Day/Time: Friday, May 14, 4:00 PM to 5 PM

(Re)defining a library’s journal hosting service: higher expectations, improved support


  • Mariya Maistrovskaya, University of Toronto Libraries
  • Priscilla Carmini, University of Toronto Libraries


In 2019, the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) set out to examine its eligibility and support criteria for hosted journals and align them with the library’s Open Access Support criteria and with best practices in scholarly publishing. While the revised requirements intended to improve access and quality of hosted journals, we questioned whether we were providing enough support for our journals to implement best practices in their workflows. In order to better understand the needs of our journals, we launched a survey in August 2020. The survey aimed to understand how we could improve our existing services and to solicit feedback for new possible services and resources. In this presentation we will go over the cross-campus process of aligning the journal hosting service with the UTL goals for improving open access support and best practices in scholarly publishing. We will also discuss the results of our journal survey and the changes we implemented to support our journals in adhering to best practices and surviving through the turbulent times.

Enhancing Services to Preserve New Forms of Scholarship


  • Jonathan Greenberg, NYU Libraries
  • Karen Hanson, Portico


Scholars are making extensive use of new digital technologies to express their research. Publishers, in turn, are working to support increasingly complex publications that are not easily represented in print. Examples include publications with embedded visualizations, multimedia, data, complex interactive features, maps, annotations, or that depend on third-party platforms or APIs, such as YouTube or Google Maps. These publications present formidable challenges for long-term preservation.

To study this challenge, a group of digital preservation institutions, libraries, and university presses worked together on an Andrew W. Mellon funded project led by New York University Libraries. With a focus on open access ebooks, the goals of the project were to:

  1. examine a variety of works to identify which enhanced features can be preserved at scale using tools currently available
  2. combine the findings with the knowledge and research of experts in preservation, publishing, and copyright to produce a set of guidelines and best practices. The guidelines aim to provide advice to publishers and authors for creating ebooks that are more likely to be preservable, or at least ensure that the implications of adding certain features are clear so that alternative paths can be taken when possible.

The first phase of the project focused on EPUB3 ebooks that include a variety of multimedia and supplementary material. The second phase looked at a number of web-based publisher platforms that support enhanced features such as annotations, embedded multimedia and visualizations, and other supplemental material. The final phase featured much more complex dynamic works that depend on large datasets or whose platform and presentation are an integral feature of the work.

The presentation will showcase some examples of these works and discuss the corresponding guidelines and best practices for improving their preservability.

Growing a sustainable publishing technology service for libraries


  • Bart Kawula, Scholars Portal
  • Kaitlin Newson, Scholars Portal


Scholars Portal hosts publishing software for 12 academic library publishers across Ontario. As our service has grown, we’ve faced a number of challenges around scaling the service across multiple institutions, managing code customizations, coordinating upgrades, and ensuring that libraries get the most value from the service while maintaining a manageable workload for our team. In this session we’ll provide an overview of our hosting services, talk about our processes for managing updates, and discuss lessons we’ve learned as the service has grown. Ways in which we are working to improve upgrade processes and support other technical aspects of library publishing, such as preservation, DOIs, analytics, and privacy, will also be discussed. Attendees will learn about the technical aspects of library publishing, ways to expand and improve publishing infrastructure, and some practical ways to contribute back to community-owned infrastructure regardless of your level of technical expertise.