Research Article

What’s in a Name? Exploring identity in the field of library journal publishing

  • Jacqueline Whyte Appleby (Scholars Portal, University of Toronto)
  • Jeanette Hatherill (University of Ottawa)
  • Andrea Kosavic orcid logo (York University)
  • Karen Meijer-Kline orcid logo (Kwantlen Polytechnic University)


INTRODUCTION This paper explores the variability in self-identifying practices of academic libraries engaged in journal publishing and hosting activities. We were interested in how libraries characterized their efforts in this area and looked at whether there is an unspoken threshold for differentiation with respect to publishing-support naming conventions. METHODS Using the Library Publishing Directory, in-depth interviews, and a more widely circulated follow-up survey, the research team examined service offerings, divisions of responsibility, funding, terminology, and semantic associations within publishing, both as an active practice and as an advertised service. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION We aimed to tease out whether there was any sort of tipping point, or inferred rules, around when an institution chose to call the activity either publishing or hosting. We found no particular service, set of services, funding structure, or division of labor that obviously influenced the use of a particular term. Rather than noting a divide between publishing and hosting, participants spoke of both a spectrum and a tiering of work and support, though all emphasized that these models did not describe the quality of the work produced. This paper also discusses how use of the term library publishing creates additional ambiguity in naming practices, and considers some implications for library staff newly immersed in scholarly publishing work.

Keywords: journal hosting, journal publishing, library publishing

How to Cite:

Whyte Appleby, J., Hatherill, J., Kosavic, A. & Meijer-Kline, K., (2018) “What’s in a Name? Exploring identity in the field of library journal publishing”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 6(1), eP2209. doi:

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Published on
08 Jan 2018
Peer Reviewed