Distributed publishers: Collaborating and facilitating publishing across campus

Andrea Wirth, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

While the support for publishing open access journals in libraries is widespread as evidenced by the Library Publishing Coalition member roster and discussions about journals on library listservs and at conferences, not all libraries approach journal support by taking on the role of “publisher.” Local practices, policies, and the relationship of the library with the university provide guidance as to how a particular library and its campus address journal publishing.

But if not publisher, then what? Instead, libraries, recognizing implementing and sustaining a publishing program can be costly and daunting, have alternatives to consider. In one scenario, the library may act a journal “host” by collaborating and sharing expertise with faculty, students, and academic units that do wish to start a journal. As host, the library can provide critical services and technology for the campus-wide publishing enterprise, without assuming complete oversight for the journals that it supports. For example, the provision of a journal platform, technical expertise on the platform, and sharing expertise in the area of scholarly publishing facilitate journal success. This approach, however, has both benefits and drawbacks.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Libraries act as journal host, in order to best utilize the available staffing around journal services and to help promote a sense of ownership in UNLV’s academic units (which act as publishers). Using the UNLV model as an example, this presentation will describe how journals are supported including an overview of what works well, what issues arise with distributed campus publishing, and takeaways for libraries who wish to support local journal publishing, but may not have the staffing and other resources to become a publisher.