PKP International Scholarly Publishing Conferences, PKP 2017 International Scholarly Publishing Conference

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A DIY Sandbox: Hosted Publishing Services in the University of Illinois Library
Janet Swatscheno, Harriett Green, Chris Maden

Last modified: 2017-08-01


In a rapidly evolving digital publishing landscape, academic libraries are poised to address scholars’ publishing concerns by providing tools, services, and educational support. This lightning talk addresses the benefits and challenges of hosting and supporting open source publishing software within an academic library. The talk will focus on the early work of “Publishing Without Walls: Understanding the Needs of Scholars in a Publishing Environment”, a new publishing and scholarly communications initiative based at the University of Illinois Library and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Publishing Without Walls (PWW) aims develop an innovative and experimental library-based digital scholarly publishing model, and is a partnership between the University Library, the School of Information Sciences, the department of African American Studies, and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.

The speakers will address the topics of ensuring usability and meaningful user involvement and platform ownership and control through a discussion of the early initiatives of Publishing Without Walls. The presentation will explain the array of services the library is able to provide for scholars, ranging from an experimental software “sandbox” that potential authors can use to experiment and test out different tools for their projects, to a core suite of publishing tools that host finished publications. No experimental initiative is without its trials, so we will also discuss problems that we have encountered as a result of providing software and maintenance in-house. The PWW initiative seeks to offer authors attractive publishing solutions by building a suite tools and services that can be supported by library staff. This presentation will outline our experiences establishing those services as part of building an innovative and experimental library-based digital scholarly publishing model that aims to be accessible, scalable, and sustainable.

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