Brown University’s Digital Publications Initiative: Supporting the Development and Publication of Digital Scholarly Monographs

Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor, Brown University Library

Description: This paper explores the changing role of the editor in today’s (and tomorrow’s) publishing landscape: What are the challenges and considerations facing editors of digital humanities projects, from acquisitions to developmental editing to production to dissemination? How does the traditional editor-author relationship change to accommodate large-scale collaborative projects? As teams expand, how must workflows adapt to incorporate the contributions of digital humanities librarians, technologists, designers, and students? As audiences for digital scholarly projects grow, how can the editor best manage user-testing and peer review? In an attempt to answer these questions, this paper will foreground Brown University’s Digital Publications Initiative, based in the University Library and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The purpose of Brown’s initiative is to establish an infrastructure to support the development and publication of digital scholarly monographs. This initiative extends the University’s mission of supporting and promoting the scholarship of its faculty, while also playing a role in shaping the future of digital scholarship in the humanities. As part of this initiative, the Digital Scholarship Editor brings together key technological, organizational, and academic resources across the campus to generate a broader, more effective structure within the University to support the creation, cultivation, evaluation, dissemination, and preservation of new forms of faculty-driven digital scholarly projects intended for publication with a university press. Brown currently has four long-form, interactive, media-rich publication projects, in the fields of History, History of Art and Architecture, Italian Studies, and Middle East Studies. Though Brown’s digital publication projects are “monographic” in nature, the editorial lessons learned and workflows established at Brown over the last couple of years can be applied to a variety of digital projects, from journal issues to iterative works.

Being an Editor on a Library-Hosted Platform

Jessica Lange, McGill University

Description: As evidenced in the Library Publishing Directory, the size and scale of library publishing programs can vary widely. Library publishers often begin as smaller-scale operations hosting a select-set of journals. Important considerations in the context of these types of operations are envisioning how the library’s publishing services can support smaller journals, what kinds of support do these journals need, and what the typical obstacles and difficulties small journals face.

Using the case study of Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library & Information Practice & Research, this presentation will discuss how library publishers can support small journals. From the viewpoint of an editor, it will review the common obstacles, goals, frustrations, and opportunities for small journals and will provide an opportunity for library publishers to learn more about the inner workings of a journal from the frontlines.