LAUC-B Spring Assembly
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
I. Call to Order by LAUC-B Chair Susan Koskinen
II. Welcome by University Librarian Tom Leonard
Tom Leonard tells us the story of his trip to the Silicon Valley with Bob Hirst of the Mark Twain Papers. We don’t know what people want to read, and the success, press run, and sales figures of the Mark Twain autobiography will take your breath away. Simon Winchester spoke, beginning by confessing that he once wrote a good travel book about the United States that sold 12 copies in one year. Later, his story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary made the New York Times bestseller list.
“Contingency cannibalism”: A real monograph title, found in the FBI library, though not available in a library in our region. Novelist Barry Eisler took it as a model for how books should be published today – the author and the publisher knew exactly what they were doing; it picks up where all over survivalist stories leave off. There is no accounting for taste in the public we serve and it’s nice to share our surprises with each other.
III. Announcing New, Retiring, and Departing LAUC-B Members
S. Koskinen notes that LAUC-B does not have any new members, but Char Booth and Sarah Ferguson have left us. We wish them well in their current and future endeavors.
There is a LAUC-B roster on the LAUC-B website too: http://lib.berkeley.edu/LAUC/rosters/member.html. Please check to make sure your information is correct.
IV. LAUC-B Elections: Announcement of 2011-2012 Slate of Candidates and Call for
Nominations (J. Gallwey & J. He)
John Gallwey announced the slate of LAUC statewide candidates: President:
Keri S. Botelo (UCLA) Adolfo Tarango (UCSD)
Lily Castillo-Speed (UCB)
Matthew Conner (UCD)
J. Gallwey continued with announcing the candidates for LAUC-B offices:
Chair/Chair-Elect: Susan Edwards
Secretary: Jeffery Loo Dean Rowan
Treasurer: Adnan Malik Susan Xue
Library Representatives (two slots): Dana Jemison
Jim Ronningen John Shepard Kai Stoeckenius
Affiliated Library Representative: Julie Lefevre
J. Gallwey then called for nominations from the floor. None were called.
This year’s ballots and voting process will be electronic. The final day to vote is June 1st. V. LAUC-B Committee Reports
A. CAPA Report by Chair Brian Quigley
Brian Quigley summarized CAPA activities for the spring and thanked CAPA members for their hard work thus far. There are 33 cases eligible for review this year and CAPA is on target to complete the review process on time for this cycle.
CAPA has proposed a change in the Berkeley Procedures’ requirements for membership of the ad hoc committees. (See S. Koskinen’s Executive Committee report, below, for more information.)
B. Executive Committee Report by Chair Susan Koskinen
S. Koskinen thanked Executive Committee members for their service and then summarized the work being done by committees across LAUC-B:
Committee on Research: Congratulations to Ramona Martinez, who received the Townsend Fellowship for this year. Her project will trace the history of legal publishing in California.
Committee on Diversity: The committee held a panel on learning how a library school intern can help you. Debbie Jan is working on a webpage with resources for working with interns.
Committee on Professional Development: The committee is hosting a workshop on project management on May 11th.
2011 Conference Planning Committee: Fiat Flux: Changing Universities, Challenges for Libraries will take place on October 21st at the David Brower Center.
Distinguished Librarian Award Committee held a successful reception for awardees Barclay Ogden and Gary Handman.
Update on the Berkeley Procedures: A new and updated version, dated March 2011, is on the LHRD website: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/LHRD/lib6.html. It reflects the changes proposed by the last year’s task force, except for the issue of distinguished status, which is awaiting a final response from the University Librarians. In addition, CAPA has proposed a change that just one librarian from Library/Affiliated (as appropriate, given the affiliation of the reviewee) be required for each ad hoc committee, rather than requiring two. This would give more flexibility to ad hoc committee make-up, especially given LAUC-B members’ numerous time commitments.
LAUC-B website: The website now has a calendar with events, assemblies, etc.: http://lib.berkeley.edu/LAUC/calendar/. There are many links to reports and a blog as well.
S. Koskinen thanked all those serving on LAUC-B committees.
VI. LAUC Assembly, UCSB, March 9, 2011
S. Koskinen posted a summary of the LAUC statewide assembly on the LAUC-B blog: http://blogs.lib.berkeley.edu/laucb.php/2011/03/17/lauc-spring-assembly-... links.
VII. Guest Speaker: Alison Mudditt, Director of the University of California Press, “The 21st Century University Press”
S. Koskinen welcomes our featured speaker, Alison Mudditt, Director of the UC Press. A. Mudditt has been at the helm of UC Press for three months. She notes that most of UC Press’ challenges are not unique but run throughout the publishing industry and are especially common among university presses.
Where are we now with scholarly publishing? What has changed over the last twenty years? The publishing industry overall has remained relatively stable. But what of the function of scholarly journals – dissemination of research results and registration of ideas and discovery are
important in earlier days of publishing but perhaps can be, or have been, replaced by technology. Yet other functions are harder to replace by technology, such as the peer review system (nothing yet in place independent of the scholarly journal) and journal brand (very important to scholars; academics care about recognition within their peer group). These last functions are more closely tied to the culture of academia and less amenable to change through and because of technology.
