Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited

Author: Kevin Hawkins

Abstract: Publishing programs in academic libraries vary in their scope, offerings, and business models. Despite the many forms that these programs take, I have argued in the past that various factors constrain the design of a start-up publishing operation. In this commentary, I discuss in greater depth the key questions to be addressed before establishing a library publishing program for scholarly books, arguing that the viable options are in fact quite limited.

Citation: Hawkins, K.S., 2019. Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 7(1). DOI:



Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly CommunicationS

Using Static Site Generators for Scholarly Publications & Open Educational Resources

Author: Diaz, Chris

Abstract: Libraries that publish scholarly journals, conference proceedings, or open educational resources can use static site generators in their digital publishing workflows. Northwestern University Libraries is using Jekyll and Bookdown, two open source static site generators, for its digital publishing service. This article discusses motivations for experimenting with static site generators and walks through the process for using these technologies for two publications.

Citation: Diaz, C. (2018). Using Static Site Generators for Scholarly Publications and Open Educational Resources. Code4Lib Journal, 42, 2018-11-08.

Source: Code4Lib Journal

Liberation through Cooperation: How Library Publishing Can Save Scholarly Journals from Neoliberalism

Author: Dave S. Ghamandi

Abstract: This commentary examines political and economic aspects of open access (OA) and scholarly journal publishing. Through a discourse of critique, neoliberalism is analyzed as an ideology causing many problems in the scholarly journal publishing industry, including the serials crisis. Two major efforts in the open access movement that promote an increase in OA funded by article-processing charges (APC)—the Open Access 2020 (OA2020) and Pay It Forward (PIF) initiatives—are critiqued as neoliberal frameworks that would perpetuate existing systems of domination and exploitation. In a discourse of possibility, ways of building a post-neoliberal system of journal publishing using new tactics and strategies, merging theory and praxis, and grounding in solidarity and cooperation are presented. This includes organizing journal publishing democratically using cooperatives, which could decommodify knowledge and provide greater open access. The article concludes with a vision for a New Fair Deal, which would revolutionize the system of scholarly journal publishing by transitioning journals to library publishing cooperatives.

Citation: Ghamandi, D.S., (2018). Liberation through Cooperation: How Library Publishing Can Save Scholarly Journals from Neoliberalism. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 6(2), p.eP2223. DOI:

Digital Publishing: A Home for Faculty in the Library — Exercises in Innovation from Harvard Law School

Authors: DeMarco, Claire Amy; Courtney, Kyle K.

Abstract: As libraries continue transforming through the digital age, we are faced with a familiar opportunity for renewal: the deepening of the faculty-library relationship — this time in a digital framework. Instead of simply complementing analog disciplines with digital counterparts, a broader medium of “digital scholarship” is rapidly expanding among and across all disciplines. Like any rapid expansion, there is no one clear path. Hundreds of platforms are vying for prominence in the digital scholarship space; commercial publishers are developing, enhancing, and re-branding online portals to meet this demand. Rather than coping with that uncertainty, however, or formatting their work to fit a standard, commercial digital mold, many faculty are turning to trusted sources: librarians. Faculty are seeking guidance, support, and resources to meet their digital scholarship needs, meaning libraries are presently in a position to become the place where — and the partner through which — faculty create, manage, and store digital scholarship placing libraries in the position of digital publisher.

In recent years, commercial publishers have positioned themselves to transition traditional print journals and monographs to e-publishing platforms aimed at merely replicating the print experience. Ongoing management of those platforms, along with development of licensing and payment structures, have likewise attempted to replicate the print experience. Debate has surrounded library ownership of electronic resources, and the divorce of licensed content from traditional modes of print ownership has been, and continues to be, an area bereft of clarity and mired in controversy.

This current opportunity is more than a mere transition, however, it is an expansion – a broadening of our understanding of scholarship, not to simply replace print with digital, but to encourage and understand the opportunities of the digital environment as a new medium for faculty. As we face this evolution from replicating print in a digital environment, to authoring and creating within a digital framework, libraries must be assertive in taking on the challenges of developing a home for this content and become comfortable with digital publishing as a core library function.

