Working with Library Juice Press: An Orientation (Free Webinar)

Working with Library Juice Press: An Orientation

Presenter: Alison M. Lewis, Chief Acquisitions Editor for Library Juice Press

This free webinar will provide an overview of the processes involved in having a book published with Library Juice Press. Topics covered will include types of books we publish, submitting a proposal, working with your editor, creating a quality manuscript, and an overview and timeline of the publishing process. The intended audience is anyone curious about our publishing process, particularly those who are potentially interested in submitting a book proposal to us. Authors and editors who currently have a book contract with us may also wish to attend. The presentation will last approximately 45 minutes, with 10-15 minutes for questions afterwards.

February 1st, 12 noon EST. One hour duration.

No prior registration is necessary. Just go here at the meeting time:
https://libraryjuice.adobeconnect.com/working-with-ljp/

Rory Litwin
Library Juice Press
http://libraryjuicepress.com/

CFP: Library Publishing Forum 2017

This is not archives-specific, but has potential to be relevant to or have participants from archives.

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Library Publishing Forum 2017
Evolution, intersection, and exploration in library publishing

The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) is accepting proposals for the 2017 Library Publishing Forum, to be held March 20 – 22, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. An international, community-led organization with over 60 member libraries, the LPC promotes the development of innovative, sustainable publishing services in academic and research libraries to support content creators as they generate, advance, and disseminate knowledge.

Library publishing programs often venture into new territory: experimenting with integrating digital media into scholarly works, reaching out to new partners and audiences, turning pilot projects into fully-operational initiatives, encountering unforeseen challenges, and boldly going where few libraries have gone before.  At the 2017 Library Publishing Forum, we invite library publishers and partners to share their experiences and ideas, identify opportunities for collaboration, strengthen a community of practice, and explore strategies for navigating this expanding and evolving subfield of academic publishing.

We welcome proposals from Library Publishing Coalition members and nonmembers, including librarians, university press staff, publishing service providers (vendors), scholars, students, and other scholarly communications and publishing professionals. We especially encourage first-time presenters and representatives of small and emerging publishing programs to submit proposals. We invite proposals for long form (40-60 minutes) and short form (10-15 minutes) sessions, in the following formats. Proposals for long form sessions must involve multiple speakers or actively engage participants in discussion or other activities.

Speakers: individual or panel presentations, debates, panel discussions, lightning talks, case studies, manifestos, critiques. Collaborative Conversations:  birds-of-a-feather, roundtables, unconference-style sessions, sharing ideas and approaches, collaborative problem-solving.  Applied Practice:  workshops, hackathons, remixing, doing, creating, hands-on activities.

Other formats and approaches are very welcome, especially sessions that incorporate interactivity and audience participation.

We invite presentations that address any library publishing topic. Topics that we find interesting and timely include:

* Intersections & Connections – building teams, partnerships, making connections within & beyond institutions
* Merging & “Mainstreaming” – integrating publishing into the core (and expected) services of an academic library, evolving from experimental to established
* Inclusion & Expansion – advancing a plurality of voices and perspectives by design in library publishing
* Flops & Failures – overcoming challenges, moving on from failures, learning quickly from what hasn’t worked in order to establish what does
* Teaching & Reaching – how can library publishing enhance learning for students and professionals both in and beyond librarianship?
* Predicting & Preserving – how are library publishers grappling with usage data/predictive analytics and the preservation of digital scholarship outputs?
* Unconventional & Unexpected – challenging conventional wisdom, exploring off-the-wall approaches, drawing inspiration from unusual sources.

For more details about how to submit a proposal, please see the event
website: http://librarypublishing.org/events/lpforum17/cfp

Proposals are due December 13, 2016.

On behalf of the Program Committee,

Rebecca Welzenbach

Going to SAA? Opportunities to Talk about Publishing

Every year, there are opportunities to talk to SAA staff and editors about publishing. Speaking from experience, taking the initiative to speak to them can bring opportunities. At the very least, you’ll make a new connection and learn more about publishing with SAA. As I wrote a year ago, it was the SAA Write Away! breakfast that started my involvement with SAA publishing. That was five years ago and I’m still involved. And if you recognize names of authors, editors, or anyone else associated with publishing, I encourage you to introduce yourself and start a conversation.

As a former editor, I truly enjoy talking to anyone about publishing. I see everyone as a potential author and I want to motivate people to write and help them reach their potential. If you see me at SAA, I will gladly talk to you about writing a journal article, a book, or anything else about publishing. And if we don’t have time to chat at SAA, please follow up and we can schedule a time to talk. Truly, this goes for anytime, non just at or around SAA.

So go forth and converse about publishing and writing!

