In a move that reflects both a national trend and a campus commitment to partnership, Michigan State University Press has merged with Michigan State University Libraries. The announcement was made by Dean of Libraries Joseph A. Salem, Jr.
“We’re thrilled about this partnership, and we think it’s a natural way to support scholarly publication and strengthen our mutual commitment to learning,” Salem said. “Like other academic libraries, MSU Libraries has taken an active role in scholarly publishing. And, like other academic libraries, we’ve always had an important relationship with our university press.”
The merge was effective May 1, but the process of integrating both units will evolve as a gradual transition. Dean Salem’s oversight of MSU Press began at the beginning of the month, but the Press will continue operations in its current location in the Manly Miles building, and the two budgets will remain separated.
MSU Press Director Gabriel Dotto said the partnership will increase the opportunities inherent in Press-Library synergies. “We anticipate exploring more unique library collections to generate new publications; building our list in Digital Humanities, conceived both as traditional monographs and as born-digital projects; and enhancing the Press’s commitment toward finding sustainable models of open access, building on the two MSU-based OA journals the Press already publishes,” Dotto said.
Dotto also cited further opportunities related to MSU Press’s longstanding commitment to digital delivery of its content. “MSU Press journals were present early on in electronic platforms like Muse and Jstor,” he said. “And MSUP was recently invited, along with the presses of Penn State and Illinois, to participate in the Scholarly Publishing Collective, a new journals platform to be hosted by Duke University Press. Furthermore, the MSUP book division was a charter member of both the MUSE & Jstor electronic book initiatives. Our digital reach to scholars is thus already global, but we expect that our partnership with MSU Libraries will help us explore additional new digital channels and opportunities.”
Established in 1947 as the scholarly publishing arm of Michigan State University, the Press today has nearly one thousand titles in print and a national reputation. In the last dozen years alone, its publications have garnered over 150 regional and national awards. Its mission has been to act as a catalyst for positive intellectual, social, and technological change through the publication of research and intellectual inquiry, making significant contributions to scholarship in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The Press’s journals division publishes fifteen award-winning academic journals, all available digitally, that span a wide variety of academic disciplines.
The MSU Libraries are at the center of academic life at Michigan State University, providing expertise, collections, and infrastructure for discovery and creation. The Libraries facilitate connections that support research, teaching, and learning in local and global communities. Faculty and staff at the Libraries are committed to providing equal access to Library collections, services, and facilities for all library users. To support this commitment, the Libraries hired an Open Educational Resources (OER) and Student Success Librarian; joined the Open Textbook Network, a diverse community of higher education institutions that promote access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks; and formed a University-wide OER Advisory Committee to advise and support the OER program at MSU Libraries.