In recent years, institutions of higher learning and research and the libraries that support them have become increasingly concerned about the costs and conditions of the publication and distribution of scholarship. In response, several universities have begin to explore the possibility of their libraries functioning as publishers, particularly looking to explore the possibilities and costs of electronic publication. The University of Michigan Library's Scholarly Publishing Office(1) (SPO) is one such institutional venue for the electronic publication and distribution of scholarly content. This discussion summarizes some of the policy issues that led to the creation of SPO, and describes SPO's organisation and some of the activities that instantiate its mission of building sustainable publication models that bridge the gap between academic self-publishing and large, aggregated, commercial publishing. It also raises several questions about how libraries should function as publishers, and about cooperation and collaboration in building alternative venues for scholarly publishing. In detailing the work of SPO, the author hopes to use it as a case study to illuminate the mission of library-based scholarly publishing efforts and the challenges such efforts must meet in order to succeed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Networks and Communications