Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version


Document Type



Laurie N. Taylor, Brian W. Keith, Chelsea Dinsmore, & Meredith Morris-Babb, SPEC Kit 357: Libraries, Presses, and Publishing. Association of Research Libraries, 2017.

Association of Research Libraries 21 Dupont Circle, NW Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036-1118;

ISBN 1-59407-983-8 / 978-1-59407-983-2 print
ISBN 1-59407-984-6/ 978-1-59407-984-9 online

SPEC Series Editor: Lee Anne George


This compilation is copyrighted by the Association of Research Libraries. ARL grants blanket permission to reproduce and distribute copies of this work for nonprofit, educational, or library purposes, provided that copies are distributed at or below cost and that ARL, the source, and copyright notice are included on each copy


Many Association of Research Libraries (ARL) members have robust and long-standing publishing activities, often in collaboration with or running parallel to the press of the larger institutional entity. As reported in the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) 2015–2016 annual report, 30 AAUP member presses are in libraries. Eighty-one institutions are both ARL and AAUP members, and at 21 of those institutions, the press reports to the library. Other libraries—including Amherst College Press and the University of Cincinnati Press—launched new presses within libraries. Most of the 123 ARL member libraries are engaged in publishing or publishing support activities such as hosting digital publications, administering open access publishing systems, creating open educational resources, providing editorial services, or participating on scholarly advisory boards.

The findings from this survey complement the ongoing work of LPC, ARL, and AAUP on libraries and publishing to inform on the expansive breadth of practice taking place at the intersection of research libraries, presses, and publishing. By investigating ARL institutional landscapes and practices as they relate to presses and publishing, this study complements and extends prior SPEC Kits that focused on digital scholarship, digital humanities, open educational resources, and digital collections and services by exploring aspects of publishing activities in the specific context of press collaborations, integrations, and partnerships. The survey results are based on responses from 63 of the 123 ARL member libraries (51%) between July 5 and August 8, 2017, and document activities in libraries, presses, and publishing and their relation to digital scholarship and workforce development.