Campus-Based Publishing

The shift to digital has irrevocably altered the scholarly communication landscape. This changing environment has led university libraries to redefine their roles, and the services they provide. As a result, many university libraries have broadened their missions to include the launch of online publishing programs that explore new models for scholarly communication.

The digital environment has also exerted pressure on university presses, traditionally the principal channels for campus-based publishing. As their roles continue to evolve, the boundaries separating the activities of the library and the press have become less distinct, creating the opportunity for libraries and university presses to collaborate on creating new digital publishing channels, closely aligned with the research and teaching missions of their host institutions and contributing to the development of a more academy-friendly scholarly publishing system.

SPARC actively supports the development of campus-based publishing initiatives, and provides resources for libraries, presses, and other academic units interested in launching and maintaining campus-based publishing ventures, as well as guidance on best practices.

Campus-Based Publishing Partnerships: A Guide to Critical Issues

This comprehensive guide helps libraries, presses, and academic units to define effective partnerships capable of supporting innovative approaches to campus-based publishing.

Read our Campus-Based Publishing Partnerships Guide

Bibliography & Resource List

SPARC provides a list of resources relevant to defining, launching, and maintaining a campus-based publishing partnership. It includes resources on strategic planning, business planning, product development, and collaboration issues. We invite contributions to expand the bibliography, especially primary research papers on collaboration issues (for example, local faculty needs studies and other research).

Case Studies

This section features case studies describing established and evolving partnerships. We invite publishing partnerships to submit descriptions of their own initiatives that illustrate specific aspects of partnering (for example, communication processes, financial arrangements, management and governance structures, etc.). 

Online Discussion Forum

LIBPRESS is a listserv to facilitate discussion among academic libraries and presses about the opportunities and challenges of collaborative digital publishing projects and models. To subscribe, visit

Index of Collaborative Initiatives

The Scholarly Communication Program, based at Columbia University Libraries/Information Services' Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, hosts an index of campus-based publishing partnerships on behalf of this Resource Center.  The index is a growing resource, allowing users to learn how libraries and presses are currently collaborating.