Factors in the future of scholarly communication (“pull” factors) include the inherent conservatism of academic system organized about peer review and assessment (once joining this world, new academics adopt behaviors and norms), a lack of successful new business models, and constraints of the primary customer base (i.e., libraries).
What is pushing the system to change? “Push” factors include shrinking budgets, inefficiencies of current model(s), demands for greater access, and technology. Note that there is a significant distinction between freely available and free to produce.
Changing authors and readers and changes in the broader market affect the scholarly market (see Don Tapscott (2009)). A. Mudditt believe that tablet devices as e-readers will be a real game changer. How are these changes impacting users and readers? University presses must pay attention to end users (students and faculty) as well as authors.
What does all of this mean for scholarly publishing and communication? So much is still in flux. There aren’t clear business or product models yet. University presses are now working with competitors who weren’t previously in their market, such as Apple (with its iPad).
This talk will focus on journals: Readers’ focus has moved from issues to articles; the article is the access point, rather than the journal level or even the publisher’s portal. Does the article itself start to deconstruct? Do they evolve into something different? Articles become the center around which related objects, such as data sets, illustrations, etc., orbit, especially in sciences. There is great desire and demand for visualization, multimedia, and interactive functionality as well. Another important factor is the impact of mobile delivery – readers expect that content will come to them. One size no longer fits all – with business, distribution, delivery, and product models, so we must be willing to experiment with new models.
Publishers must think beyond the traditional containers known as journals. They must instead focus on the communities that they serve (e.g., purchasers and readers) and think beyond the constraints of traditional formats and think about how they can add value. They must rethink their roles and think about scholarly communication more broadly, including using web 2.0 (blogs, tweets, member networks) to create content through interaction. Are there new tools (such as tools to facilitate collaboration or aggregation of data) they can add that help discovery and dissemination of knowledge, as publishers? Publishers are traditionally fearful of opening their data to allow people to use it in different ways, as are authors.
Some changes to watch for, in the next 4-5 years especially: Incremental change v. major disruption (Mudditt believes we’re looking at the former, but it has picked up pace), core functions remain but how they are delivered changes dramatically (change in the how more than the what, and value must be added), continuing change driven by technology (new
business & product models, new ways to enhance traditional functions, convergence and integration of products). We will also see changes in how the value of what publishers do is measured.
What challenges does a university press face as it moves into the future? Considerations include a need for a systemic understanding of scholarly communication (scholars must publish for jobs/tenure yet libraries cannot afford their monographs), editorial selectivity versus content abundance (publishers used to think of their role as selectivity but now there are other ways to access peers’ work at various points completion), evolving nature of promotion and tenure requirements (especially in the humanities – it is more work for scholars to create
experimental projects and the same is true for publishers; until tenure committees change to
less conservative models of what work they review), open scholarship or free scholarship (how
do publishers continue to cover their costs as information becomes more open; how can we value openness and still support publishing talent), relationships with parent institution (university presses are struggling to redefine their role; presses are in a catch-22 – if they are too independent, they risk the support of their parent institution; if they are not independent enough, they cannot recover their costs and operations appear unsustainable).
The UC Press is undergoing strategic reevaluation at present. The principles of UC Press include scanning horizons (learning from “weak signals,” note what is happening in the marketplace and amongst users), being prepared to take risks and to make mistakes (experiment and think more broadly about scholarly communication), collaborating is required, understand technology, and reinventing itself as an imperative. There are more budget challenges, including the ever-increasing cost of staff benefits, which makes it more difficult to operate on a cost-recovery basis every year. (The Mark Twain autobiography was helpful this year, but the press can not rely on having a blockbuster every year.) The press is looking for new disciplines they should join – more in social sciences perhaps, exploring what kinds of books they publish – having a mixed portfolio provides more support for scholarly
books. The press would like to explore more collaboration with the UC libraries and find other
ways to engage with its parent institution as well. The press needs to invest to grow revenues and do more of what they do well; they must also strengthen infrastructure and bring in new skills and experience.
At UC Press, there are still organizational structures that hold them back. For example, there is a clear dividing line between books and journals. Indeed, the two groups are not only separate, but occupy different buildings and do not necessarily communicate. The press must think of themselves in different ways and move beyond the print-based model toward what it takes to
be a thriving university press and part of the greater scholarly communications community.
Traditionally, UC Press has focused on the research part of mission statement of UC but they could engage more with its teaching mission. They are still seeking a business model that allows libraries to not be restrictive with their electronic holdings while still allowing the publisher to recoup its costs.
The quality of Print-on-Demand materials is much higher now but the press still needs to control for quality going forward. UC Press’ Amazon.com sales have increased and Amazon requires a print-on-demand option.
Do dissertations in online aggregators dissuade university presses from publishing the dissertation-to-book later? Many libraries must drop journals because of tightening budgets. Publishers are concerned that libraries cannot buy the books and are seeing much higher cancellations of journals for those that allow online aggregation.
About 20-30% of UC Press’ sales are electronic versions, though the percentage is higher for the Mark Twain autobiography. Some readers have purchased both electronic and paper editions. While there are still two volumes of the autobiography yet to come, they might not reach the same level of sales, in print or electronic editions.