SAA Bookstore Hours:
8:30-5pm, Wednesday;
7:30-5:30 Thursday
7:00-5:00 Friday
8:00-10:00 Saturday

Thursday, August 4
One Book, One Profession Discussion: 12:15-1:30 Brown Bag
American Archivist Article Discussion: 12:15-1:30 Brown Bag
Toast to SAA Authors: 3:15-3:45

Friday, August 5
Write Away! Breakfast: 8:00-9:00
Office Hours, American Archivist, Publications Board, Dictionary Working Group: 12:30-1:30

 

Help SAA Shape Future Publications

The SAA Publications Board needs you! Take this 10-minute survey about your book reading preferences and help shape the future of book publishing at SAA. Submit your responses today (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/saabooks), and enter your name in the drawing to win a new iPad with complimentary digital access to three SAA books.

As a former member of the Publications Board, I know your voice is important. Publishing is changing and evolving, and knowing how both members and non-members would like to access is important to the development of SAA publishing. Please share your opinion!

Forced Writing: On the Tenure-track

Most of us became archivists because we love history, organizing, libraries, and “old stuff.” Though we had to write during library school, many of us did not plan on writing more than finding aids. However, many academic librarians and archivists are expected to publish as one aspect of receiving tenure. It is stressful when your job is contingent on fulfilling this obligation.

If writing isn’t a passion, forced publishing is definitely a challenge. At my institution, obtaining tenure has requirements related to librarianship, publishing/creative works, and service. When I started, I was one year out of finishing my PhD. Obtaining that degree made me much better prepared for the publishing requirement and for that I am grateful. Library schools may emphasize writing, but it’s more of a requirement for that degree than to pursue publishing.

It is stressful for many tenure-track archivists to publish. As noted previously, I’ve had many discussions with people who wonder if they have anything to say (see here and here). There is a time requirement to go up for tenure, therefore a time requirement to publish articles or book chapters. On the one hand, it forces you to be proactive in deciding what to write about, as Eira Tansey wrote. On the other hand, it can be an incredible amount of pressure.

I’m not well-versed in tenure requirements across all academic institutions, but I will generalize that many require publishing peer-review articles. Having one or more articles evaluated by professional peers is much more rigorous, therefore has more weight, than publishing newsletter articles, blog posts, or other informal writings. Writing a book has merit as well, but as we have fewer book publishing options than other academic disciplines, that is harder to accomplish (plus it takes a lot longer).

Having gone through the tenure process and as a supervisor to library faculty, here’s what I can offer:

  • Pick a journal first. Find one that aligns with your interests and passions. Read a few of the recent articles, browse past issues to see topics, etc. Contact the editor to ask if your idea would be of interest. And read the information for authors. While we all may aspire to write for The American Archivist, it’s highly competitive and you might be better off starting with another journal.
  • Don’t want to write about archives practices? Depending on your institution’s requirements, consider publishing in non-archives journals. Try library or other academic disciplinary journals. Do archival research on a topic of interest. (Blatant self-promotion, I used the archival research I did for my dissertation to publish in Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History)
  • Start with an idea. You don’t have to have an exact argument to start writing. Once you research and write out your thoughts, it will evolve and become focused. Interested in digital forensics? privacy and confidentiality? outreach? Have you read an article or book that you strongly disagree with or you think could be improved or reacted to? Read a few books and articles to see what’s been said, what you agree/disagree with, then write.
  • Find colleagues with similar interests to see about co-authorship.
  • Start with a library school paper or presentation and expand it.
  • Write about something that interests you. It’s hard to be disciplined about writing when you have little or no interest in the subject.
  • Write about a project you completed, an initiative you started, or your experience with any aspect of archives. While theory is important, many archivists are interested in others’ practices that they can implement or adapt.
  • Write, write, write.
  • Start earlier rather than later. It can take 1-2 years to publish an article, taking into account the writing, peer-review, editing, and final publication. There’s no guarantee of acceptance, and you may have to submit, resubmit, or rewrite more than one article or for more than one journal. (Yes, an article I wrote with colleagues was rejected)
  • Create goals, timelines, outlines, number of pages to write a day/week, place to write, music to listen to, number of diet cokes to drink, and so forth. When you accomplish your set goals (say, weekly), reward yourself.
  • Make writing a priority and be disciplined. Carve out time daily/weekly (whatever works for you) to keep momentum and progress.
  • Write, write, write.
  • Take it a little at a time. Thinking about the entire article can be overwhelming, so focus on a section. Before you know it, you’ll have the whole article written.
  • Find support, whether at your institution, other colleagues, a writing group, or friends. Talking to people about your ideas or having others read your writing can go a long way to stay motivated.
  • Write, write, write.
  • Allow yourself to gripe and complain. Then let it go and keep writing.
  • Don’t try to make an article perfect. Be coherent, concise, grammatically correct (or at least mostly), and cite your sources. But remember that editors and reviewers will always have feedback, suggestions, and grammatical corrections.
  • Write one article at a time.
  • Don’t be overambitious. For example, if you are interested in doing a survey but don’t have experience in qualitative/quantitative analysis, it could be difficult to take on such a project.
  • Write, write, write.

