US research libraries are rapidly developing publishing services

The survey verified that research libraries are rapidly developing publishing services. By late 2007, 44% of the 80 responding ARL member libraries reported they were delivering publishing services and another 21% were in the process of planning publishing service development. Only 36% of responding institutions were not active in this arena. These libraries are publishing many kinds of works, but the main focus is journals; 88% of publishing libraries reported publishing journals compared to 79% who publish conference papers and proceedings, and 71% who publish monographs. Established journal titles dominate this emerging publishing sector and are the main drivers of service development, although new titles are also being produced.

Although the numbers of titles reported represent a very thin slice of the scholarly publishing pie, the survey respondents work with 265 titles: 131 are established titles, 81 are new titles, and 53 were under development at the time of the survey. On average, these libraries work with 7 or 8 titles with 6 currently available. In the search for transformative approaches to scholarly publishing, research library publishing programs are intentionally exploring the boundaries of what several program managers conceptualize as a service core. The challenge is to provide the basic service suite by reallocating resources, partnering, seeking synergies with related services, and developing modest revenue streams. The aspirations of libraries to replicate traditional publishing services are modest to non-existent. Libraries are focusing on the capabilities and possibilities of new models rather than slavishly duplicating or simply automating traditional models. At the same time, they seek to identify the most promising new kinds of services that are needed to support authors and editors.

Research Library Publishing Services: New Options for University Publishing

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