Digital Scholarship @ The Libraries

Inspiring innovative digital scholarship at the OSU Libraries and beyond

Month: February 2013

A Prezi on library publishing

**Cross-posted, with minor changes, to The Lib Pub.**

I wanted to share a presentation on library publishing I gave recently as part of a series on scholarly communication issues organized by Craig Gibson.  The goal of the presentation was to give the subject specialists enough of a background in library publishing and our particular program to make them effective liaisons and partners. The interview with Jose Diaz centered on a new publication we have been developing in partnership with the Center for Latin American Studies.

The Prezi is not fully stand-alone, as it was meant to accompany a talk. If you have questions about anything, feel free to leave a comment or email me. The presentation is reusable, so you’re welcome to copy or adapt it as you like. [If the embed isn’t working, you can view the Prezi here.]

First meeting of the OSU Editors’ Group

OSU faculty, staff, and students who serve as editors for scholarly journals are invited to attend the first meeting of the new OSU Editors’ Group. The first meeting will be mainly discussion-based, and will help the organizers determine what subjects are of broad interest. Future meetings are expected to focus on a particular topic, through discussions, presentations, and other formats as appropriate.

Details: Friday, March 1st, 2:00-3:00pm, Thompson Library, room 150A

RSVP: Please let us know if you plan to attend. Email Melanie Schlosser at

About the group: The Editors’ Group will provide a forum for editors from all disciplines to meet and talk about common issues in journal publishing. These issues might include managing journal workflows, the role of the editorial board, and copyright issues.

About the sponsor: The Editors’ Group is sponsored by the OSU Libraries. The Libraries work with OSU faculty and academic units to publish journals as part of our open access publishing program.

Same dog new tricks: Understanding rights issues in the digital world

Providing scholarly work and research digitally has become the norm. Online journals and electronic books have changed the landscape in how one can contribute to and access digital scholarship. Scholars are also providing insight into their research via Twitter and Tumblr. Additionally, the Internet  provides the opportunity to make physical materials available through online exhibits and displays. But, while the ways in which we can receive and provide scholarship have changed, digital scholarship encounters many of the same issues that occur in the analog world. Author’s rights issues, copyright, fair use, transformation, issues related to data mining, preservation and accessibility are topics that impact both of these realms.

For many in academia the expanding possibilities of interaction, creation and construction on the Internet are enormous. With the change in landscape the arrival of many works in digital form brings about a different challenge in future cloth (if the work is ever published in a physical format) and publishing rights, translation rights and open access. Though in many ways the digital realm is similar to the analog publishing world, scholarly work affords a difference in the ability to edit, revise and/or submit for further peer review immediately in real time. Online journals also provide opportunities for interaction with creators; some projects may even allow users to view or submit in line commentary and notes. These digital capabilities further demonstrate the need for clarity on issues especially those involving copyright, author’s rights and fair use.

In this occasional series, I hope to discuss and highlight issues to consider in understanding copyright, author’s rights and others as they relate to digital scholarship.

Why do libraries provide publishing services?

I recently heard a marvelous presentation by Melanie Schlosser, OSU’s Digital Publishing Librarian, where she raised the question of why libraries, particularly research libraries, are offering publishing services. I had forgotten that this was a key question I discussed with leaders of library publishing programs in 2007 as part of a study I was conducting for the Association of Research Libraries. At the time, I was surprised by the trend of the answers I got. Over and over again, librarians told me something like, “faculty came to us and said, ‘I need a publisher and the library is the obvious place on campus to provide this service.’” As an outsider to library publishing at the time, I was expecting to hear founder stories of advocacy, of librarians chanting, “if we build it, they will come.” Instead, it seems we were advocating for moderation in journal prices, building repositories, and talking about open access, and along the way our colleagues said, “Yes, yes, but what I really need is a library publishing program.”

I think this is an important element of why library publishing programs like OSU’s are attracting more and more partners. Publishing isn’t something we do just because we think we should; it reflects some very real and important gaps in the landscape of publishing options for scholars and researchers. These gapsmatch our mission and capabilities. Yet, what our partners want from us is not what they can get from traditional publishers. University presses, scholarly societies, and even commercial publishers are meeting many publishing needs, but there are more and more gaps in that arguably mature ecosystem. Cheap, light-weight, and broadly accessible is one niche that has opened wide in the digital age. The demand for profits or at least “repurposable revenue” threatens valuable, but not commercially viable, scholarship with extinction. Libraries and their universities are grasping the opportunities this situation presents. The value of research and scholarly publications is largely created by their authors. Where libraries can provide a small set of necessary services (manuscript handling tools, layout tools, digital publishing platforms, etc.), they find partners eager to apply them to the fundamental work of scholarship – disseminating new knowledge.