Publishing Makerspace

This is the fourth in a series of posts about the teams who will be attending the Institute in November, and their projects. This was submitted by Sylvia Miller.

The Publishing Makerspace group is a cross-functional working group of 6 people who bring a range of skills and experiences to a creative discussion about what publishing is and what it can become.  We were inspired by the makerspaces that engineering departments, and increasingly libraries, are hosting in which participants use existing products, tools, and skills in creative new ways.  As they dismantle electronics and bend circuits, or use 3D printers to create an object from a drawing, we are interested in how we might bend our various sets of skills and improve existing tools to redefine publishing in a more comprehensive and less segmented way than it is often defined today by many publishers, librarians, and scholars.  In this way we hope to respond to new forms of scholarship and perhaps devise useful and exciting new forms of publishing.

Makerspace visualization

Chicago Public Library makerspace – visualization

To move from the metaphorical to the practical plane, we are starting out by discussing the following ideas:

1.  Multimodal scholarship would benefit from being produced in a more integrated way, so that publishers, libraries, humanities centers, and IT services don’t have to expend so much costly time and effort in the tedious translation of incompatible coding.  We are interested in seeing books and articles included in a broad definition of multimodal scholarship.  In beginning to envision an integrated process, we note the gaps in existing tools and very quickly wade into the weeds of authoring tools and publishing platforms.  However, our goal is to do just that, rather than invent yet another tool or platform.

2.  The makerspace that we envision is not only the liminal space where our small group will wrangle with publishing processes; it is also a potential online space where scholars can collaborate and share on an ongoing basis.  We imagine that this makerspace will knit together a number of existing tools in a new way.  A few of our group members are already working on such a makerspace intended to serve the partners in an inter-institutional scholarly collaboration funded by the Mellon Foundation.

We are delighted that our group was chosen by the Scholarly Communications Institute for a workshop next November.  In fact, we are so enthusiastic that we have already started a listserv, a Twitter hashtag (#PublishingMakers), a GoogleDocs area, and a GitHub repository, although we have not had a chance to do much with them yet!  We also plan to start a shared zotero bibliography.  Our first official meeting was a GitHub tutorial given by group member John Martin.  We will report on that in a separate post.

The members of the group are:

  • Courtney Berger, Senior Editor & Editorial Department Manager, Duke University Press
  • Marjorie Fowler, Digital Asset Coordinator, UNC Press
  • John D. Martin III, Doctoral Fellow, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Sylvia K. Miller, Senior Program Manager, Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
  • David Phillips, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE), and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Wake Forest University
  • Chelcie Rowell, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University
CPL Maker Lab

CPL Maker Lab

[ Images from Makerspace Workshop ALA Chicago Public Library by Katie Day ]

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