Journals Publishing Series

Libraries and Publishers Working Together: an Interview with Project Euclid’s Leslie Eager

Project Euclid is a not-for-profit hosting and publishing platform for the mathematics and statistics communities, administered jointly by Cornell University Library and Duke University Press. We recently chatted with Leslie Eager, Director of Publishing Services for Project Euclid at Duke University Press about the project and her position. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your position.

LeslieEagerI became the director of publishing services for Project Euclid just over a year ago and before that worked in marketing and sales for about five years, focusing on the academic library market. Project Euclid provides online hosting services for mathematics and statistics scholarship. I was attracted to the job because I believe in the mission, and I love that it’s a small shop where one person gets to operate in many sectors of the scholarly publishing business. I studied literature and did actually minor in math and physics without expecting it to ever come up again. But here we are! Not that my college background remotely equips me to understand new mathematical research–sadly, it doesn’t, and I don’t!–but I deeply admire the field and am glad to support it.

Euclid is a quite interesting project that is jointly managed by Cornell University Library and Duke University Press. It was started at Cornell in the early 2000s when journals just started going online. Folks at the library recognized the growing demand for online publishing suddenly required small publishers to confront a whole new set of technical skills and requirements. For math journals specifically, the need to get online prompted many formerly independent and inexpensive journals to sign up with the big commercial presses like Elsevier and Springer. The journals went online, but subscription prices rose dramatically. The Library, which has long been very innovative, had a great idea that they would provide an alternative way for small, non-profit, or society publishers to get their literature online while remaining independent. The solution was Project Euclid, an online content platform for mathematics and statistics scholarship that is easy-to-use and affordable but powerful enough to be competitive.

Duke University Press joined Cornell in running Euclid in 2008, and now the folks at the Library handle the technical side of the site, and the team at the Press handles the business: publisher relations, acquisitions, marketing and sales, customer relations, finances. It means my team, that works exclusively on Euclid, also collaborates with people in the marketing and sales department, the IT department, and other staff at the Press to make the program work. We partner with about 30 publishers located all over the world, and we host about 60 active titles. Some of the titles are subscription based, some of them are open access titles, and some of them are part of collections we sell to libraries. Every publisher controls their own business model and we try to provide the most functional and affordable hosting services possible.

What is the new direction for Project Euclid?


Over the last few years, our new partnerships have been more and more focused on open access models. I think mathematics is an especially idealistic and activist community, and mathematicians are speaking out forcefully against those publishing practices that tend to be very expensive and throw the entire ecosystem of library subscriptions out of whack. As a result, more and more journals are trying to cast off all those old subscription costs and operate as open access publications. Euclid tries to support this effort by providing low cost but still truly excellent hosting services to those journals. We also think it’s beneficial to be a part of the Euclid publishing community, even if you’re independent. Associating your publication with similar titles makes your open access journal more discoverable, and our specialization in mathematics and statistics allows us to make your content as compatible with other math research tools or library systems as possible. We are also trying to garner our resources to make as much material on the platform openly available as possible. Most subscription-based content on the site is governed by some kind of moving access wall determined by the publishers that makes the literature freely available after three, four, or five years. The Euclid Prime collection we sell to libraries is composed of 28 titles and after five years all of that journal content becomes open access. All told, over 70% of the articles on the site are freely available to anyone with internet access.

What are your top priorities for Project Euclid?

One of my top priorities is to communicate as effectively as possible what value Project Euclid can bring to the publishing ecosystem. Publishers have a lot of options these days. If they want it to be open access, there could be a strong temptation to sign up for a WordPress site and start throwing articles up there. This is quick and really inexpensive, but at the end of the day, they’re losing out on the kind of functionality that will actually make their journal influential and competitive with all the other big publishers that have tons of resources. So I want to communicate the practical value Euclid is providing in disseminating scholarship. I want us to be affordable but still realistic about what it means to operate a sustainable project in the current market.

Another one of my top priorities was acquiring new content for the platform, and it’s been incredibly encouraging and rewarding because we were able to add 11 new journals to the platform in 2017. That’s a combination of open access, subscription-based, and collection-based content. It feels really energizing that what I thought was going to be the most challenging piece of my job—forming new partnerships—is actually the thing that has been by far the biggest success in the very first year. It suggests there are still a lot of journals out there that could benefit from Euclid’s services.

How is the project financially structured?

PE HOST OR SALESPublishers join Project Euclid under a couple of different publishing hosting models. If they want to control all of their own marketing and sales, and they only want Euclid for hosting services, they just pay us a straight set of hosting fees based on the amount of content they publish and whether they’re open access or subscription based.

On the other hand if you’re a publisher that wants hosting services but also wants support in marketing and sales, then they can join our Euclid Prime collection. This is the collection we sell to libraries on behalf of publishers. At the end of the year, the revenue we generate from those sales is divided, and part of the money supports Euclid’s operations, and part of the money is paid out to publishers as royalties. We’re really happy the revenue from Euclid Prime sales is part of what makes it possible for us to offer these really affordable hosting fee prices to open access titles. Overall we like to think there’s balance: we hope the collections we’re selling to libraries provide good value for the library but also contribute to our mission to make as much as much of the content freely available as possible.

What are the goals you have for Project Euclid?

