Library Publishing Workflows. Investigating and documenting journal publishing workflows in libraries. Educopia Institute. Library Publishing Coalition. Institute for Museum and Library Services.


Library Publishing Workflows

Investigating and documenting journal publishing workflows in libraries

Educopia Institute, the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) and 12 partner libraries are embarking on a two-year project to investigate, synchronize, and model a range of workflows to increase the capacity of libraries to publish open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Most library publishers have developed services in response to local needs, and initial workflows are generally home-grown, varied, and idiosyncratic. This represents a missed opportunity for comparative analysis and peer learning; it also yields frequent omissions of crucial workflow steps, such as contributing metadata to aggregators (essential for discovery and impact) and depositing content in preservation repositories (necessary for a stable scholarly record). The workflow model envisioned in this project will help libraries provide a strong alternative to commercial publishing for a wider range of journals, representing a significant advance in the development of open and academy-owned scholarship.

Project Partners

Our diverse 12 partner library cohort includes flagship, land grant, and public research universities (Wayne State and the Universities of Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Alberta); private research and liberal arts universities (Columbia, Illinois Wesleyan, Pacific, and University of Redlands); consortia representing public research universities (California Digital Library), private liberal arts colleges (Claremont Colleges), and historically black colleges and universities (Atlanta University Center). The resulting workflows will be of use to libraries of all types that are engaged in scholarly publishing. The project audience includes libraries establishing their first publishing workflows and those looking to expand or improve their publishing services. 

Project Activities

 We will form a cohort of libraries engaged in journal publishing and work with them to document and improve their publishing workflows. This work will be accomplished via peer learning, one-on-one interviews, and an in-person meeting. We will analyze the data gathered in these settings to identify opportunities for high-impact interventions in publishing workflows and ‘pain points’ that could be addressed in follow-on work. Deliverables for this project include: 12 visualizations representing the journal publishing workflows of each partner library, a workflow template and guidance documentation for libraries seeking to map their workflows, a free set of recorded discussions on journal publishing workflows in libraries, presentations at three conferences, and a final report that will include lessons learned in working with the partner cohort to improve their workflows and conclusions drawn from analyzing the workflow data collected during the project, including next steps for building journal publishing capacity in libraries. 


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services LG-36-19-0133-19