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C&RL Editorial Board Minutes - Annual 2013

College & Research Libraries Editorial Board

ALA Annual Meeting

June 30, 2013

8:30 am - 10:00 am

Hyatt Regency Chicago – Grand B

Members present: Jennifer Baxmeyer, Stephanie Davis-Kahl (ex officio), David Free (ex officio), Richard Fyffe, Kim Leeder (ex officio), Maureen McCreadie, James Mullins, Joyce Ogburn (ex officio), Gary Pitkin, Joan Roca,

Guests present: Marta Deyrup, Emily Ford, Donald Gilstrap, Lori Mestre

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 am by Scott Walter. The Board discussed the following agenda items:

1)                   Announcements and Additions to the Agenda

The following items were added to the agenda:

a) Proposal for Open Peer Review Pilot;

b) Schedule of Future Meetings;

c) Enhancements to Highwire Press Site.

2)                   Board Membership Updates

Walter introduced the incoming members of the Board in attendance at the meeting (Deyrup, Gilstrap, Mestre), and thanked the one member in attendance whose term was concluding for his service (Roca). Board members also noted the addition of Sarah Steiner as the first C&RL Social Media Editor and Walter reported briefly on a meeting he had with Steiner and with Free earlier in the conference to discuss next steps for the C&RL social media presence.

3)                   Proposal for Open Peer Review Pilot

The members of the Board discussed a proposal prepared by Emily Ford to explore the possibility of implementing an open peer review (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_peer_review) process for selected articles to be published in C&RL.

Board members discussed OPR within the broader context of ensuring continued attention to the quality of the work published in C&RL and the need to attend to the manner in which OPR might affect perceptions of the journal within the scholarly community, e.g., in regard to value associated with C&RL publication by promotion and tenure committees.

The Board discussed the goal of such an experiment, e.g.:

a) are we looking to OPR to address any “problems” associated with the traditional peer-review process;

b) are we looking to OPR as a reflection of our commitment to exploring new models and issues in scholarly communication through the journal? Board members concluded that any OPR pilot would be designed to complement traditional, double-blind peer review, rather than replace it.

The Board also discussed how submissions might be selected for an OPR pilot, e.g., should there be a “special issue” of the journal for which the materials were vetted through OPR, as pursued by Shakespeare Quarterly (http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/mcpress/ShakespeareQuarterly_NewMedia/)?

Board members will consider Ford’s proposal further and will work with her and with a small OPR working group of the Board (Antell, Leeder, Walter) to come to conclusion on next steps.

See also: Ford, E. (2013). Defining and characterizing open peer review: A review of the literature. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 44 (4), 311-326. Retrieved from http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/4n2254288181051v/fulltext.pdf

4)                   Schedule of Future Meetings

In 2012-13, the Board piloted a schedule of conducting its Midwinter meeting virtually and its Annual meeting in person. The inclusion of a virtual meeting was in response to continued decline in member attendance at face-to-face meetings, especially at Midwinter. Attendance at the virtual meeting was strong, and feedback from board members on the use of the virtual meeting was very positive. Board members discussed whether all future meetings should be virtual, but concluded that no long-term decision should be made, especially given the routine turn-over of the board’s membership as part of editorial transitions. At Free’s suggestion, the board adopted an approach by which the format for the next, scheduled meeting will be made at the current meeting, e.g., the format for the Midwinter meeting will be decided by a vote of the board members present at the previous year’s Annual meeting.

Following the approach noted above, the Board decided that the next, scheduled meeting (Midwinter 2014) will be held virtually. Walter will poll board members in the Fall to determine a time and date for that meeting, likely in December 2013 or January 2014 (prior to Midwinter).

5)                   Feedback Programs on Transition to Digital-Only Publication

Board members discussed feedback received from C&RL readers at a brainstorming session held at Midwinter 2013 and a focus group held at the 2013 ACRL Conference. “Key themes” considered especially relevant for planning purposes included:

1) continued quality of journal content is the primary concern;

2) transition to digital-only may allow the journal to explore new approaches to traditional constructs such as article length, issue length, number of issues per volume (or even continuation of traditional “issues”);

3) need to employ a broader array of technologies to share and promote content published in the journal, especially social media and platforms that allow for customization and for enhanced connection between C&RL content and relevant, related content;

4) need to develop a robust approach to alt-metrics and delivery of metric-based reports to authors;

5) consider opportunities provided by freedom from page length, etc., to include content other than research studies and book reviews, e.g., solicited articles, “thought pieces” by “leaders of the profession, bloggers, and other thought leaders in libraries or higher education.”

6)                   Enhancements to Highwire Site

Free provided an update on short-term and long-term plans for enhancement to the C&RL site hosted by Highwire Press. There are many enhancements possible, but each come with a cost that must be assumed by the Association. Free will work with Association leadership to identify resources available for site enhancements in FY14 and FY15 and will incorporate reader feedback (see above) and board advice regarding the priority of enhancements to be pursued.

Free reported that site enhancements expected for implementation soon after conference include the ability to see the “most read” and “most cited” articles hosted on the Highwire site. Additional enhancements currently being explored include:

1) ability to read journal content off-line, e.g., on a tablet computer;

2) suite of alt-metrics available for reporting at the article level, e.g., Facebook “Shares,” Tweets, Mendeley “saves,” etc.;

3) establishment of DOIs for journal articles (required for many alt-metrics programs).

Free reported download statistics for C&RL articles hosted on the Highwire site for 2012 that were included in the editor’s report to the Publications Coordinating Committee.

7)                   Planning for Special Issues:

a) Library Assessment Conference;

b) 75th Anniversary Collection

Walter reported on discussions to publish selected papers from the 2012 Library Assessment Conference in C&RL in Spring 2014. Board members reiterated concern regarding the need for any such articles to be substantially revised and enhanced from earlier versions published as part of conference proceedings. Walter will engage the guest editor in further discussions following the completion of the conference proceedings, expected no later than Fall 2013.

Davis-Kahl reported on recent discussions regarding planning for the 75th anniversary celebrations (2015) and shared the draft calendar for the development of a special issue of the journal to be published in Spring 2015. Board members will begin an initial review of the entire history of the journal to suggest a slate of “landmark” articles to be considered for inclusion in the special issue, and will invite former editors of the journal to contribute to the selection process. Board members discussed the definition of “landmark” that would be applied, e.g., significant at the time of publication, significant over the long term (and how to measure this)? Board members asked if it would be possible to conduct a bibliometric analysis of the journal in order to identify the articles that have been most-cited over the life of the journal. C&RL readers will participate in the selection process at its second stage, projected for Spring 2014. Board members will continue planning for this project following Annual.

After-meeting note: Former C&RL editor-in-chief Charles Martell directed members of the board to similar materials published during the 50th anniversary year by the journal. Materials from the 50th volume, like all journal content, are available through the journal Web site.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 am.