One of our projects for the next year is to do an exploratory audit of what is available out in the world when it comes to hosting platforms. Right now our platform is entirely homegrown and based at Cornell, but we always want to make sure we’re offering the most relevant and affordable functionality we can so we’re planning a request for information process to see what other kinds of technical solutions there are in the market and whether they would serve our customers any better.

PEPI continue to be really focused on building new partnerships, especially trying to bring new partners into the Euclid Prime collection. We think this is a really, really good way for publishers to generate sustainable revenue streams while still being really good citizens of the mathematics community and not over burdening libraries with excessive costs. I’m always in talks with new partner publishers and trying to help them make a decision to join our collection.

Our biggest new product for 2018 is our new joint partnership with MSP and Duke University Press to offer MSP on Euclid, a collection of seven journals available to libraries. MSP is a fine organization with a similar size and mission, and we hope that cooperating in a competitive marketplace will generate new opportunities for all three partners.  

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding part of being on the Project Euclid team is that we are a truly mission-driven operation, and our only goal is to provide services that can help make content as available and excellent and discoverable as possible. There’s a really committed group of librarians and scholars and publishing professionals who are invested in that mission, and they come up with lots of creative ideas to push it forward. I’ve enjoyed learning from them and developing new strategies for being the best possible citizen of the scholarly publishing community.

Video: Journal Publishing at Duke University Press

This is our final post in our series on journal publishing. Learn more about our journals program here at Duke University Press, the support we bring to our publishing partnerships, and our ambitions for the future. We hope that you enjoy this video!

Are you interested in partnering with Duke University Press? Email Erich Staib, Senior Editor, for more information.

What Makes Duke University Press Special?

As we near the end of our series on journal publishing, we want to spend time talking about how we at Duke University Press publish a growing list of 50 journals.

We form strong partnerships.

We treat every journal partnership with respect, integrity, and transparency.

“It’s been a wonderful, collaborative process to work with Duke University Press and to really feel the support of having a team behind you.” – Jennifer Holberg, editor of Pedagogy

“If you want to have a publishing partner who is very patient with a complicated way of editing a journal, who is supportive of new ideas, and who is very responsive to various requests and suggestions, Duke would be a great choice.” – Chia-Ling Wu, editor of EASTS

We help navigate the ever-changing publishing environment.

From editorial to production to marketing and sales, we offer a flexible suite of services to support a journal through the publishing process and beyond.

“As the publishing environment got more complex, with the proliferation of online material, it became evident that we needed help in managing our presence in the world. Our editorial staff could make decisions about what to publish, physically producing the journal, and manage our relations with submitters and readers. But as it became clear that other kinds of questions were increasingly important, it also became clear that joining with Duke University Press would address them and address them in a great way.” – Lee Zimmerman, editor of Twentieth-Century Literature

“After fifty years of running the journal as a shoe-string operation with a skeleton crew of busy [Yale] faculty, students, and office staff, we decided it was time to let publishing professionals take over some of the work. In the summer of 2006 we asked a number of university presses to talk to us about what they could do for the Journal of Music Theory. It did not take us long to see that Duke University Press stands tall among its peers and that they most clearly share our commitment to editorial excellence, the highest production standards, and affordable subscription rates.” – Ian Quinn, former editor, Journal of Music Theory

“I’m free to focus on content because I’m so confident that the rest of the process is going to work so well.” – Michael Hardt, editor of SAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly

We champion cutting-edge, important scholarship.

Our list of journals is a unique mix of foundational, cutting-edge, field-defining, interdisciplinary, and notable.

“Given the newness and precariousness of our field, the vulnerabilities often attached to transgender lives, and the potential for transgender studies to stage an intervention in knowledge-production that has real-world consequences, we also felt the need for the imprimatur of a prestigious university press.” – Paisley Currah and Susan Stryker, introduction to “Postposttranssexual,” volume 1, issue 1-2 of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

“I think the initial reasons Theater wanted this relationship with Duke University Press are still very true today. Duke University Press has a very amazing list of journals that are, like us I think, devoted to the public sphere and not just the academic or scholarly one; other journals that are trying to speak to a readership beyond academia on really important intellectual and cultural topics, and that is still true. Working with a press that is devoted to that principle for its journals is very important.” – Tom Sellar, editor of Theater

We offer award-winning journal design.

Beauty and readability are important to us and we’ve won awards for our work. Our designers enhance a journal’s content with careful thought given to cover design, subject, artwork, and page layout.

“I’ve discovered that there are a lot of nice pluses, one of which is working with Sue Hall, the journals designer, who is a really important collaborator for us because so much of our creative journal is conveyed through the art. Sue has a great eye and great instinct for the photo that will really pull you into an article or to a feature, or how to position a cover in such a way in that it is an utterly alluring object to pick up.” – Tom Sellar, editor of Theater

“The care that every single page elicited from the design team was extraordinary.” – miriam cooke, co-editor of Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies

“I love, every three months, each issue, getting the drafts of the different covers, and getting choices between them. The covers are great. It gives a great boost to the journal that it’s so aesthetically pleasing. And it seems to be a pure pleasure aspect of the job—getting to discuss which covers I like best and choosing among the details of them.” – Michael Hardt, editor of SAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly

We are international[ly recognized].

