Scholarly Publishing Management Suite

Partnering to develop a system to help publishers manage their work

University presses often have a system variously referred to as a “press-wide database” or “title-management system” which they use to keep track of all of their publications, whether not yet published, already published, or out of print. The functions of this system may vary, but it’s akin to an integrated library system (ILS) for a publisher: a central database with a set of optional user-interface modules that interact with it to allow the user to accomplish specific tasks.

As with ILSes, the market for press-wide databases is dominated by a few commercial providers, whose solutions are expensive to acquire and maintain. Perhaps even more so than ILSes, there is dissatisfaction among university presses with the products available, which are geared towards the need of major trade publishers and whose developers have been slow to accommodate the needs of open-access publishing and of digitally native resources.

Discussions in the university-press and library-publishing communities have pointed to the need to develop an alternative to the products available. At its broadest, a replacement system might be more appropriately called a “scholarly publishing management suite” (SPMS). A whitepaper, open to comments, attempts to outline what functionality an SPMS would need to have and explores what would be needed in order to build and sustain a community around this software.

We welcome expressions of interest in partnering to develop an SPMS.

Kevin Hawkins (University of North Texas Libraries)
Sylvia Mendoza (University of Virginia Press)
Katherine Skinner (Educopia Institute)