This summer, the Office of Scholarly Publishing has been reflecting on the services we provide and the value we bring to IU’s campus and open access scholarly publishing broadly. Simultaneously, the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP) has been mentioned in several recent articles and news pieces on open access publishing and author rights. I believe that these pieces start to answer our questions about the value, perspective, and expertise that we contribute to the larger community.
Jason Jackson’s post, which discusses Museum Anthropology Review’s business and labor model, highlights the instrumental role library publishers play in the open access ecosystem. Jason states,
I am not able to quantify the financial investments that the IU Libraries have made in MAR via the IUSW program, but the investment is significant and important…. just as MAR tries to serve the field without charging fees for that service, IUSW tries to serve projects like MAR without charging fees for that service. It is certainly the case that economies of scale have been realized by having library-based publishing support services that can concurrently help a wide range of (mostly small) journal projects.
Another recent piece, “What Happened, or, Impasses and Future Horizons for an Open Anthropology of Work” grapples with the challenges of operationalizing open access in the field of anthropology. The editorial cites conversations with the Office of Scholarly Publishing to make an important anthropology title, Anthropology Work Review, open access. While the effort was not successful and we do not currently publish AWR, the piece is important for demonstrating the values that IU’s OSP is dedicated to. Conversations with AWR were also a reflective exercise for our team, as they forced us to reflect on and operationalize our values, which in turn led to a better understanding of our own mission and ethics.
Finally, a recent op ed (first presented as a keynote) discusses the 50th anniversary of the Liberian Studies Association and mentions the association’s journal, the Liberian Studies Journal. The OSP currently hosts the journal’s back issues and is in conversations to help the publication renew publication efforts.
When I think about what OSP is and what we aim to be, I envision a meaningful partnership between IU Press and IU Libraries Scholarly Communication staff that encourages cross-pollination, harnesses disparate publishing resources, and pools expertise strategically in order to transform scholarly publishing at IU by:
- Serving IU faculty and students, through journal publishing, open access book publishing, and course material publishing.
- Moving conversations on publishing innovations forward on campus and in the larger community. This includes, but isn’t limited to, conversations around experimental peer review, course material affordability, hybrid OA models, open source infrastructure, and new modes of scholarship, including 3D object and multi-media integration.
- Educating the next generation of scholars, both through supporting the creation of student publishing projects and creating programming and hands-on experiences for students interested in publishing, open access, and scholarly career paths.
- Moving the national conversation on library publishing, library/press partnerships, and open access forward.
I’m excited to see that we are already making a significant impact in several of these areas, including number four. The pieces above demonstrate that we are both inspiring and contributing to important national conversations that will impact the future of open access publishing.
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