The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) is accepting proposals for the 2020 Library Publishing Forum to be held May 4-6, 2020 in Worcester, Massachusetts at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Proposal submissions are welcome from LPC members and nonmembers, including librarians, university press staff, scholars, students, and other scholarly communications and publishing professionals. We especially encourage proposals from first-time presenters and representatives of small and emerging publishing programs. The deadline is November 15th.

UPDATE: The deadline for submissions has been extended to November 22!

 New in 2020

Because of the growing popularity of the Library Publishing Forum, and to address the desire expressed by previous attendees that there be more time and space for rich discussion and interactions, this year’s forum will be a full three-day program. We are excited to welcome two new proposal formats: Poster Talks and Experimental Sessions. The goal of these new formats will be to encourage deeper, continuing conversations, and to make space for different types of community activities. 

Proposal Formats

We invite proposals in the following categories: 

FULL SESSIONS (60 minutes, including Q&A)

Must incorporate presenters from more than one institution or be interactive (e.g. workshop, working session, collaborative conversation). 


Will be matched up thematically with other individual presentations into full sessions.

POSTER TALKS (90-second pitch and one-hour viewing session) 

Best for visual content, concept ideas, and individual conversations.

EXPERIMENTAL SESSIONS (from 60 minutes or more)

Should be interactive sessions not appropriate for the regular Full Session format, such as meetings, extended workshops, hackathons, discussion groups, etc. Innovative ideas and interactive sessions are encouraged.

Proposal Ideas

Proposals may address any topic of interest to the library publishing community and all disciplines. With the conference at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), we have an opportunity to recognize the increasing prevalence of STEM publishing in libraries. We extend a special invitation to sessions exploring projects or topics related to STEM publishing and the Open Science Movement.   

Some topics we hope to receive proposals for include: diversity and inclusion, partnerships with your university press, partnerships with societies and associations, business models, sustainability, fundraising, workflows, digital projects, copyright, open access publishing, open educational resources (OER) publishing, platform implementation, tools used, working with your administration, metrics and use statistics, startups, the open science movement, STEM publishing, and digital scholarship/humanities collaborations.

Feedback from previous years indicates that sessions incorporating the following are particularly well received:

  • Interactive sessions with plenty of time for questions and contributions;
  • Case studies with timelines, costs and metrics for success;
  • New initiatives, partnerships, or research;
  • Sharing of best practices; 
  • Examples of library publishers working together to tackle challenges at scale;
  • Exploring the role of library publishing in the bigger context of scholarly communication;
  • Cross-collaborations with on-campus, local and international partners

Full Sessions must involve presenters from more than one institution or be interactive (e.g., workshop, working session, collaborative conversation). The abstract should include the topic and a clear description of the session format. (e.g., speaker presentations, roundtable discussion, workshop, working session, etc.) If more than one proposal comes in for similar topics, we may put you in touch with the other session presenters to collaborate on a single session. We prefer discussions focused around workflows and project case studies. If you have a product or platform you would like to share, please consider a vendor table or a Poster Presentation.

Individual Presentations are appropriate for one to two presenters on a single topic. These may be project updates, research reports, or new ideas. Because the Committee will be combining individual presentations into thematic sessions, the proposal abstract should highlight key topics and themes around which a full session could be organized.

Poster Talks are an opportunity to design a poster to display content and concepts that work particularly well in a visual or one-on-one format. Presenters will have the opportunity to describe their poster to attendees in a 90-second lightning pitch session held after the Keynote.  There will also be a one-hour dedicated session for attendees to view the posters and engage with the presenters.

Experimental Sessions should be interactive sessions not appropriate for the regular Full Session format, such as meetings, extended workshops, hackathons, discussion groups, deep dives, un-conference sessions, birds-of-a-feather groups, etc. The Program Committee encourages you to think creatively about how you might use this new format. In your proposal, please describe what resources you will need to conduct your session, and what length of time would fit your session best. 

How to Submit

Proposals will include:

  • Session title (and a brief, social-media-friendly title)
  • Names and affiliations of presenters
  • An abstract (maximum 300 words)
  • Information on any interactive components of the session activities (hands-on demo, group activity, etc.)
  • Description of learning outcomes or benefits to attendees
  • Keywords to identify (use those above or create your own)

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2019
UPDATE: The deadline for submissions has been extended to November 22, 2019.

Acceptance Notification: December 21, 2019

Submit a Proposal

Criteria for Selection

The LPC Program Committee will review and accept proposals based on their relevance to the audience, originality of the topic, the clarity of description, and their potential for inspiring discussion, collaboration, and innovation. Recognizing that library publishing has a unique opportunity to amplify underrepresented voices in scholarly communication, the Committee will strive to represent a variety of perspectives in all sessions, with racial and gender diversity being an integral part of that variety.

About the Forum

The Library Publishing Forum is an annual conference bringing together representatives from libraries engaged in (or considering) publishing initiatives to define and address major questions and challenges; to identify and document collaborative opportunities; and to strengthen and promote this community of practice. The Forum includes representatives from a broad, international spectrum of academic library backgrounds, as well as groups that collaborate with libraries to publish scholarly works, including publishing vendors, university presses, and scholars. The Forum is sponsored by the Library Publishing Coalition, but you do not need to be a member of the LPC to attend. 


If you have questions about the 2020 Library Publishing Forum or would like feedback on a proposal concept, please feel free to contact Laureen Boutang, University of Minnesota.