Day/time: May 11, 2023, 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ETD

Title: When Does Your OER Program Become a Library Publishing Program?


  • Stephanie Western, OER Program Manager, Utah State University Libraries
  • Becky Thoms, Head of Digital Initiatives, Utah State University Libraries
  • Erica Finch, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Utah State University Libraries

Description: The OER program at this large, public institution began as a grassroots effort between the library and two faculty members in 2013. Today it is an established program that has awarded more than $60,000 in grants and facilitated student saving exceeding $3.7 million. And, as our program enters its tenth year, it is at a crossroads. We will discuss our OER Team’s journey into OER publishing. What kind of support we’ve offered, what platforms our authors are using, what we have learned and improved. Major questions at the forefront as we assess our future:

  • Should the library take on the role of publisher?
  • How much oversight should the library have over quality control, diversity and equity, and ensuring accessibility through the creation of alternate formats?
  • Are OER considered author publications in the same way that commercially-published textbooks are?
  • How is this reflected in the library catalog and stacks, and how is it represented in the tenure process?

We will conclude with a discussion of the potential risks and rewards of scaling up the OER Program to fully embrace the role of library publisher and suggestions for how to assess your own program and facilitate these discussions at your institution.

Title: Indexing of Student Journals: Barriers and Opportunities for Discoverability

Presenter: Mariya Maistrovskaya, Digital Publishing Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries

Description: Despite the growing number of student-run academic journals and the predominant electronic and open access nature of their publication, their content is not easily discoverable online. Traditionally, academic journals seek to expose their content via commercial or non-commercial indexes, aggregators, and databases, many of which have specific (often very strict) inclusion criteria. Do any of those criteria present barriers to the inclusion of student journals? How well (or poorly) are student journals represented in the major indexes and databases? And finally, what does discoverability mean to student journals, and do they actually aim to be included in academic indexes or do they pursue other content promotion opportunities?

This presentation reports on the results of an original study of Canadian student journals that looks at the above questions from two perspectives: that of indexes and their requirements, and that of student journal editors and their views on discoverability. It features student journal specific indexing tips, discoverability do’s and don’t’s, and insights from interviews with index representatives and student journal editors.

Title: Going Wayback: Digitally Preserving a Defunct Student Journal


  • Noah Churchill-Baird, MLIS Student, Western University
  • Kristin Hoffmann, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Western University
  • Emily Carlisle-Johnston, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Western University

Description: Regular turnover in student journal editorial teams is a challenge to maintaining consistent publication and succession planning for student journals. This precariousness can contribute to a greater frequency of student journals that come and go over time. Library publishers need to work towards robust preservation programs that can address the need to preserve journal content when journals cease or become inactive, as discussed by the LPC’s Preservation Task Force during the October 2022 Community Call.

There are also specific challenges with preserving content from student journals that began and ceased before a library publisher was even aware of their existence. What strategies can we use to preserve content we were not involved in publishing in the first place?

To explore this question, we will draw on our experiences of migrating a defunct student journal — the NeoAmericanist—to Open Journal Systems (OJS) in fall 2022. We will share our observations about the project’s implication for the work of supporting student journals as a library publisher. We will discuss what we have learned from this process and some of the key decisions we had to make without knowledge or insight into how decisions were made in the first place.

Previous LPF sessions have discussed reasons why student journals have ceased and methods for supporting the preservation of publications from student journals. While our presentation will briefly touch on these elements, we will explore the NeoAmericanist migration to OJS as a case study in managing journal preservation projects. We’ll discuss using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to access missing content from lost webpages, and how this exercise in journal preservation has informed how we engage with student editors of active journals to support their publications.