What is a Library Publishing Program?
Many libraries have developed publishing programs to provide outlets for dissemination of materials that do not fit within the profile of traditional university presses. In some cases these publishing programs co-exist with university presses; elsewhere, they serve as the sole publishing outlet on campus (but do not generally claim to fill the same role as a traditional university press). Library publishing programs typically produce materials in digital, open-access format, sometimes with options for print-on-demand; types of materials published run the gamut from scholarly monographs to campus-produced gray literature to journals.
The library’s Digital Publishing Program comprises three components: management of Northeastern University Press publications; support for journal publishing; and digitization and dissemination of Northeastern-produced scholarly materials.
- Manage the in-print titles published by the University Press of New England on behalf of Northeastern University
- Republish selected out-of-print Northeastern University Press titles in open-access digital format with a for-fee print-on-demand option
- Offer a journal publishing service to faculty and student editors using the Open Journal Systems platform
- Digitize and disseminate high-interest, Northeastern-produced materials in the Archives and elsewhere on campus
While Northeastern University Press no longer publishes new titles, the University Press of New England continues to manage sales and distribution of Northeastern’s list of in-print titles, and the library oversees associated revenues and expenditures.
The library has re-release as 18 open-access digital books on Boston history from our out-of-print backlist. These publications serve as a cornerstone of the Digital Publishing program while helping to preserve the important legacy of Northeastern University Press. In 2018, the Northeastern Library was awarded $38,000 from the Mellon Foundation to complete this project, in combination with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This was part of the Humanities Open Book Project.
The library supports journal publishing on campus using Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open-source platform. As of 2017 the publishing program supports five faculty- and student-run journals, with more in development. Interested in starting a journal? Visit our OJS information page!
Support for Production and Dissemination of Scholarly Material
Publishing activities on campus produce scholarly materials in many forms. In many cases, these activities can benefit from centralized support through a library-based publishing program. The library is well positioned to offer publishing services as an expansion of the work it has already undertaken in the development and management of the Digital Repository Service (DRS) and its predecessor, IRis; the digitization of Archives and Special Collections materials; and its partnerships with digital humanities and social sciences projects on campus. The library’s Archives and Special Collections also contain a wealth of Northeastern-produced content that the Digital Publishing program can make discoverable to a worldwide audience. This component of the Digital Publishing Program is currently in development.
More About the Digital Publishing Program
The Digital Publishing Program was launched in the 2015-2016 academic year. Its services and goals are guided by a three-year plan and will be reviewed regularly to ensure that the program continues to align with current and emerging needs on campus.
- Begin offering publishing services to units on campus, based on needs identified in an environmental scan—likely to include digital scholarship output; research reports or white papers; proceedings for conferences held on campus; and collections of undergraduate research or creative works
- Review services and priorities of the publishing program in response to client needs and success metrics
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