Report points to growth in publishing services for libraries

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Publishing services provided by libraries are expanding and professionalising. This is according to a new report released for comment by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, on behalf of a team of researchers from the libraries of Purdue University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah, all in the USA.

In the study, 55 per cent of all respondents indicated having or developing library publishing services. Most libraries with existing programmes anticipated increasing the programme’s scale or scope in the next year.

About three-quarters of the programmes publish between one and six journals, the majority of which are only distributed electronically and are less than three-years old. About half of the programmes publish conference proceedings, technical reports, or monographs; most often electronically, but with some print-on-demand distribution.

Almost 90 per cent of library publishing programmes were launched in order to contribute to change in the scholarly publishing system, supplemented by a variety of other mission-related motivations.  The most prevalent journal publishing platforms reported were Open Journal Systems (57 per cent), DSpace (36 per cent), and Berkeley Electronic Press’s Digital Commons (25 per cent).

The report includes a series of recommendations for future development of library publishing services based on the survey, workshops, case studies, and literature review. The report is open for comment until the end of the year and a final version will be issued in early 2012.