On October 1, 2017, the University of North Carolina Press’s Office of Scholarly Publishing Services (OSPS) launched a partnership with the UNC–Chapel Hill School of Government to provide distribution and other publishing services for its publications. The School of Government is publisher of more than 125 books, bulletins, and reports for North Carolina public officials and citizens. It also publishes widely used textbooks in areas including law enforcement and public administration. As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the country, the School of Government offers up to 200 courses, webinars, and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year.
“A growing part of our mandate at the Press is to support publishing efforts throughout the university system,” said John Sherer, director of UNC Press. “This partnership allows us to leverage our publishing expertise and scaled tools to help a key campus institution expand access to, lower costs for, and enhance its focus on publications.”
The OSPS was formed in the fall of 2015 to provide publishing services to the seventeen-campus UNC System. It has initiated or published projects for thirteen campuses and works closely with a number of ongoing publishing programs, such as the NC State Extension. It has partnered with the library at Appalachian State University on a Mellon/NEH Open Book grant to reissue more than sixty books from the Appalachian Consortium Press. Publishing partners often use newer publishing models; for example, UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas, which produces the Studies in Latin America series, will publish very short monographs available in print with open-access editions hosted by the UNC at Chapel Hill Library. Numerous open-access and affordable-access textbook initiatives are under way, including a project with UNC Asheville to publish new editions of the three readers used in their humanities program.
“Without the help of the OSPS, UNC Asheville’s revised humanities readers would not be possible,” said Leah Dunn, university librarian. “Its expertise and guidance on the aspects of the project specifically relating to publishing allow our faculty to focus on what they know best, the academic content. The end result will be a work that meets the high standards to which we all are committed.”
Shortly after UNC Press formed the OSPS, it raised $100,000 to form the Thomas W. Ross Fund Publishing Grants, named in honor of the former president of the University of North Carolina System who helped to form the office. So far, $27,300 has been committed to help provide startup funding for eleven projects.
The OSPS also works with select nonprofit scholarly publishers outside of the UNC system, such as the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, which publishes more than 150 books about the history and culture of North Carolina; the Reacting Consortium Press; and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art.
“There is so much publishing activity across the UNC System that we’ve been able to engage with in a number of ways,” said John McLeod, director of the OSPS. “Library publishing, open-access models, and new publishing platforms are really opening up scholarly publishing in some exciting ways, and I think publishing services could become an important part of university press publishing in the future.”
UNC Press Office of Scholarly Publishing Services: https://www.uncpress.org/osps/
Thomas W. Ross Fund Publishing Grant: https://www.uncpress.org/osps/ross-fund/
UNC School of Government: https://www.sog.unc.edu/