One of the things that we hope to test in the “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” online publishing pilot is how to make publications as interconnected as possible. Scientific, technical, and medical publishers are way ahead of humanities and social science publishers in this area, and journal publishing is ahead of book publishing. There exist vast aggregations of scientific publications that have useful hyperlinks imbedded in their references. We envision a day when publications of interest to historians and others who work on the long civil rights movement also will be accessible online and deeply linked.
A linked bibliography entry can be quite impressive! If you are a premium user of our publishing pilot, check out the “Articles” section of the bibliography in Bob Korstad’s Civil Rights Unionism. Following some of the entries, a DOI link appears. Click it, and it will take you to the online article, whether it is available in JSTOR, or hosted by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, or wherever. If you work at an institution of higher education, your computer will likely know whether you have access to the full text via your library and will simply show it (otherwise it will show the publication’s landing page, with bibliographical information). Click the back button to return to Korstad’s bibliography.
A “DOI” is a digital object identifier. Continue reading ‘Bringing Bibliographies Alive’
Part of the LCRM Project’s online publishing experiment is to mix genres and see how people like that. So far, the LCRM online publishing pilot contains 34 UNC Press books, 8 not-yet-published conference papers, 1 community-organizing manual, and 1 report. We will add to this content soon by including some published journal articles and more working papers. Would our users like to see more working papers? Is it useful to search published articles together with the books and papers, or is it not worth the trouble to include the published journal articles, if they are available online elsewhere? Do historians and other scholars working on the long civil rights movement like to share and read working papers pre-publication, the way scientists do? We had some indications in our Faculty Survey that the answers would be Yes, but we are keen to revisit these questions in practice.
The “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” online publishing pilot was launched a week ago today. It was what we might call a “soft” launch—no press release or grand announcement, just a Tweet and a blog post and some initial invitations to our project partners. I wanted to test the site a bit, to make sure that deployment on the production server went smoothly. I needn’t have worried; the site is solidly built and functioning well. Soon we’ll do more publicity. If you are reading this, consider yourself one of the “first to know”!
You can search all the books and papers and read chapter 4 of the newly published book To Right These Wrongs by Bob Korstad and Jim Leloudis without registering. If you register, you can comment on the chapter.
Premium users whom we invite to participate during the eight-month test period have free access to the full text of the 40-plus books and papers in the site and can comment on all of them at the paragraph level. If you are a professor, librarian, or graduate student and would like premium access, please contact us via the site. (“Contact Us” is in the footer on each page.)
We’re live! You can check out the LCRM online publishing pilot at https://lcrm.lib.unc.edu/voice/works
Testing, testing . . . so far, so good.
The LCRM project team is working hard to meet our launch date of April 15, 2010 for the LCRM online publishing pilot. Currently, the site is on a development server. The design is being implemented, and the content is being compared to the originals to make sure that no text or other elements were dropped during conversion to XML and then HTML. So far, this proofing has turned up only one piece of missing text but lots of small formatting errors, which are being corrected. Of the 34 books that are scheduled to be in the site at launch, 32 have been ingested.
Because of the detailed preparation of the data by the project’s Digital Production Specialist, ingest of a book takes about a minute in the administrative area of the site devised by the project’s Programmer.
On launch day, all of the content will be re-ingested on a Library production server. Then each publication’s home page, and some designated content, will be available to the public. The books and papers will all be searchable together, and registered users will be able to comment at the paragraph level. A group of premium users will have free access to all of the content; this group will be made up of project partners, authors, LCRM Conference panelists, scholars and librarians who took our surveys, scholarly publishers, and others who can offer useful feedback. We look forward to their feedback during the eight-month test period.
Three days to go!
This brief conversation between Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media and Michael Gough of Adobe brilliantly encapsulates the publisher’s situation today, both the daunting challenges and the endless possibilities.
Of special significance to our LCRM project’s soon-to-be-launched online publishing pilot is this statement by O’Reilly: “The book is a user interface to a body of information.” By trusting end-users of our LCRM collection to link at the paragraph level to books, articles, papers, and archival materials, we will experiment with books as dynamic, evolving portals to deeper resources.
Some of the other important points: the enduring need in the marketplace—even as the definition of “quality” changes and evolves–for curation, selection, and trust brands; the importance of letting go of control and trusting people; the need for iterative experimentation; the recognition that books have always presented myriad navigational tools waiting for a more ideal format.
Following the Long Civil Rights Movement Conference in April, the “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” project team had the opportunity to discuss digital publishing with the conference panelists in a workshop. Several members of the staff of the UNC Special Collections Library were also in the audience. We deeply appreciate the participation of all those who attended—especially considering that a beautiful spring day and ongoing conversations about the conference panels beckoned! Following are highlights of the workshop discussion. I welcome comments, questions, and continued conversation. This will be the first of a number of posts about the “publishing” part of the “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” project.
The workshop began with a number of “what ifs” suggested by LCRM team member Mark Simpson-Vos, who is an acquisitions editor at the University of North Carolina Press and a project team member, relating to “publishing as community”: What if works of scholarship were published online with a commenting feature allowing authors and others to link to primary sources and enrich the work on an ongoing basis? Continue reading ‘Digital Publishing Workshop’