This article highlights specific examples of desire by faculty at Harvard Law School to push legal scholarship beyond the constraints of traditional commercial publishing. Harvard Law School Library, like any other academic library, is navigating the expansion of scholarly formats to the digital realm, as well as the demand by faculty to support new, and evolving, approaches to scholarship. Analysis of these examples will focus on the unique role that the library has in stimulating, supporting, and sustaining, faculty publishing efforts, in addition to the challenges presented by the new, and potentially uncomfortable, proposition of library as a digital publisher.

Citation: DeMarco, Claire & Kyle Courtney. 2017. Digital Publishing: A Home for Faculty in the Library — Exercises in Innovation from Harvard Law School. Working Paper.



Source: Dash at Harvard

Publication Patterns of U.S. Academic Librarians and Libraries from 2003 to 2012

Authors: Deborah D. Blecic, Stephen E. Wiberley Jr., Sandra L. De Groote, John Cullars, Mary Shultz, Vivian Chan

Abstract: This study investigated contributions to the peer-reviewed library and information science (LIS) journal literature by U.S. academic librarian (USAL) authors over a ten-year period (2003–2012). The results were compared to those of two previous five-year studies that covered the time periods of 1993–1997 and 1998–2002 to examine longitudinal trends. For USAL authors as a group, publication productivity, the proportion of peer-reviewed articles contributed to the LIS literature, and sole-authorship declined. Among USALs who did publish, productivity patterns remained similar over twenty years, with a slight increase in the percentage of USAL authors who published three or more articles in five years. The top twenty high-publication libraries from 2003 to 2012 were from public research universities, unlike two earlier studies that found private university libraries among the top twenty.

Citation: Blecic, Deborah D., Stephen E. Wilberley, Jr., Sandra L. De Groote, John Cullars, Mary Shultz, and Vivan Chan. “Publication Patterns of U.S. Academic Librarians and Libraries from 2003 to 2012.” College and Research Libraries 78, no. 4 (2017): 442-458.


Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity

Author: Kathryn M. Conrad

Abstract: Libraries have a long and distinguished history of publishing, since their earliest days. Traditionally libraries published to expose their collections through bibliographies, facsimiles, and catalogs. While the Internet has made discovery and dissemination of library holdings easier than ever before, digital publishing technologies have also unlocked compelling new purposes for library publishing, including through Open Access publishing initiatives. The self-publishing explosion and availability of self-publishing tools and services geared to libraries have heralded new opportunities for libraries, especially public libraries, to engage their communities in new ways. By supporting self-publishing initiative in their communities, public libraries can promote standards of quality in self-publishing, provide unique opportunities to engage underserved populations, and become true archives of their communities.

Citation: Conrad, K. M. (2017). Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity. Journal of Electronic Publishing, 20(1).


Source: Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity

Library publishing and diversity values: Changing scholarly publishing through policy and scholarly communication education

Author: Charlotte Roh

Abstract: In 2014, students at over 75 higher education institutions demanded “an end to systemic and structural racism on campus.” The most common demand among student protesters was an increase in faculty diversity; faculty of color, according to a U.S. Department of Education 2015 report, make up only 16% of full professors.

This lack of diversity persists in librarianship and publishing, as well. ALA’s 2014 demographics update reports the association’s membership is 87.1% white, and the annual 2015 Publishers Weekly survey reports that publishers are 89% white/Caucasian.

Citation: Roh, Charlotte. “Library publishing and diversity values: Changing scholarly publishing through policy and scholarly communication education.” College & Research Libraries News [Online], 77.2 (2016): 82-85. Web. 2 May. 2017



Libraries as Content Producers: How Library Publishing Services Address the Reading Experience

Author: Daniel G. Tracy

Abstract: This study establishes baseline information about the ways library publishing services integrate user studies of their readers, as well as common barriers to doing so. The Library Publishing Coalition defines library publishing as “the set of activities led by college and university libraries to support the creation, dissemination, and curation of scholarly, creative, and/or educational works.” This area includes traditional as well as novel publication types. Results suggest that discussions of library publishing underrepresent engagement with readers but that ample room for increased attention remains. Existing reader-related efforts vary widely and may in some cases be happenstance. These efforts also face key barriers in lack of prioritization, lack of expertise, and lack of control of out-of-the-box platforms.

Tracy DG. (2017). Libraries as Content Producers: How Library Publishing Services Address the Reading Experience. College & Research Libraries, vol. 78 no. 2 pp 219-240 doi:10.5860/crl.78.2.219