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The Academic Medical Library as Online Publisher
University of Massachusetts and New England Area Librarian e-Science Symposium
  • Mary E. Piorun, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Lisa A. Palmer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Raquel Abad, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Sally A. Gore, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Donna Kafel, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Elaine Russo Martin, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Objectives: To describe the use of an institutional repository system to facilitate the publishing activities of an academic medical library.

Methods: The Library launched its institutional repository in 2006 and developed a mature collection of peer-reviewed articles, posters, and conference proceedings. Beginning in 2009, the Library sought to expand the use of the repository and partnered with two academic departments, Neurology and Psychiatry, to publish electronic journals. In spring 2011 the Library began to explore the idea of publishing its own peer-reviewed, open access electronic journal. Planning and implementation considerations included: choosing a unique and appropriate name; infrastructure and hosting options; organizational and governance structure; roles and responsibilities; journal structure and content; aims and scope; editorial, peer review and other policies and procedures; and dissemination. Simultaneously the Library undertook the publishing of its first electronic book, where issues of presentation, page turning, photo placement, and indexing became significant.

Results: The inaugural issue of the Journal of eScience Librarianship was published on February 15, 2012 via the journal management platform of the Library’s institutional repository, eScholarship@UMMS. JESLIB has been assigned ISSN 2161-3974. The medical school joined CrossRef so that article metadata could be deposited into their system and each article assigned a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). Additional issues have been published, readership statistics and patterns are positive, and JESLIB is now indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. In fall 2012, the Library published its first eBook, “A History of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which was authored by the medical school’s head of the Office of Medical History and Archives.

Conclusions: Academic medical libraries can successfully publish as well as host online journals and books. Utilizing the institutional repository for publishing purposes offers a number of advantages. The repository provides a tested infrastructure for ingesting and sharing of documents. The repository administrator possesses strong in-house expertise, experience with embargoes, metadata, preservation and dissemination, and most importantly, has built strong relationships and trust with faculty and researchers. The open access platform leads to wider dissemination and maximum impact, backed up by reliable usage statistics. Helpful planning guides and other resources are available to assist libraries and academic groups in publishing open access peer-reviewed materials. Lessons learned include: utilize professional copy editing services; locking papers for revisions speeds up workflows.

  • Library publishing,
  • institutional repositories,
  • open access,
  • e-journals,
  • e-books,
  • conference proceedings

This poster was awarded "Most Informative in Communicating e-Science Librarianship" at the 2013 e-Science Symposium.

Also presented at the 2013 Medical Library Association Annual Meeting, Boston, Mass., May 7, 2013.

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Citation Information
Mary E. Piorun, Lisa A. Palmer, Raquel Abad, Sally A. Gore, et al.. "The Academic Medical Library as Online Publisher" (2013)
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