Sunday, April 6, 2008

Libraries as Publishers

BC Libraries entered the publishing sphere a couple of years ago when it began to co-publish open access refereed e-journals. The Libraries now co-publish four journals: Cities and the Environment (CATE); Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment; Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations; TEACHING Exceptional Children / TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus. All are accessible from eScholarship@BC.

BC Libraries are not unusual in its publishing endeavors. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has just published the results of a study of publishing services provided by ARL member libraries. From the 2 April, 2008 press release:

The study verified that research libraries are rapidly developing publishing services. By late 2007, 44% of the 80 responding ARL member libraries reported they were delivering publishing services and another 21% were in the process of planning publishing service development. Only 36% of responding institutions were not active in this arena.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Publishing services are rapidly becoming a norm for research libraries, particularly journal publishing services.
  • Service development is being driven by campus demand, largely from authors and editors.
  • Libraries are addressing gaps in traditional publishing systems, not replicating traditional publishing.
  • Substantial investment in open source applications such as Open Journal Systems, Open Conference Systems, D-Pubs, and DSpace is facilitating service development.
  • The numbers of titles research libraries are publishing represent a very thin slice of the scholarly publishing pie; yet, collectively research libraries are beginning to produce a substantial body of content.
  • Library publishing services are part of a range of new kinds of services libraries have developed or are developing, such as repository and digitization services.
  • Library publication services are developed in ways that are consonant with research library service culture, including close consultation with researchers and frequent use of partnerships.
  • The use of various forms of revenue generation is common for publishing services, but core support comes from library resources and in some cases new campus funding.

The full report many be downloaded from the ARL Web site

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