Dean of University Libraries Tyler Walters was awarded the 2013 Johns Hopkins University Press Award for the best article in the most recent volume of the journal portal: Libraries and the Academy.

The article, titled “The Future Role of Publishing Services in University Libraries,” was selected by The Journals Division of the Press and portal’s Editorial Board Awards Committee.

“Portal has become one of the most important publications in our field of academic libraries,” said Walters. “It is a significant honor to be chosen for the best article award this year. It also confirms the growing importance of library publishing services in academic communities.”

Walters’ article examines possible changes for university libraries and some of the challenges related to publishing services that academic libraries like Virginia Tech’s could encounter.

"This article advances a leading-edge trend in innovative services in academic libraries, services that have emerged in direct response to changes in scholarly communication, the growth of digital technology, and the role of librarians as active partners in supporting faculty research,” said Sarah M. Pritchard, editor of portal and dean of libraries and Charles Deering McCormick university librarian at Northwestern University.

Walters’ article also explores potential models for library publishing services given these trends, noting that major factors include the amount of funding from the host university and the level of faculty support for the university’s library publishing services.

“We have supported the production of scholarly journals at Virginia Tech since 1989 and we are currently revamping our service to make it even bigger and better,” said Walters.

According to University Libraries’ Associate Dean for Research and Informatics Julie Speer, Virginia Tech’s library publishing services have been transforming to support the full lifecycle of digital scholarship – a growing need that has emerged due to advances in technology.

“The recent expansion of our services to support publishing editorial workflows using open source software produced by the Public Knowledge Project enables researchers to establish new electronic journals and produce electronic conference proceedings,” said Speer. “We provide a means of engaging with these and other publishing technologies to preserve and provide access to both new and traditional forms of digital scholarship.”

These new services allow faculty members to create new open access journals, transition existing print journals to electronic, and to produce and disseminate articles, conference proceedings, and research more widely and readily.