On December 22, 2016 the Journal of New Librarianship published its inaugural issue on Scholastica, taking the first step towards realizing its vision of becoming a go-to OA journal for multifarious content in the fields of library and information science. The journal, which is online-only and follows the “Diamond OA” model - free to read and free to publish in - is a collaborative effort among colleagues working in library and information sciences. The JNL team sought to provide an independently-owned platform for novel research outputs that stimulate discussion about traditional and experimental library practices.
When the JNL team began brainstorming the publication they knew they wanted to give it a modern look and feel. They sought to build a customizable journal website that would allow them to publish multimedia content and provide an engaging reading experience. The challenge for JNL was figuring out how they could do this economically - both in terms of time and money. They opted to join Scholastica’s new journal websites beta program to quickly and affordably get their publication off the ground. Since joining, they’ve been focusing on fostering their burgeoning online presence.
Since the journal’s inception, its editors have had a distinct vision for JNL. They wanted JNL to be a multimedia publication with a contemporary online reading experience.
“Our mission is to provide an open publishing format for innovative topics in librarianship. We also want the formats that we are publishing, peer reviewing, and measuring impact on to be varied as well,” explained Managing Editor Matthew Kopel.
“Our mission is to provide an open publishing format for innovative topics in librarianship.”
The JNL team started out trying to build its own website in order to have a customizable design and the ability to make updates on their own, but they found trying to maintain a homegrown site was taking too much time.
“We had been hosting our site on GitHub pages, but didn’t want to spend additional time with upkeep,” said Kopel.
Kopel and the JNL team began investigating OA journal hosting and publishing options and came across Scholastica’s peer review and publishing platform, including the new journal websites beta program. Scholastica journal websites are customizable website templates designed specifically for academic journals. The templates are desktop and mobile friendly and give journals the ability to choose their own images, colors, branding, and custom domain.
The JNL team now has a website, including a blog, through Scholastica that features:
- A homepage that highlights all the latest articles and blog posts
- Images and brief descriptions for all articles
- Article sections with content sorted by topic area
- An RSS feed for all articles and blog posts
The JNL team feels its Scholastica journal website is providing the kind of reading experience for which they were hoping.
“Scholastica has provided the beginning of an elegant integrated solution so we can spend more time on the publication process,” said Kopel.
“Scholastica has provided the beginning of an elegant integrated solution so we can spend more time on the publication proces.”
The JNL team is now working to grow its online presence by soliciting a wide range of content. JNL submissions may include, but are not limited to:
- Scholarly articles
- Book reviews
- Opinion pieces
- Media (podcasts, video, etc.)
Kopel said the JNL team aims to offer a broader scope of content than traditional journals to embrace different content formats and styles.
“So much of our output that is consumable and can be examined, repurposed, adapted, and learned from is not as simple as typical scholarship,” said Kopel. “With luck, we’ll find some new ways to lead scholarly communications forward.”
With the journal’s new website and growing online presence the JNL team is well on its way!