We form relationships with universities, university libraries, and journal editorial offices across the world, including countries such as Australia, Taiwan, China, Israel, Iran, England, and Japan. Additionally, Duke University Press’s content can be found in 86 countries.

“With the Internet, we don’t feel that Duke is halfway across the world, and it’s very easy to work with the production and marketing parts of Duke through emails. I think Duke makes a lot of efforts to have a real connection, a face-to-face connection, with EASTS. The Journals Director, Rob Dilworth, and the Journals Marketing Manager, Jocelyn Dawson, sometimes attend our international editorial board meetings to meet our editors and answer our questions. I think this kind of face-to-face participation helps greatly to intensify our collaboration.” – Chia-Ling Wu, editor of EASTS

We are enthusiastic and ambitious.

We have a profound attention to detail; an excitement to learn and grow; and an open, frequent, and prompt communication style.

“If you have a press that is excited about the content—not just wanting to market it, but actually engaged with the content, it changes your attitude to what you’re doing. So you begin to think much more holistically. And I think that happened for us, that we suddenly realized that we had people who were going to push us to become ourselves.” – miriam cooke, co-editor of Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies

“I think what makes the press special is the dedication and creativity, the profound commitment and intellectual engagement of the people that work there. It’s really the quality of the people who work there and their commitment to a topflight project.” – Priscilla Wald, editor of American Literature

Are you interested in starting a partnership with Duke University Press? Email Erich Staib, Senior Editor, for more information.

What Makes a Duke Journal: Evaluating Journals for Partnership

In this guest post for our Journals Publishing Series, Erich Staib, Senior Editor, Journals, discusses the role of Duke University Press’s Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) in selecting journals for publishing partnerships.

Erich Staib

Senior Editor Erich Staib

All publishing partnerships at Duke University Press formally begin with an evaluation by our faculty board, called the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB). The purpose of Duke University’s EAB is to validate the scholarship published by its press, both books and journals, as worthy of publication by Duke University.

The EAB is comprised of Duke faculty members from those academic areas the Press mainly publishes in, and it meets monthly during the academic year, with one or two meetings during the summer. Priscilla Wald, professor of English and Women’s Studies at Duke University, is the current chair of our EAB. There is also an ex officio member from the Duke Libraries, plus 12 faculty members who serve for three-year terms, once renewable. New board members are recommended to the Provost by the Press Director and the current EAB chair, who are always looking for Duke University faculty members to round out the EAB by providing their expertise in an appropriate field of study or geographic area.

The EAB process differentiates the journal approval process of university presses from that of commercial presses, because it affects the speed at which we can move in the acquisitions partnership process. Commercial publishers may not need reviews, which can take a long time to secure. They can build a business plan, consult a few people, and move ahead, whereas it can take several months to develop a proposal for the EAB, based on peer reviews of the journal proposal. And then I have to work with the timeframe of the monthly board meetings. There are huge advantages to utilizing an editorial advisory board process, though, and one of the biggest is that the depth and rigor of the EAB approval process results in great publications that readers can trust.

The final preparation of a journal proposal for Duke University Press’s EAB is fairly straightforward. A proposal begins with a short introductory memorandum about the journal that covers discussions I’ve had with the journal editor(s) and sponsor(s) up to that stage; shows information about the journal, such as its masthead and recent tables-of-contents; presents peer reviews of the journal (or journal prospectus, if it is a new start-up); and provides a response from the journal’s editor(s)to the reviews, which have been presented to the editor(s) in anonymous form.

I try to secure at least two reviews for well-established journals that have been publishing for a number of years, often one from a Duke faculty member in a relevant area and one or more from outside. If we’re evaluating a prospectus for launching a new journal, I try to get at least three reviews of the prospectus, and the complete prospectus would be included with the other material going to the EAB. The board is authorized to reject a proposal if they are at all concerned about the quality of the journal’s scholarly contribution; or they can send it back for revision and later resubmission. There is often discussion about why Duke University Press is interested in publishing a specific journal: If it is established, is it the best in its field? Is the field a growing or changing field, and if so is the journal positioned to maintain its leadership? If it is a new journal, in what ways will it be field-defining or field-changing?

After I give a brief presentation about the journal, the EAB conducts a formal vote. Duke University Press cannot offer a contract to the journal without the approval of the EAB, so this process is an essential part of bringing journals to the Press. The EAB will many times offer useful and helpful suggestions beyond what the reviewers have suggested. These positive suggestions often serve to strengthen the journal. And the approval process is a big part of what makes our journals publishing program trustworthy in the eyes of librarians, academics, and others involved with scholarly journals.

Do you have questions about the evaluation process? Contact Erich Staib, and don’t forget to follow along with our Journal Publishing Series.

Infographic: 10 Elements of a Good Journal Proposal

As part of our ongoing Journals Publishing Series, we’re excited to share the 10 Elements of a Good Journal Proposal. Did we leave off any elements? Tell us in the comments!

10 Elements of a Good Journal Proposal

Learn more about publishing journals by following our Journals Publishing Series. Recent topics include journals design, how to start a new journal, library and publisher relationships, and open access efforts at the Press.

Open Access Efforts at the Press

This guest post for International Open Access Week by Journals Marketing Manager, Jocelyn Dawson, is part of our ongoing series on Journals Publishing. Stay up to date by following our blog and checking out our previous posts.

Duke University Press has been part of several open-access (OA) publishing initiatives. Like the scholarly publishing community at large, we’ve explored different funding models for OA and have found that there is no one perfect model but a variety of good options. Here are a few OA projects at the Press:

Project EuclidProject Euclid

Project Euclid is a platform for high-quality mathematics and statistics scholarship and is jointly operated by Duke University Press and Cornell University Libraries. Over 88,000 journal articles, 4,760 book chapters, and 1,692 proceedings (almost 70% of the content on the platform) are available open access (as of August 15, 2015). A list of the OA titles on Project Euclid can be found here. Through a combination of support by by subscribing libraries and participating publishers, Project Euclid is able to ensure enough revenue to support the maintenance and continued development of a state-of-the art online content distribution system that is made available to publishers of OA titles at a very low cost. Project Euclid also works with libraries, scholars, and publishers to identify, digitize and make openly available historical scholarship. To learn more about the history of Project Euclid, read an interview with Mira Waller, Project Euclid co-director.

The Carlyle Letters Online

CAR_logo_K_webThe Carlyle Letters Online provides free access to an outstanding resource in Victorian literature, philosophy, and culture: the letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. The Carlyles’ correspondents included Charles Dickens, John Stuart Mill, George Eliot, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Funding for the Carlyle Letters Online, which receives over 45,000 letter views per month, is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Environmental Humanities - blackEnvironmental Humanities, An Open Access Journal

An open access journal new to Duke University Press in 2016, Environmental Humanities brings humanities scholarship into conversation with the natural and social sciences around significant environmental issues. The journal does not charge author fees and is funded through partnerships with Concordia University; Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney; University of California, Los Angeles; Environmental Humanities Laboratory, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; and the Environmental Humanities Program, University of New South Wales. The journal is free to individuals and to libraries.

knowledge-unlatched-logo@2xKnowledge Unlatched

Duke University Press was one of the 13 publisher participants in the original (2013) pilot for Knowledge Unlatched, an open access initiative for humanities and social science books. Through this pilot, libraries contributed funds to meet a target fee for a set of 28 books, covering the fees set by each publisher to “unlatch” a high quality scholarly monograph. The “unlatched” titles were then made openly available on a Creative Commons license via OAPEN and HathiTrust as fully downloadable PDFs, while the publishers continued to sell their books in other formats. The pilot originally sought participation from 200 libraries, a target that was exceeded when close to 300 libraries from 24 countries joined Knowledge Unlatched. The four Duke University Press books now openly available can be found on the Knowledge Unlatched collection title page. A second pilot will be run in 2016: some publishers will contribute individual books, to be collected into disciplinary groups of ten; Duke and Michigan will each offer publisher packages of ten books.

Additionally, many introductions to Duke University Press humanities journal issues and books are available for free.

We are always excited to explore new publishing projects, OA or otherwise. Please contact Erich Staib, Senior Editor, for more information.

Print, Digital, and Process: Duke University Press Publishing Technologies with Allison Belan

We recently spoke with Allison Belan, Associate Director for Digital Strategy and Publishing Systems at Duke University Press to delve deeper into publishing technologies for our Journals Publishing Series. Allison has worked on several digital publishing and technology projects at the Press over the past few years, so we asked her about the experience she gained in those projects and about some of the specialized technology publishers use every day.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

Allison Belan

Associate Director for Digital Strategy and Publishing Systems Allison Belan

I am the Associate Director for Digital Strategy and Publishing Systems; I have spent the last four years in this role and I have been at the Press for about eleven years. I came into this role from journal production, where I got to work very closely with all of our journals and managed journal production coordinators. During the years I managed the journals production workflow, we learned a lot about online publishing, to the point where we were really internalizing digital publishing practices and became deeply familiar with all its demands.

As our book publishing program started to wrestle with that same digital challenges, the Press recognized an opportunity to ease that transition from print-centric to format-flexible by learning from our journals program and by proactively managing the transition. My position was created to not only help with that transition but to help transform us into a successful publisher of digital works and to ensure that all of our efforts were aligning with our business and content strategy. One of the ways I do that is to articulate our digital publishing and marketing strategies across all of our divisions in order to unify that experience for our authors, editors, readers, and users. Publishing and content marketing are really starting to blur, as we wrestle with what is a content unit, and the technology that powers each is coming closer together. So, as someone going to industry meetings and hearing about the latest technologies, I am trying to see what’s ahead around the curve, and make sure when we reach that curve we don’t go off the road. I bring that knowledge back to the Press and see where it fits strategically with what we are currently doing.

What are some the different types of publishing technologies that go into making a journal?

There are a couple of categories of publishing technologies at work across the enterprise, starting from our journal editors and running through production and ending with storage and access. We can group them into the following sets of technologies: project management, workflow management, bibliographic and metadata management, digital asset management, digital asset distribution, and content management systems (specifically those for publishing-specific tasks). Any given task can combine one or more of these groups of systems. It’s perhaps easiest to talk through this following the path an article or issue takes from its initial submission.

