Celebrating Collaboration: What I Have Learned as Production Editor
PhD Student, Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan, United States of America
Received: 1 Jan. 2016 Accepted: 9 Feb. 2016
2016 Dunaway. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons‐Attribution‐Noncommercial‐Share Alike License 4.0 International (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, not used for commercial purposes, and, if transformed, the resulting work is redistributed under the same or similar license to this one.
When I joined Evidence Based Library and Information Practice as Editorial Intern in 2011, I was a Master of Library and Information Studies student looking for opportunities to get involved in library and information studies (LIS) service and scholarship in any way that I could. I began serving as Production Editor in 2013, and since then, EBLIP has been increasingly influential in my professional goals and interests. Of the many transformative learning experiences that I have had during my time with EBLIP, among the most significant is learning that publishing involves a degree of collaboration that is truly remarkable.
As Production Editor, my contribution to the journal is arguably more technical than editorial in nature. After manuscripts have been peer reviewed, accepted for publication, and copyedited, I prepare them for publication; I lay out the text, figures, and tables in EBLIP format and style, and put them together as an issue. I take a great deal of pride in polishing and perfecting the final version of a manuscript; although things like line spacing, paragraph headers, and the placement of figures and tables do not involve any actual editing of substantive content, these things are essential to creating aesthetically pleasing, readable articles. Although I thoroughly enjoy the artistic, visual aspect of my role, it is the ongoing teamwork during this final stage of the publication process that is truly gratifying. After I format the items, I send them back to their respective editors, who inspect the formatting and do a final proofread. Then, I send the documents to the Editorial Intern, who visually inspects them yet again. Inevitably, at each stage of this collaborative proofing process, something is identified that can be improved upon, such as a typographical error, an extra line of space between paragraphs, or the use of American English instead of Canadian English. Because such things are so easily overlooked, our collaborative process is essential and extremely effective.
In addition to the formatting and perfecting manuscripts prior to publication, my role as Production Editor involves a significant amount of behind-the-scenes work with our publishing system, Open Journal Systems (OJS). The University of Alberta hosts the instance of OJS that EBLIP lives on, and when I’ve experienced technical difficulties with OJS that I just could not resolve on my own, the University of Alberta has been yet another team member who I have been able to rely on and learn from. As Production Editor, I am very fortunate to be able to reach out to directly to various people at the University of Alberta for guidance and technical support.
Along with gaining an understanding of the amount of collaboration that goes into the creation of a single issue of EBLIP, I have also developed deep admiration and respect for the EBLIP Editorial Team as well as EBLIP’s contributing authors, for their respective roles in advancing the open access movement. The hard work that authors do in order to produce and publish quality research should be rewarded by having the fruits of that labour reach as broad an audience as possible. Through my experiences as Production Editor, I have learned that making this happen requires an enormously dedicated editorial team. For this reason, and many other reasons, I am so proud to be part of EBLIP, and thrilled to be celebrating its 10th year of publication with my outstanding colleagues!