11 SPEC Kit 357: Libraries, Presses, and Publishing
The majority of respondents expect funding to remain the same over the next three years.
However, several reported an expected increase in library and library press budgets. Those libraries
expect to reallocate existing funds to add new or repurposed positions. Other potential sources of revenue
include cost recovery, gifts and development funding, operating budget allocations to cover increases in
hosting costs, grants, and realignment of collections and materials budgets.
External Contractors and Partners
The survey asked what types of external vendors the library contracts with to provide publishing services.
Vendors are most frequently used for digital storage, electronic distribution of e-publications, printing,
and metadata distribution. Other services include print on demand, binding, sales and marketing,
storage, and peer review by scholarly societies. A number of respondents also use vendors for repository/
platform hosting, digital archiving, contract digitization of materials, copyediting, typesetting, audiobook
production, MOOC production, digital object identifiers (DOIs), digital preservation, web development
for digital publishing, XML and other conversions, and alternative metrics.
When asked if the libraries partnered with any external entities or groups to provide publishing
services, the majority responded that they did not (38, or 72%). Examples from those who do include
working with collectives of scholars within and outside the institution for specific projects, the Public
Knowledge Project on technical development, numerous external publishing partners (e.g., societies,
professional associations, and teams of independent researchers), library consortia for provision of
hosting services and open textbook initiatives, and the university press for print and print-on-demand
distribution and sales.
Author Outreach and Assessment
The majority of institutional and library presses publish materials from authors both inside and outside
of the institution. One of the institutional presses and two of the library presses focus on internal authors.
One library press focuses on external authors. Half of the libraries that do not have a press support both
internal and external authors. The others only support authors from inside the institution.
Survey respondents reported numerous activities and outreach methods to enlist and
engage authors in publishing activities. These include leveraging the role of liaison librarians, direct
messaging and promotion of new stories, workshops and presentations, outreach targeted to journal
editors, outreach targeted to the institutional repository, annual fairs and integration in events such
as new faculty orientation, outreach building from open access activities, outreach focused on specific
departments, word of mouth building from existing activities, calls for proposals, focused activities based
on data from institutional faculty performance systems, booths at a scholarly society meeting, conference
presentations, and social media.
Closely aligned with author outreach to develop and expand publishing activities is assessment.
The survey asked if libraries had conducted assessment of publishing activities. The majority reported
that they had not (32, or 57%). For the 24 libraries that have assessed their activities, the most common
reasons were to improve existing services (88%), evaluate whether to add new services (75%), and
enhance stakeholder support (46%). Respondents also provided information on changes to the library’s
publishing activities that resulted from the assessment activity. These include deciding to create
a university press, developing a new access platform, expanding the scope of services, hiring new
personnel, changing staffing roles and structures, increasing print-on-demand offerings, emphasizing
more strongly the need for digital scholarship support, streamlining production, and changing planned
publication levels.
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