Processes, Opportunities, and Challenges Creating and Managing a Scholarly Open Access Journal: An Investigation of “Collaborative Librarianship”

Processes, Opportunities, and Challenges Creating and Managing a Scholarly Open Access Journal: An Investigation of “Collaborative Librarianship”

Ivan Gaetz (Colorado College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0326-2.ch010


A discussion and detailed understanding of the opportunities and challenges creating and managing a scholarly online open access journal lead to practical guidance for librarians who wish to become involved in this mode of scholarly communication. Academic libraries increasingly take the initiative, or are expected to take a leadership role, in advancing scholarly communication and promoting open access. As librarians understand opportunities available to the academy through scholarly open access journals, the library can position itself better to meet these growing expectations in higher education. The introduction profiles the growing emphasis in academic libraries on scholarly communication and open access then discusses the development of Collaborative Librarianship as an example. Matters related to building a team for a scholarly online journal, technical aspects of online journal publishing, and planning and managing content are also addressed. The conclusion identifies opportunities and challenges, and makes general recommendations.
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Background And Literature Review

Libraries and Scholarly Communication

As early as 1986, Joan M. Bechtel identified the need for academic librarians to become more engaged in the academic mission and scholarly life of their institution, to promote the library as “centers of conversation” in the academy, and to become “more integrated into the central concerns of the college or university” (Bechtel, 1986, p. 219). In 2011, R. David Lankes asserted, “… librarians must facilitate the entire research process. In doing so, they not only provide better service, they become part of the scholarly conversation (I include teaching courses in this) and can build better knowledge discovery and memory systems” (Lankes, 2011, p. 104). Karla Hahn, Director of the Office of Scholarly Communication at the Association of Research Libraries, states,

Libraries are organizations dedicated to enhancing the enterprise of research and scholarship and are increasingly working to promote broader engagement within research communities…. As the library community’s conversations about scholarly communication enter a new stage of sophistication, it is now necessary to generate a much deeper level of dialogue with scholars and researchers about scholarly communication issues. (Hahn, 2008, p. 5)

There are many options for libraries to support scholarly communication, and even in an online environment there are several approaches, such as through institutional repositories, creating communities of web-based scholars, monograph publishing, developing online reference materials (such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), and utilizing RAPID document delivery, a technology based at the Colorado State University that provides electronic delivery of scanned journal articles to requestors email addresses (The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, n.d.). The “deeper level dialog” called for by Hahn could also address opportunities and challenges in creating and managing a scholarly online journal (Hahn, 2008).

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