Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited Page: -PB_Page_3
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Hawkins I Creating a Library Publishing Program
fisher, in the case of books, the publisher manages the peer review process.
If a library is to serve as the publisher for scholarly books-not simply disseminating a copy
of each in an institutional repository but actually shaping the content and providing "a level
of certification to the content published" (Library Publishing Coalition, n.d.)-should the
library facilitate peer review? Doing so would help establish the library as a reputable schol-
arly publisher and potentially attract authors seeking credibility in a publisher. It would also
allow the library to participate in many laudable initiatives related to open access, like the
Directory of Open Books (DOAB) and MUSE Open, that require all included publications
to be peer reviewed. Despite this, I believe that not conducting peer review frees the library
from the very difficult path of competing directly with established publishers and in fact
allows the library to focus the publishing program instead on disseminating the research of
Let's start with the last point-disseminating the research of the institution. I'm not the
first to say that libraries have evolved, in the age of information abundance and accessibility,
from bringing the world to the local community to bringing the local community to the
world (see, for example, Neiburger 2012 and Dempsey 2016). This new mission can take
forms ranging from the obvious-making digitized special collections available online-to
those that push the boundaries of what it means to be a library, such as providing publishing
services for local authors. If a library publishing program in an academic library serves only
affiliated authors, as argued above, then the author's affiliation could serve as their creden-
tial, and it becomes less clear why peer review would be needed in addition.
Furthermore, if a library publisher at a college or university has a broad mandate to publish
research from the institution, the research will come from many different fields, and the staff
of the publishing operation will not be in a good position to assess quality. While they could
involve subject specialists in the library and teaching faculty outside it to attempt to find
suitable peer reviewers (without relying on reviewers suggested by the author), the library
will probably be less successful in finding the best reviewers than would a university press or
other publisher with acquisitions editors who know the experts in their fields of specialty.
Indeed, conventional publishers acquire a reputation for publishing quality work in certain
topics. Such a reputation is cultivated over time; it's hard to build and easy to lose. A faculty
member seeking recognition for their research will seek out venues in their field recognized
for their selectiveness, and those faculty are therefore unlikely to choose a library publisher
unless it is well established in their discipline. Those who are ideologically minded to support
new models of scholarship but want a peer-reviewed publication will find an increasing num-
ber of conventional publishers offering support for open publishing and other new models.
eP2262 1 3
Here’s what’s next.
This article can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Article.
Hawkins, Kevin S. Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited, article, 2019; Forest Grove, Oregon. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1438965/m1/3/: accessed June 24, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .