ATLA Press Utilizing Editoria to Develop Internationally Authored Handbooks for Librarians

This post is a generous contribution from Christine Fruin, ATLA Member Programs and Scholarly Communication Manager. Christine oversees ATLA Press’ growing books publishing program, which recently announced participation in the Editoria Community. Sincere thanks, Christine!

The ATLA Press, the open access publishing program of the American Theological Library Association, publishes open access works on subjects at the intersection of librarianship and religious and theological studies that potentially impact libraries. We seek to provide resources that guide and support innovative library services and enhance professional development. Through the Public Knowledge Project’s (PKP) platforms Open Journal Systems we publish journals edited by members of ATLA and host the journals of partner organizations. We also utilize PKP’s Open Monograph Press (OMP)  to host our growing catalog of open access books.

The open monograph program grew and further defined itself in 2018. A full editorial board comprised of ATLA members was appointed, policies and workflows were defined, and the output of the program was organized to better articulate the means by which our books come to be published on our site (http://books.atla.com). With this growth and definition, the editorial board and I identified that we needed to find ways to more efficiently edit completed manuscripts and bring those manuscripts into final published formats. Our current editorial workflow requires reliance upon the track changes functionality of Microsoft Word and keeping track of manuscript versions during the editing process. Once the manuscript is in final form, ATLA contracts with third party designers to produce PDF and EPUB files in Adobe InDesign, a process that can be timely and costly. A demo of Editoria at the 2018 Library Publishing Forum offered an opportunity to address these two needs of our open monograph program.

As part of the Editoria Community, ATLA Press will be testing Editoria through the production and publication of the first volume of a new handbook series organized by ATLA’s International Theological Librarianship Education Task Force (ITLETF). Recognizing the need in the majority world and elsewhere around the globe for resources related to the profession of theological librarianship, the ITLETF has assembled authors from the United States, Europe, South America, Australia, and Africa to produce a series of handbooks that will provide education and tools for library staff who work in theological libraries around the world who may lack access to formal library education.

The first volume in the series, Introducing Theological Libraries, will be produced in Editoria through both upload of .docx files as well as native authoring within WAX. The international author group representing several time zones recently assembled to attend a web based training session led by Editoria Community Manager Alison O’Connell. The volume’s editor who is also contributing a chapter, will provide feedback to authors directly through Editoria, and when the volume is complete (projected for early June 2019), it will be exported to PDF and EPUB for hosting at ATLA Press’s OMP site for viewing and download by readers or for purchase as a print on demand.

We are excited to be a part of the Editoria Community and provide feedback on features and improvement that may benefit others in their publishing endeavors.

Further reading