A common set of tools that our editors rely on are peer review management programs, which provide a convenient place to track every element of the peer review process. These were developed because of the need to get critical scholarship out into the world, especially in the sciences, and now are widely adopted. At the Press, we provide the option of using Editorial Manager by Aries. With our assistance, the editors can set up the system to completely manage their contact database and manuscripts under review. It means they don’t have to deal with emails, version control, scheduling, and reporting outside of a predefined structure. Authors enter their own data, so you don’t have to even worry about misplacing an email or phone number. In that system you get project management, scheduling/resource management, and workflow management because you have modeled the process and it manages moving everything from stage A to stage B and so on. Once all the articles are selected and organized, it is (theoretically) push-button easy to group and send all the documents together to our production team.

We have our own project management and workflow tools in our production department. We have 50 journals producing over 170 issues in a year—each of our production coordinators is always managing up to eight journals, with several issues of each in process at the same time. There are a lot of workflow and product management tools available out there but not a lot designed to deal with journals, especially since we publish our journals as issues as opposed to article by article. We worked with Firebrand Technologies to take their Title Management product and optimize it for our journal workflow process.

Title Management is also where we manage bibliographic information and metadata for a journal, such as its price, its ISSN, which articles it contains, and so on. We do that for every volume as well as the issue. A lot of this information goes straight out of the Title Management database and on to the consumer because of special feeds we have set up.

At this point we start to get into the realm of digital asset management. Everyone who uses a computer has his or her own personal digital asset management system, namely our file folders, and we have all had our system fail us at some point when we misplace a file that we need to access. A professional digital asset management system tries to solve that problem by attaching information to an asset and enforcing rules on how it is stored and can be accessed. When you have a hundred years of a journal’s articles as PDFs and XML files this is critical. There are technologies that just manage content, but usually asset management is bundled with another system. With journals, it is usually bundled with a content management system, which not only stores this metadata and the file but also stores the actual text and image files along with the PDF. We currently use a Sharepoint server as a final location for our assets.

So what happens after the issue is all assembled and all the files are ready to go out into the world?

Well, we don’t escape technology completely when we are preparing for the print publication event. Printing itself these days is a highly digital process that just happens to output onto paper. So we have to prepare files so they will come out well when they go through a digital imaging and printing process, which involves formatting PDFs in such a way that they look good both on a computer display and in print, and so that they keep their integrity when being stored and downloaded from our server.

When we send information to our online hosting site, there is more to it than just sending the files. We have to make sure metadata displays well, and there is a particular XML format that we have to use just to get a table of contents to be displayed. Online publishing best practices also really push the need for abstracts: these are important for digital discovery because this is how search engines are able to deliver the appropriate content to consumers. We partner with a company that is closely tied with Google Scholar, and they provide us with good guidelines to make content discoverable. We want to retain the content and display at a high quality but make it a pleasant display in both the print and online versions. Our journal editors are primarily experiencing the print version, but their readers are mostly using what is online, regardless of the discipline.

What sort of publishing technologies is a researcher running across in their work that they might not be aware of?

If a researcher is starting from a search in their library catalog, for example, our books and e-books will appear in that search because we have created MARC records that fit into their library’s database. Our journals will come up in that search because we work hard to get all of our article-level information into library discovery services. Our online hosting partners do a very good job of making our content discoverable to all of the services that librarians use.

A Google Scholar search will also likely find a relevant result, because we are exposing accurate metadata to indexes so Google can find it. We assure the accuracy of the metadata attached to the digital object identifier (DOI), that strange string of slashes, letters, numbers, and dashes you often see attached to an article. It is a serial number that will lead you to an article in its canonical home online. The DOI future proofs a reference to an article: URL structures change over time so they may not be reliable references, but DOIs are reliable because they are indexed by an independent agency that keeps up with publishers.

What’s an interesting project that you’re working on?

One of the unique things about Duke University Press is that our books and journals lists are unusually synergistic, so there is a lot of opportunity for inter-reading between articles and chapters. We have been working on bringing our books and journals into a single online space,, a place that brings them together into a cohesive whole and makes it easy to move between relevant journal articles and books. Scholars tell us they desperately want hyperlinked references, so they can go to reference lists and mine that for important references. For those journals that have references, if we can link to an article, we link to it in our reference lists, and we are working on bringing that to books as well.

Any final thoughts about publishing technologies?

I believe that some of the negative feeling about the digital transformation of publishing come from an anxiety that the perceived artisanal nature of publishing is being lost and subsumed by limiting and inflexible rules. But even before the digital transformation, publishing was as much a scientific manufacturing process—born of technologies such as the Gutenberg press—as an art. There have always been rules to publishing, and the digital process is not that different: it is a change in the means of production, in the same way that limiting a book’s length was a manufacturing issue. But with the introduction of digital technologies, these anxieties really all point to new opportunities that are now available. And that’s what we are trying to do at the Press: we look at how to take advantage of those opportunities and share them with our partners.

Another researcher tool that we offer is our email alerts system, which sends updates automatically when new content is published. You can sign up for automatic alerts at Stay up to date on journals publishing by checking out our Journals Publishing Series.

Libraries and Publishers Working Together: An Interview with Project Euclid Co-Director Mira Waller

Project Euclid is a not-for-profit hosting and publishing platform for the mathematics and statistics communities, administered jointly by Cornell University Library and Duke University Press. We recently chatted with Mira Waller, Director of Publishing Services for Project Euclid at Duke University Press, to learn more about Project Euclid and its role in the mathematics and statistics publishing for our Journals Publishing Series.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

Project Euclid Co-Director Mira Waller

Project Euclid Co-Director and Director of Publishing Services Mira Waller

My name is Mira Waller, one of two co-directors of Project Euclid: the other co-director is David Ruddy of Cornell University Library. We have slightly different roles: my title is Director of Publishing Services, and I focus more on Project Euclid’s financial operationswhich involves making sure that revenues grow reasonably, that our expenses are appropriate, and that we share royalties fairly—and maintaining relationships with publishers, mathematicians, and libraries.

I came to Duke University Press in 2008 specifically to work with Project Euclid. Previously, I was the assistant director of the Archives at the Duke University Medical Library & Archives. In that role, I participated in management meetings where I learned about the difficult collection choices we had to make due to budget constraints. When I saw this position open at the Press, I really jumped at the opportunity, because it felt like I could actively do something about the problem by supporting high-quality academic publishing in an affordable and sustainable way.

What’s the story behind Project Euclid? How did it come about?

Project EuclidIn the 1990s there was a serials crisis, where journal prices were rising and library budgets dropping. During this period libraries were feeling crunched financially, so there was a lot of funding spent to build databases that would make electronic access to content simpler. Before the late 90s, mathematics journals were still mostly consumed in print, primarily because math was hard to read online. In addition, a large portion of math journals were (and continue to be) published by small, independent publishers and departments. So, while larger publishers were beginning to move online, the mathematics discipline was a little behind the curve.

At this time, Duke University Press and the Duke Mathematical Journal (DMJ) were looking to go online; at the same time, the Cornell University Library, which has a strong digital archive presence, was asked by mathematicians to look at help mathematics journals move online. So both Duke UP and Cornell Library were looking for ways to get math journals online in a sustainable way. The two parties were introduced through the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), which now is focused on open access, but at the time was about finding sustainable, affordable pricing models for both libraries and publishers. With input from Duke UP, Cornell Library wrote a proposal to study how to get mathematics journals online and received a Mellon grant to study the problem and then later to launch the results of that study. That started in 1999, and the next few years were spent investigating possible solutions and getting publishers on board. Cornell Library launched Project Euclid in 2003 with 19 journals, and from the beginning DMJ was on the platform.

Cornell Library continued managing the project, but they discovered that they needed to either replicate a publisher or partner with one: while very good at the technical infrastructure, it wasn’t equipped, as an academic library, to do sales and customer service such as the project required. Terry Ehling, who was in charge of the project at Cornell Library, began talking with Erich Staib (Senior Editor Duke UP) to explore a possible partnership, and with help from across the two organizations, they developed a plan to move the partnership forward. Duke UP and Cornell Library then hammered out a venture agreement which clearly defines everyone’s roles and makes the partnership workable.

How does it work, having a library and a publisher working together on a project like this?

Instead of having a single management group, there is a governing cabinet, which is made up of both the Duke UP and Cornell Library directors (Steve Cohn of Duke UP and Anne Kenney of Cornell Library), the Project Euclid co-directors, and Erich Staib and Oya Reiger (Associate University Librarian at Cornell Library). They meet once a year in person to talk through any issues. It was in 2008 that this venture agreement started, and my position was created at the Press just to run Project Euclid. So I have been here at Duke UP since 2008, and David Ruddy, at Cornell Library, has been with Project Euclid since its beginnings in 1999.

It says something quite wonderful about Duke UP that it can co-create and co-manage Project Euclid. It’s a very unique inter-institutional and inter-operational collaboration and we are able to make it work. It says a lot about who we are and how we operate, and that we can be good partners with libraries.

Project-EuclidWhat does Project Euclid do for academics, editors, and publishers?

We provide a single location for scholarship on mathematics and statistics; it may not seem like it, but one of the strengths of Project Euclid is its focus on one subject area, which is a service for scholars, editors, and librarians. It provides alternatives for those who are producing content to publish and have their work in a place that isn’t in one of four of five big commercial publishers: you don’t have to feel like you are giving up your identity. Around 70% of Project Euclid is open access—wide open access; we can’t make everything open, but we want to support those publications that really value that. We also provide a way for historical materials to be accessed reliably. Math is a discipline where the historical material is important, it doesn’t go stale—we support digitizing that material and making it freely available to anyone.

The Project Euclid mission statement shows the careful, strategic planning that underpins our continuing growth. It originally focused on the dissemination of mathematics research and helping independent, not-for-profit publishers get online, but now it focuses on the cooperation of three major segments of the scholarly communication ecosystem:

Project Euclid’s mission is to provide powerful, low-cost online hosting and publishing services for theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics scholarship worldwide. As a non-profit community-driven international partnership of academic libraries, independent and society scholarly publishers, and scholars, Project Euclid actively supports broad, sustainable access to this scholarship.

When crafting this mission statement, we wanted to make sure that all three of those different stakeholder groups were represented.

How has Project Euclid changed over the past few years? Where is it going?

One of the things that’s become clear to us is that as technology changes, so changes how scholarly knowledge is served to the community. We want to provide for the community an online mechanism for disseminating knowledge no matter what form it takes, so independent editors can focus on the scholarship and don’t have to feel forced to pick a commercial option to keep up with the pace of change.

Now that Project Euclid is self-sustaining, we really want to give back to the math and stats communities, so we are going to be investing more heavily in the digitization of old material that isn’t as accessible anymore, and make it available to future scholars.

We have had new members come onto our advisory board that will make it even more active, including international scholars, librarians, publishers, and both mathematicians and statisticians. Everyone signs a statement when joining the advisory board:

We as advisory board members will support Project Euclid in its efforts to provide powerful, low-cost electronic hosting and online publishing services to not-for-profit, independent, and society publishers of mathematics and statistics, we support Project Euclid in its efforts to provide broad sustainable and affordable access to the scholarship, and we support Project Euclid in its efforts to actively support the global creation and dissemination of mathematics and statistics.

These are our stakeholders, and we want to continue to improve our understanding of what they want.

All of Duke University Press’ mathematics journals are hosted on Project Euclid. You can learn more about Project Euclid on its website, and more about the history of Project Euclid by reading “The Coefficient Partnership: Project Euclid, Cornell University Library and Duke University Press” by Terry Ehling and Erich Staib. Make sure to connect with Project Euclid on Twitter and Google+.

Interested in publishing in mathematics? Read our previous post, “Publishing in a Discipline: All About Math Journals with Senior Managing Editor Ray Lambert.”

Publishing in a Discipline: All About Math Journals with Senior Managing Editor Ray Lambert

Ray Lambert is the Senior Managing Editor for Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STM) journals at Duke University Press. As part of our Journals Publishing Series, we sat down with Ray to talk about some of the unique challenges and workflows of publishing mathematics journals.

Tell us a little about your position and math publishing at Duke University Press.

I DMJfirst came to the Press in 2005 as an Assistant Managing Editor for Humanities and Social Sciences journals. I left in November of 2007 and came back in February of 2009 as the Editorial Manager for Duke Mathematical Journal (DMJ) and worked with DMJ’s staff. (DMJ has had its own dedicated staff for a while, as it is one of our largest journals in terms of number of pages and frequency—currently 3,000 pages over 15 issues, which will increase to 3,600 over 18 issues starting in 2016).

It was later in 2009 that the Press began to publish two additional math journals, Kyoto Journal of Mathematics (KJM) and Nagoya Mathematical Journal (NMJ) on behalf of their respective universities.

As part of our agreements, we began to provide editorial and production services for these journals as well, and our DMJ group became the STM group in Journals Editorial. We also now provide editorial services for Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic (NDJFL) and, beginning this year, Annals of Functional Analysis (AFA) and Banach Journal of Mathematical Analysis (BJMA), which are two journals that we publish on behalf of the Tusi Mathematical Research Group of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. The STM group includes Marisa Meredith, Editorial Assistant for DMJ; Keller Kaufman-Fox, Assistant Managing Editor for STM Journals; and Roy Pattishall, Assistant Managing Editor for STM Journals. We all work closely with our colleagues in Journals Production, our copyeditors and proofreaders, and our typesetter.

DMJ, KJM, and NMJ are general journals and publish research articles in several areas of theoretical mathematics. The Tusi Mathematical Research Group’s journals, AFA and BJMA, publish short and long articles, respectively, on subjects such as matrix analysis, abstract harmonic analysis, functional analysis, operator theory, and related topics. And NDJFL publishes in all areas of logic and the foundations of mathematics.

All of our math journals are hosted in Project Euclid (Project Euclid is a mathematics and statistics publishing platform that Duke University Press co-manages with Cornell University Library).  I think that we’ve developed a good working relationship with Project Euclid over the last few years, and we’ve tried to take advantage of the technical features of the Project Euclid platform (features such as reference linking and other searching capabilities) to enhance the content of our journals.

I think that being part of Project Euclid has helped our group learn a lot more about math publishing and about how information is shared within this academic community. I think that as a publisher we’re helping our journals by facilitating that information sharing–for example, we’ve joined other publishers in starting to share bibliographic information with arXiv (also at Cornell University Library), to establish links for earlier draft (preprint) versions of articles to their final published versions on Project Euclid.

What’s different about publishing a mathematics journal compared to journal editing in general?

KJMMany of the humanities and social sciences journals that we publish are interdisciplinary, so, with copyediting, I think that a big part of our approach is to keep the general reader in mind. I wouldn’t say that this is as big of a concern for the math journals, since we know that our readers are mathematicians and logicians, and we don’t expect too many casual readers. Of course, we want to maintain a high standard of quality and accessibility, so we focus on making sure that the language is clear and that terms and notation are used consistently within articles. Our main goal is to work with our authors to make sure that the final articles are well presented. Our group has a lot of collective experience in editing math articles; and while our approach is thorough, particularly to citations and bibliographies, we do know when to tread carefully!

In terms of editorial tools, though, the biggest difference is that every article that we work with is not in Microsoft Word but in LaTeX, which is both a computer mark-up language and typesetting platform that is widely used in the mathematics community and in other scientific disciplines. It is excellent for writing mathematical notation and formulas and for formatting standard parts of math research papers, such as theorems, proofs, and bibliographies. LaTeX, though, can present challenges to publishers, particularly to editorial and production staff. Everyone in the STM group learned LaTeX on the job, and we’ve trained some of our freelancers as well. With their help, and the help of our typesetter, we’ve become more LaTeX-savvy as a group and, for instance, now we edit TeX files electronically, using the WYSIWYG TeX editing program BaKoMa TeX Word.

