Sowing the seeds of journal success: Cultivating relationships with journal editors and staff

Brian Rosenblum, University of Kansas Libraries
Marianne Reed, University of Kansas Libraries

Since 2007, the University of Kansas Libraries has provided support to the KU community for the management and distribution of online scholarly journals and other publications, and currents hosts over 20 scholarly journals. While much of the literature about library publishing focuses on issues such as technical infrastructure, policies and processes, skills and training, or economic models–all important areas to address, to be sure–this presentation will focus on a less documented aspect of library-based publishing: building and maintaining relationships with journal editors and staff. This is often time consuming and hidden labor, but has been key to the ongoing viability of our program. Through regular and ongoing engagement with our journal partners we can keep abreast of their evolving needs, catch potential issues before they blossom into problems, and create goodwill and trust that we can tap into down the road when advocating to administrators about the value of the publishing program. We will share and discuss the various outreach and engagement efforts (successful and unsuccessful) that we have pursued, including regular meetings of our “Editors Forum”, an email listserv for journal editors and staff, regular check-ins regarding journal operations, and coordinated efforts with related library initiatives such as open access and digital humanities. We will advocate for an intentional, multi-faceted approach to building relationships with journal editors as a key aspect of a sustainable publishing program.