In full disclosure, I have not (recently) consulted a dictionary regarding these words, but I am going to discuss some thoughts I have on their definition(s).
To make public is how I primarily think about publishing. That’s a pretty simple view and I am certain it would not hold up in a legal case. Each day, as digital publishing librarian, I help scholars and researchers (authors) make their publications public (publish) using the technology our team has available within the IUScholarWorks suite of services.
We manage traditional forms of publications, i.e., text, and we work with audio and visual materials too. We explore and in some cases support new publication trends and forms such as portals, blogs as scholarly serials, mash-ups and alternative metrics.
We engage in open access publishing, but we are not certain that we are a publisher. Why do we, maybe it is really just I, keep questioning this?
To help me figure this out, I engaged in an exercise to list out the things we provide for journal publications via the IUScholarWorks Journals Service. We:
- Support the journal’s publisher of choice – whether it is IUScholarWorks or another entity such as a society or association.
- Support a journal’s copyright policy of choice and consult on intellectual property matters upon request.
- Support continuous publishing with no requirements or restrictions on pages or the number of volumes/issues per year.
- Publish non-text materials like video, audio, and images – in the article or supplemental to an article.
- Provide tools that manage editorial work: blind peer review system, electronic author submissions, communication amongst those doing the work/editing, and various reader tools may be elected to be turned on such as: comments, contacting the author, notify a colleague, how to cite (MLA, APA, Chicago style).
- Continue services for a publication once it has moved from Indiana University.
- Provide and manage trusted infrastructure and policies for the preservation of digital objects.
- Support a journal’s unique URL for their publication if they manage the domain registration.
- Train on software and provide technical support.
- Supply article-level use statistics – currently annually.
- Supply announcements and table of contents feeds to readers.
- Import back-files if rights can be transferred (if necessary).
- Update library cataloging records supplied to OCLC – so that records across libraries can be updated.
- Support harvestable metadata for discovery by various search engines.
- Supply metadata and articles to indexing/abstracting services (such as Ebsco or Proquest).
- Manage or help apply for an ISSN (international standard serial number).
- Provide limited design work as student staff expertise permits. If a journal is migrating to our platform, we will endeavor to keep the design as similar as possible within our framework constraints.
- Are genuinely helpful and supportive to our scholars and researchers.
It’s an impressive list of what IUScholarWorks services and staff can do for a journal publication. Perhaps, upon review, IUScholarWorks Journals is a publisher, publishing various publications and making them publicly accessible to the world-wide public. I also came up with a shorter list of things we do not do, and I will write about them soon.