Any of you who subscribe to our fortnightly UKSG eNews bulletins cannot help but be struck by just how much change is going on in the world of professional and scholarly publishing. We have been out meeting some of you in the forefront of these transformations. We were fascinated to meet the Kudos team who recently won the ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing. This got us thinking about the role of teams in product development and so we asked the Journals Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP) team to tell us about a day in their lives. New roles are emerging in libraries and publishing houses and we were intrigued to learn about a typical day in the life of Dan Wiseman who is the student co-ordinator for the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology). In contrast, a long-established role is that of Librarian of the Bodleian at the University of Oxford and we were fortunate to interview the 25th incumbent, Richard Ovenden. The University appointed Bodley’s first Librarian in 1600 but there is nothing backward about Richard’s plans, where digital is an increasing part of what he and his team do in every area of library activity.
Everyone we spoke to who attended UKSG’s One-Day Conference in November 2015 agreed it was a stimulating day. For those unable to attend, we have four articles which together provide summaries of three presentations and a panel session. The role of institution as publisher is a hot topic, and Frank Rennie explains how the University of the Highlands and Islands is creating e-textbooks to meet the needs of its students. The University of Liverpool, in conjunction with Liverpool University Press, recently held a writing sprint focused around modern languages and Claire Taylor tells us about the advantages and challenges of undertaking such an activity. Geoffrey Crossick describes the project that he led for HEFCE, which looked at a range of issues including what is required to move monographs into a digital and open access environment. We have also provided our own summary of the panel session of students chaired by Jeremy Upton, Director of Library & University Collections at the University of Edinburgh. The debate was something of a revelation in surfacing the frustrations of the students when they try to access print and e-books for their studies. Our quote of the day prize goes to student Saleh Ahmed who described digital rights management as ‘pretty much like a chastity belt’.
A number of the articles in this issue illustrate just how the requirements of the modern world are transforming the role of librarian. Chris Banks from Imperial College London discusses some of the strategic challenges libraries face in providing services to support academic compliance with funder policies. In her article, she explains why her University is considering a licence that would enable single-step compliance with multiple funder and publisher policies whilst preserving academics’ freedom to publish. On a similar theme, Valerie McCutcheon and Mick Eadie explain how the University of Glasgow has enhanced its open access processes and systems. Recent discussions, such as those at the UK Open Research Data Forum, indicate a need to develop journal policies for data. Linda Naughton and David Kernohan discuss a Jisc project to define a modern research infrastructure to support a more open scholarly communications environment.
Inga-Lill Nilsson from Karlstad University Library considers the role of academic librarians in handling copyright-related issues, which are becoming more important in publishing and in accessing and reusing scientific research. Tony Horava from the University of Ottawa describes the collaboration between his Library and the University of Ottawa Press, which has resulted in the publication of ten open access monographs which have sold 4,700 copies in spite of the free availability of the PDF version.
Librarians at the University of Prince Edward Island evaluated the weaknesses in their traditional monograph purchasing methods and Melissa Belvadi describes how the implementation of a demand-driven acquisition model is addressing the issues.
David Parker and Jenna Makowski tell us that at Alexander Street, open access was never an ‘if’ question, but rather a ‘when’ question. They explain the innovative business models they are developing to make primary source ethnographic research open to all. Ian Potter from Thomson Reuters discusses how a range of different measures should be used in evaluating academic journals.
Finally, we are introducing the two newest members of our editorial board, Caren Milloy from Jisc and Jo Allen from the Institute of Physics. Little do they know what a world of work the editors have in store for them, but, judging by this issue, they will benefit by being the first to hear about some of the people, policies and technologies that are changing our landscape.
Lorraine and Steve