This study establishes baseline information about the ways library publishing services integrate user studies of their readers, and 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.
This report briefly presents the findings and recommendations of the « Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success » project which investigated the extent to which publishing has now become a core activity of North American academic libraries and suggested ways in which further capacity could be built.
The research described (consisting of a survey, some case studies, three workshops, and a set of further reading recommendations) was mainly conducted between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2011.
It was supported by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Libraries Studies, made to Purdue University Libraries in collaboration with the Libraries of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.
Over the past five years, libraries have begun to expand their role in the scholarly publishing value chain by offering a greater range of pre-publication and editorial support services. Given the rapid evolution of these services, there is a clear community need for practical guidance concerning the challenges and opportunities facing library-based publishing programs.
Recognizing that library publishing services represent one part of a complex ecology of scholarly communication, Purdue University Libraries, in collaboration with the Libraries of Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Utah, secured an IMLS National Leadership Grant under the title “Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success.” The project, conducted between October 2010 and September 2011, seeks to advance the professionalism of library-based publishing by identifying successful library publishing strategies and services, highlighting best practices, and recommending priorities for building capacity.
The project has four components: 1) a survey of librarians designed to provide an overview of current practice for library publishing programs (led by consultant October Ivins); 2) a report presenting best practice case studies of the publishing programs at the partner institutions (written by consultant Raym Crow); 3) a series of workshops held at each participating institution to present and discuss the findings of the survey and case studies; and 4) a review of the existing literature on library publishing services. The results of these research threads are pulled together in this project white paper.