Johns Hopkins University The Sheridan Libraries

Johns Hopkins Electronic Publishing Project

Faculty and students at Johns Hopkins University are producing increasing amounts of content in digital format. This proliferation of digital knowledge raises important questions and results in new needs related to preservation, access, and dissemination. With the launch of JScholarship, the Johns Hopkins institutional repository, the Library is providing an essential component of digital infrastructure that is being used to preserve and provide access to the University's digital knowledge. While JScholarship offers an evolving set of services for direct access, there may be a need for additional forms of publishing services, especially those that support new forms of publications or the entire process of publication that culminates in the final forms preserved within JScholarship. For these reasons, the Sheridan Libraries have launched pilot efforts related to open-source electronic publishing services.

These electronic publishing services can model the publishing process such as the production and publication of an academic journal, from initial author submission, through the peer review process, through copy editing, to publication on the Web and-through JScholarship-preservation.

Given the Sheridan Libraries expertise with digital infrastructure and service development, the Library is a natural partner for faculty and students who wish to explore open access publishing options with open source electronic publishing platforms. Open source electronic publishing platforms provide researchers with another option that is supported by the Library Digital Programs using flexible, usable, and feature rich open-source platforms.

Pilot efforts using open source electronic publishing platform will support several valuable goals, including:

  • Learning more deeply about the needs of our scholarly community and their interests in publishing
  • Supporting Johns Hopkins knowledge creation and open access to research
  • Allowing the Libraries to gain direct experience with open access electronic publishing, which might lead to services offered through the Entrepreneurial Library Program
  • Positioning the Libraries to better support faculty and student needs through related programs or services
Open source publishing landscape review

Last year Mark Cyzyk and Sayeed Choudhury of the Library Digital Programs completed a study and analysis of open source electronic publishing platforms. The study was undertaken in response to a request from the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network, which wished to formally examine open-source publishing platforms. This external funding enabled the Sheridan Libraries to explore its potential role for supporting faculty and student needs with new forms of publishing. The increase in open source options and mature development in this technological arena has created an opportunity for individuals to explore different paths of publication

Based on this extensive review, the most promising systems identified were created by Canada's Public Knowledge Project (PKP), a partnership of the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Stanford University. PKP includes the following three systems, each corresponding to their respective roles in publishing three formats of scholarly material -- serials, conference proceedings, and monographs:

  • Open Journal Systems
  • Open Conference Systems
  • Open Monograph Press (in development)
Institutions throughout the world have adopted and are using Open Journal Systems to fulfill their open access publishing needs. Of particular note is the Synergies project being undertaken in Canada that will create a national publishing platform for research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, allowing for open access to Canada's scholarly output within these broad disciplinary boundaries. ( This broad, diverse community of adopters represents an extensive network of partners with whom we can collaborate to better address our faculty and student needs.

Sheridan Libraries Pilot

The Sheridan Libraries have set up Open Journal Systems and Open Conference Systems for pilot efforts. We invite interested faculty and students who wish to explore the possibilities for publishing services using these systems. Through these pilot efforts, the Sheridan Libraries will gain a greater understanding of faculty and student publishing requirements, the appropriate policy framework for supporting such efforts, and a deeper understanding of the potential benefits offered through these publishing platforms. Through connections with JScholarship, the Sheridan Libraries will develop a robust, flexible infrastructure to support long-term preservation, access, and dissemination of faculty and student research.