Minutes of May 19, 2008 Meeting

Agnew, Boyle, Jantz, Kuchi, Marker, Sewell, Triggs, Womack (recorder)

1. The Committee reviewed the draft policy for RUCore Collections. Revisions are incorporated into the revised draft policy. Some highlights of the discussion, not mentioned in the policy, are:

2. The committee discussed e-journals in the context of a new proposal for Films for the Feminist Classroom. Ron Jantz joined the group for this discussion.

Several general points were made about e-journals in the Rutgers context. Starting up an e-journal takes a lot of time and effort. Even if the technical issues are well-established, the process of forming editorial teams, negotiating agreements, creating copyright policies, and so on will always be time-consuming. Departmental liaisons must be involved in championing and managing projects. Creating a journal is a long-term commitment that requires agreement from the editor(s), the department, and the Libraries. Having this 3-part structure insures stability in the case of the departure of an editor from Rutgers, or other changes. The widespread impression that it is "easy" to do an e-journal can create problems. However, interest in e-journals is something that the Libraries should take advantage of. If faculty are more interested in this than in deposits, the Libraries should respond.

The committee agreed that several steps would make the creation of e-journals a more stable and smooth process. Boilerplate copyright, user, and privacy policies should be drafted to provide a starting point for any journals. Journals should be required to use the Open Journal System (OJS) as is, without special modification or support. A user's group for the editors would help editors provide support amongst themselves without burdening staff. An annual hosting/preservation fee charged to the academic department would provide ongoing funding for the startup of new e-journals, and would be a measure of commitment to a serious project on the part of the department. The fee should not be so large that it is beyond the means of a typical department, but should be large enough to discourage projects of limited appeal.

There was also discussion about how many e-journals Rutgers could support. Accurately assessing our capacity for starting up and maintaining journals is critical for promising what we can successfully deliver. Given that there are likely to be many more projects in the Rutgers community than the Libraries can support in the near future, the committee recommended the creation of a teaching faculty group to evaluate journal proposals. This group would have more authority and weight to its recommendations and decisions to prioritize certain projects than the Committee on Scholarly Communication. The evaluation group could involve members of the NB Faculty Council Library Committee and Newark and Camden representation. If RUL commits to the creation of a certain number of e-journals per year for a multi-year term, a call for e-journal proposals could be widely announced. Then the teaching faculty journal group could select and prioritize proposals. The committee declined to formally approve or disapprove the current e-journal proposal, and instead will encourage the consideration of this proposal when a wider call for e-journal projects is made.

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