Purdue takes leadership role in initiating Libraries publishing coalition

January 15, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University Libraries, in collaboration with more than 50 other academic libraries and the Educopia Institute, has joined a two-year project (2013-2014) to create the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC).

The project emerged from conversations between Purdue, the University of North Texas and Virginia Tech University regarding the need for a community dedicated to advancing the field of library publishing. Purdue Libraries will play an integral role in the design and implementation of the LPC as a founding institution.

Academic libraries and the researchers and organizations they support are facing a new paradigm in scholarly publishing. The Web, information and social media technologies, and the Open Source and Open Access movements are changing the framework in which scholarship is created, collected, organized, and disseminated. Yet, as shown by the Strategies for Success project, funded by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Studies (IMLS) and conducted by Purdue in collaboration with Georgia Tech and the University of Utah, library-based publishing groups lack a central space where they can meet, work together, share information, and confront common issues.

Through seed support from Educopia and participating institutions, the LPC project will engage practitioners to design a collaborative network that addresses and supports an evolving, distributed, and diverse range of library production and publishing practices.

During the project's first stage, the LPC's project team will document and evaluate how best to structure this initiative in order to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing for this field. The team will produce several concrete deliverables, including:

* Targeted research, building on existing broader surveys, that will focus on topics of particular interest to the community, including costs, staffing, and how libraries are financing these ventures.

* Compilation of a directory of existing library publishing services, providing details including staff contacts, types of products produced, and software platforms utilized.

* A forum for networking and sharing communications about library publishing services, including an annual event and ongoing virtual training and community-building activities.

* The design and implementation of the Library Publishing Coalition as an ongoing, institutionally owned organization that serves the needs of this community.

James L. Mullins, dean of Purdue Libraries and one of the project's initiators, called the formation of the LPC "an important contribution to improving library services for scholars in their capacity as authors as well as users of information."

"By sharing librarians' experiences of emerging publishing needs and nurturing the skills and tools needed to best serve them, LPC can strengthen the entire nonprofit publishing community and advance new modes of scholarly communication," he said.

More information and a full list of participating institutions are available on the project website, http://www.educopia.org/programs/lpc

About Purdue Libraries

In addition to providing access to scholarly and technical information for Purdue's faculty, staff, and students, Purdue Libraries provides services to support scholars' emerging needs in the areas of digital research data management, scholarly publishing, and preservation. Libraries publishing division includes Purdue University Press, established in 1960 as the university's scholarly publishing arm.

About Educopia

The Educopia Institute serves and advances the well-being of libraries, information/research centers, and their parent institutions by fostering the advancement of shared information systems and infrastructures. Educopia acts as a catalyst to assist and advise libraries and other closely affiliated cultural memory institutions in the creation of new digital means of preserving and providing access to scholarly communication and the cultural record in socially responsible ways.

Contact: Charles Watkinson, director, Purdue University Press and head of Scholarly Publishing Services, 765-494-8251

Source: James L. Mullins, 765-494-2900, jmullins@purdue.edu

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