 

 

Guest Post: Developing a Research Agenda

thank you Eira Tansey for your contribution!

When I was on the academic archivist job market a few years ago, I interviewed at one institution where I was warned during lunch to have a very narrowly focused answer to the dean’s inevitable question about my research agenda. I was strongly advised to make it clear that I had a tightly-defined research agenda, that my research interests weren’t all over the place, and that I was aiming for high-profile titles in which to publish my work. The only problem was that at the time I was searching for my first professional position, and as a paraprofessional I had only just started dipping my toe into publishing — all I had in print with a chapter in Kate Theimer’s book on description. Furthermore, my graduate program did not heavily emphasize or acculturate students into pursuing publishing opportunities. I don’t recall how I answered the question during my meeting with the dean (however I do remember his bone-crushing handshake!), but the broader question of “What is my research agenda?” is a question where my answers are rapidly evolving.

I lucked out and ended up at an institution that is a far better fit than the previously-mentioned one for a multitude of reasons. At my institution, librarians have faculty status and we have multiple paths to tenure (see our criteria: http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/libraryfaculty/docs/criteria2005.pdf). Some library faculty choose to build their tenure case (and preceding reappointment and promotion applications) around publications, others choose different routes. Since I started two years ago, I have prioritized building up my record around “publishing or creative works.” Unlike some institutions that clearly articulate how many articles are required for a successful tenure bid, or specifications on journal rankings, our criteria is very open-ended. There are pros and cons to this. On the one hand, it allows generous flexibility in choosing experimental publishing outlets (new interdisciplinary open-access title with funky journal design layouts? sure, why not!). On the other hand, because we don’t have clear guidelines, there are fewer objective benchmarks to be evaluated against.

I should pause here to describe what I mean when I say a “research agenda.” I don’t believe you have to have faculty status, professional status, or even a full-time job working in archives to have a research agenda. You don’t have to know statistical methods or have grant funding (although obviously the more you have of both, the more you can do!). But you do have to have an idea worth exploring, more than some superficial things to say about it, and the ability to eventually sit down, tune out distractions, and write. As far as I can discern, a “research agenda” is a broad scope of work in various stages across one’s career that has interconnecting intellectual tissue underneath what might look like many unrelated interests. When I think of well-known archivists and imagine their research agendas, I think of how certain archivists are associated with certain areas of archival theory and practice (e.g., Rand Jimerson on archives and social justice, Terry Cook and Helen Samuels with appraisal, Mark Greene with processing and collection development, etc).

When I first started getting serious about committing to professional writing, I chafed against the idea of a research agenda. It seemed so restrictive, and I have so many boundless interests, why not move from topic to topic, even if they’re completely unrelated? But as I’ve accrued some publications on my CV, I’m beginning to see the wisdom of targeting my focus towards a certain direction for the foreseeable future. To contribute something worth publishing, one should be familiar with the literature written on that subject. Depending on the topic, this could mean a lot of writing — and then you have to figure out where your contribution fits into that landscape. It is a lot of work to review literature on an existing subject (https://archivespublishing.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/how-do-i-learn-everything/), and I’m beginning to see one of the greatest arguments for having a focused research agenda: you don’t have to reacquaint yourself with a whole new body of knowledge every time you begin a new project.

I should note here that I think this process of writing about a bunch of different topics, and then finding one’s calling towards a specific area is fairly common. Certainly, it echoes the many college students who have undeclared majors for a long time, or how many young professionals switch career fields. For fun, I looked at the CVs of some well-known archivists, and you can certainly see how over time, their output begins to coalesce around a few main topics (for example, Mark Greene http://www.uwyo.edu/ahc/_files/vitas/m-greene-vita.pdf).

Right now I’m feeling the call to explore the intersection of archives, the environment, and climate change. I feel compelled to build a research agenda around this in a way I haven’t felt about other topics. This is occurring while my other “scattered focus” writing projects are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a whole range of issues I still care about (privacy! erasure and marginalization of archival labor! everything ever to do with appraisal! public records laws!), and every day I think things like “What we really need is a comparative study of unionization among archivists! WHY ISN’T ANYONE WRITING ABOUT THIS? I WANT TO READ ABOUT IT! Should I work on this?!?!?!” so I’m at a juncture where I feel a little twinge of sadness at the idea of not trying to write about everything unexplored. It doesn’t help that I have a “future ideas to pursue” list of dozens of half-baked ideas I add to on a semi-regular basis. Mostly I just try to be vocal about the topics I think are unexplored within archives-land and trust that someone, at some point, will feel inspired to write all the articles I know I could never manage on my own, but that I so desperately want to read.

