August 29, 2014

Six Questions for Joseph Kraus and a Board of Creative Librarians

jclplogo Six Questions for Joseph Kraus and a Board of Creative LibrariansThe Journal of Creative Library Practice (JCLP) is a new open access project edited by Joseph R. Kraus of the University of Denver, Amy Buckland of McGill University, Barbara Fister of Gustavus Adolphus College, Colleen Harris of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Marie Kennedy of Loyola Marymount University. LJ caught up with Kraus to find out what inspired the project and what the library community can expect to read in its (virtual) pages.

LJ: What inspired the creation of JCLP?
Joseph R. Kraus:
In April 2012, I brought up a discussion thread to the Library Society of the World (LSW) about creating a new open access journal. Personally, I would like to encourage more librarians and staff to share their scholarship with the rest of the world through open access means. While there are a good number of LIS journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), there could always be more. We are not listed in DOAJ yet, but we should be soon.

I got the seed of the idea from Steve Lawson, humanities liaison librarian at Colorado College (and a 2010 LJ Mover & Shaker). He shepherded the publication of two zines, CodSlap and Librarian Bomb. I thought that some LSW members might also be interested in taking part in a more scholarly venture. The LSW has some of the most creative people I know in libraries, so the adoption of the journal’s scope covering creative library practice was an apt decision.

We see this as a creative venture and hope that others will enjoy reading the articles. The content of the journal is licensed Creative Commons-BY. There are many open access advocates who consider this to be the minimum standard for true open access. This license removes permission barriers, and it allows for the widest distribution of scholarly articles. (See “Point & Counterpoint: Is CC BY the Best Open Access License?” for more information.)

LJ: How is the cod [referenced in the initial LSW thread, linked above] involved?
JK: LSW members are encouraged to follow the Library Cod of Ethics. The typo was made back in January 2009. This typo spawned the fish logo, coffee mugs, and more.

LJ: How are you planning to modify the Public Library of Science (PLOS) One editorial and peer-review process to be suitable for librarianship?
JK: The PLOS ONE model asks reviewers not to “judge the importance of the work.” The readers of JCLP articles should be the ones to determine the relative importance for their needs. When we send out manuscripts to peer-reviewers, we provide similar language with the guidelines for review of the manuscripts. I should note that we will also accept articles and other content that is not peer-reviewed. The peer-reviewed articles will be distinguished from the other content.

LJ: How will the Journal be funded?
JK: The editors are paying for annual website hosting service out of their pockets. If we come across other expenses that cannot be covered out-of-pocket, then we may consider a donation model from individuals or institutions.

LJ: Any plans to use altmetrics to measure impact?
JK: We have not really discussed this yet, but we will probably keep track of article downloads, Tweets, Facebook shares, and some of the other ways social networking tools allow articles to be shared. We will probably use a service like Google Analytics to keep track of website traffic. Altmetrics is a new and growing field, so we plan to keep up with the developments.

LJ: What kind of different writing styles (and multimedia content) did you have in mind and why is this important to you?
JK: We want to encourage prospective authors to write with less formal rhetoric. The third-person writing styles mandated by some LIS journals can be a little dry. We do not guarantee that the articles in JCLP will be exciting to read, but we hope that the content will be less stuffy. We do not recommend that authors use a specific citation style guide, but we would like the authors to be consistent. Authors can even just provide links to their references within the body of the article.

Concerning multimedia content, there are many journals that provide images, charts and tables within the text of their articles, but not many LIS e-journals have audio or video embedded in the body of their articles. If an author feels that a video will help demonstrate a creative library application, then the writer can provide the embed code for the video.

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Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Senior Editor, News and Features of Library Journal.

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