing Services and our editors have taken together to successfully increase the visibility of our journals and their content. Our strategies include making almost all of our journals open access, with machine-readable Creative Commons licenses added wherever possible; adding back issues to the journal website; providing DOIs for journal articles through CrossRef; adding journals and article metadata to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ); encouraging editors/authors to talk about the journal/articles at their discipline’s conferences and on discussion lists; putting policies on sharing in the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher policies; advising editors about working with aggregators, as well as more unusual methods such as providing a venue for editor-hosted meetings of reviewers and other members of the scholarly community in that discipline.