How have you decided what to write about? Do you “write what you want to read”? Do you enter the conversation like a game of double dutch (credit for this to Jarrett Drake: https://snaproundtable.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/on-the-job-training-publishing/)? Has your research focus shifted as you grow as a writer?

Finalizing a Journal Issue

Putting together a journal issue requires a lot of steps and details. As I finish my last issue of Provenance, I thought people might be interested in steps required to finalize an issue.

The editor facilitates the peer-review process, assigning submissions to reviewers. Once those reviews are complete, the editor takes that feedback to register a decision. For Provenance, it is accept with minor revisions, accept with major revisions, and declined. Submitters receive that notification along with the reviewers’ feedback. Generally, this happens throughout spring and summer, with the most submissions received around the end of July due date. Once it is known which articles are selected for publication, then the bulk of an editor’s job begins.

All articles need some editing. There is always a mix of minor, some, and major editing needed. There’s generally 1-2 articles that only need a few minor edits, mostly technical with an occasional clarification. Next are articles that require a thorough editing, primarily technical with perhaps a few questions/clarifications. Last, there are articles that go through several drafts before being publication ready. These authors have solid and strong ideas, but need to rewrite/rework paragraphs or sections, reorganize, the article, incorporate additional research (generally only one or two articles or books to support their statements), or heavier copyediting. The latter, of course, is often hard and stressful for the author, but my ultimate goal is to bring out the best in their writing.

This back and forth with authors for edit can go on for several weeks. What I do as editor is check grammar, punctuation, footnotes for proper citations and formatting, credit/citation for photographs, charts in black and white (only our cover is in color), proper use of quotes, section headings, clear articulation of arguments and evidence, and so forth. I want to retain the authors’ voices and do my best not to rewrite, though I will sometimes offer suggestions. For example: if there is a confusing section I will note that and ask for clarification; I’ll ask for citations if they were not included; or ask for reduction/expansion of thoughts or arguments.

Generally, I make a first pass for all these possibilities and return to the author with tracked changes and comments. The author will then return it with further edits and respond to comments. I try to communicate that most are just suggestions. I have had authors clarify why they don’t want to make a suggested change and I honor those requests. Then, I ask the authors to sign publishing agreements and provide short biographies. I also make sure I have addresses for non-SGA member authors.

After the content is more or less final, then I will start formatting to adhere to Provenance standards, meaning The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition. Across all articles, I make formatting changes for consistency such as title/author headings, section headings, use of numbers, citation format, font size, paragraph spacing, etc. This goes for the articles, reviews, and any other content (like editor’s notes). It’s very gratifying to see all of that come together.

When this is complete, I decide on the table of contents. It’s subjective, but my goal is to make the reading flow well. As Provenance publishes any topic related to archives, it’s seldom that two articles are on the same topic (at least in my tenure). Sometimes it’s easy, but with the current issue which will have 7 articles, it was hard to decide.

I also do both the front and back matter. The front matter includes picking a cover photo, updating the editorial board list, and the table of contents. The cover image is sometimes easy and sometimes hard. If an article includes photos, I try to use one of those. Last year there were no photos, so I worked with an author to create an image. The 2011 issue included original artwork. As a teaser, what will be on the upcoming issue is my favorite yet. It was provided by a professional photographer who graciously allowed us to use it at no charge. Regardless of where the image comes from, it directly ties into one of the articles. The back matter is the easiest: updating the SGA board list and information for contributors.

Editors of some journals write an editor’s note for each issue. I’ve written a few, but not for every issue. I did choose to write one this year, as it is my last issue. I previously wrote ones for the special issues completed. That is entirely up to the editor.

At last, finalizing the issue is getting closer. Once I have all of this complete, I send it to the managing editor for markup. She will fix any technical issues I may have missed, format it in Publisher, and assign page numbers. After that is complete, individual PDFs are sent to the authors for one final review. At this stage, only minor corrections are completed. I review the entire issue one more time and also give any corrections.

Once all the authors approve their articles, the managing editor will fix anything necessary then work with the printer. She coordinates the printing and mailing. She works with SGA to compile a mailing list that includes members and non-member authors. We decide on a number to print, as two copies go to the SGA archives and we want to have a few extra for individual purchase or replacement. We go into the printers’ queue, so we never quite know how long it will take. But generally 4-6 weeks later, it arrives in the mail. It’s always a happy day when I see the result of the work of so many people.