Scholarly publishing has changed more in the past 30 years than in the past three centuries, transformed by rapid digital developments and constantly evolving technologies, such as open source publishing software. These technologies enable authors to extend the visibility and reach of their scholarship, accelerating the speed at which it can connect with a global audience.
Across the world academic libraries have responded to these developments by reconceptualising traditional roles as curators and preservers of information, building capabilities and expertise to lead and deliver services and technologies that facilitate new forms of scholarly publishing.
Deakin University researchers publishing in niche and emerging research areas, or areas that are not well served by traditional forms of publishing, place a high value on e-publishing services. An ongoing challenge for the Library lies in determining which services we provide, and which skills and partnerships we build, will contribute most to Deakin’s research aspirations and competitive edge.
This paper provides a case study of Deakin University Library’s recent experience in developing its role as an e-publisher, and in support of University e-publishing. We will share our learning from a range of initiatives including the establishment of openjournals@Deakin, an open access journal hosting service utilising the OJS platform; creation of a Library publication entitled discourse: Deakin University Library research and practice; and implementation of OMEKA software to showcase media-rich University research. These initiatives are complemented by a suite of value-add services designed to assist University authors and publishers to produce quality research output that is openly accessible and easily discoverable.
In order to further develop our publishing activities to create a targeted and sustainable service, in late 2015 we surveyed Deakin staff and Higher Degree Research students on their current and future e-publishing needs. The survey collected information about types of publications produced; publishing platforms, technologies and services used now, and those that are anticipated as being of value into the future. The survey results are currently being analysed and will inform service development in 2016 and beyond.
As scholarly publishing continues to evolve and new technologies and software emerge the library will continue to systematically review researchers’ needs, to build on existing e-publishing capabilities and expertise to assist Deakin researchers to pursue the scholarship of the future.