Publishing services offered by academic libraries are “expanding and professionalizing,” says a new report based on a survey of library directors at research and liberal-arts institutions. But those publishing operations are often still hampered by a lack of full-time staffing and by the small scale of much of what they do.
The survey went out to top librarians at the 223 member institutions of the Association of Research Libraries. It also went to library heads at the 80 or so liberal-arts colleges that belong to the Oberlin Group and at some 25 institutions in the University Libraries Group. The full report, “Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success,” has been posted online for public comment here. (Comments close at the end of the year, and a final version will be released early in 2012.) A PDF can be downloaded here.
Library-based publishing programs “were originally founded to shake up the scholarly communication system,” and the survey showed that most remain strongly committed to open access, Mr. Watkinson told The Chronicle. But open-access publishing has a pragmatic appeal. It tends to be easier and more economical for library publishing programs that are understaffed.
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