What are the steps in the editorial process, and how does it differ from other editorial workflows?

NDJAll of the editorial work (copyediting and proofreading) that we do occurs after an article has been accepted for publication. Shortly after we receive the TeX and figure files of accepted articles from the journals’ academic editors, we begin working with our typesetter. They facilitate the editing and typesetting process for us by formatting the files according to the journal’s LaTeX style guide (known as a class file), which governs how things like the typefaces, margins, headings, and so on will look; that preparation process allows us to copyedit articles with BaKoMa, the editing tool that I mentioned earlier.

We then start the copyediting process, some of which we do in-house and for some we hire freelancers. Our editors focus on the language and the reference list, as well as on general formatting, and our typesetter applies our style rules for the presentation of all elements in the math formulas. The copyedited manuscript is then typeset and sent to the authors for review. We also provide a marked-up version of the copyedited manuscript, so authors can see what changes were made during the copyediting and typesetting process. I think that authors appreciate having this reference file, as it no doubt makes their chore of reviewing the proofs go much quicker. This also helps us identify any of those (very rare, of course!) instances where we might have introduced some errors.

What new projects are you working on?

One new project that we just implemented is an “advance publication” model for DMJ and NDJFL, in which articles will be published online in Project Euclid before they appear in an assigned print issue. Working with Journals Production, we are also moving NDJFL to this workflow and are implementing a “growing issue” model of advance publication for AFA and BJMA. These models will help keep the time from acceptance to online publication to about three months. These articles will have been copyedited, typeset, reviewed by the authors, corrected, assigned a DOI, and then posted online in PDF.

All Duke University Press mathematics journals are hosted on Project Euclid. Read more of our Journals Publishing Series here. Stay tuned for our next post featuring an interview with Project Euclid co-director Mira Waller.

Partnering with Societies: An Interview with Journals Director Rob Dilworth

As part of our ongoing Journals Publishing Series, we interviewed Journals Director Rob Dilworth, who discusses how Duke University Press publishes with societies. To learn more about our society partnerships, visit

What do you do at the Press?

Journals Director, Rob Dilworth

Journals Director, Rob Dilworth

I am the journals director. My responsibilities include management of the Press’ overall partnerships with the societies that sponsor some of our journals. So I’m the guy who reports to societies about how their journals are performing (for example, in terms of circulation and online usage). I also make sure we’re providing excellent services for society journals, resolve any queries that come up, and attend society conferences on behalf of the Press. I monitor my email closely and try to address questions as quickly as possible. I strive to have a great relationship with society officers and journal editors.

I started as a senior managing editor, and I’ve been at the Press since 1997. When I started in my current position, I had a good understanding of the publishing process and knew our list of journals well. But this job is quite a bit different from working on the nuts and bolts of editorial workflows.

What sort of services do societies expect and publishers can offer?

Societies are interested in someone taking care of the publishing activities; they expect that we’ll oversee the publishing of their journal from A to Z. We take care of everything—copyediting, typesetting, marketing, online hosting, printing, and customer service—so a society doesn’t have to worry about these details and can focus on other things. Building and maintaining membership lists are important, and we oversee membership renewals and record-keeping for societies.

Why should societies partner with a publisher as opposed to going it alone?

Most societies are not big enough to do every aspect of publishing well. Publishing has become very dynamic, particularly in terms of the requirements of electronic publishing. We share an ethos with societies and our mission-driven business decisions really fit well with their thinking. We’re creative and supportive in our core services, including editorial, design, production, and marketing, and we have a dedicated, enthusiastic, and qualified staff.

Tell us about the societies you work with.

The societies we partner with are membership organizations. Most societies sponsor a journal or journals and hold annual academic conferences. Some basic functions also include organizing their conferences (picking themes, collecting conference papers, and so on) and maintaining listservs. They often have scholarship funds to promote young scholars, fund different projects based closely with their research, and usually manage society websites.

What sort of societies does DUP partner with?

We partner with societies such as the American Dialect Society, the American Society for Ethnohistory, the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, the Labor and Working-Class History Association, the Society for French Historical Studies, and the Society for Novel Studies. While these societies are unique, they’re based in the humanities and social sciences, have strong journals, and are mission-driven organizations.

What challenges do societies introduce that don’t exist for other types of publications?

We do the membership record-keeping for our societies, because a benefit of the membership is a journal subscription. This means that we have to be highly responsive to any concerns from people about their memberships, and we need to make sure that the renewal process for memberships is well designed, especially the online renewal process.

Also, the leadership groups for societies are highly interested and invested in their journals—the journal for a society is one of its primary raisons d’être. This means that a lot of attention needs to be paid to reporting to and communicating well with key society officers.

What is the relationship like between a society and its publisher?

We have good partnerships with our societies and close relationships with the editorial teams for their journals. You really develop a sense of trust and collaboration with many of the officers, who actually become friends over time. Core relationships are made between publishers and editors, and many times societies see the two as a team. We attend executive committee meetings and collaborate with journal editors to support the society.

If you are interested in learning more about society publishing at Duke University Press, contact Erich Staib, Senior Editor. Interested in learning more about journals publishing in general? Check out our series on the topic.