LITA Publications Committee

I’m posting an abbreviated report here because, from the look of it, the committee report form (which should show up on LITA-L) automagically combines all those carefully-prepared paragraphs into one big ugly paragraph. Ah, the wonders of automation…

Anyway: We had five people at the single 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting session–two committee members (Judy Jeng and Juan Carlos Rodriguez), Board liaison Mark Beatty, ITAL editor Marc Truitt, LITA Executive Director Mary Taylor and me. Given the extent of his advance comments, I’d consider committee member Paul Bracke to be a “virtual attendee.”


  • ITAL: The December issue is out, enough articles are on hand for the March and June issues, and probably enough for September. New submissions continue to arrive–and, as is typical of a high-value journal, fewer than half of the submissions are accepted. The ITALica blog hasn’t had a lot of activity to date, but it also doesn’t show up in end-of-article blurbs yet. (There aren’t metrics for blog readership yet.) The group discussed ITAL’s print status and OA status (currently a six-month embargo). Apparently, only half of the production budget is print-related, and outside subscriptions almost cover the costs (but not quite). The group suggested a member and subscriber survey to determine current preferences for print vs. e-only. Mary Taylor will look into availability of recycled paper (used by some other divisional journals). (We noted the possibility of an OA e-only journal with optional end-of-year print using PoD, as some journals are now doing.)
  • LITA Guides and LITA monographs: We discussed the current Guides contract. One Guide proposal appeared just after Midwinter, and will be routed to committee members for discussion. There’s not a big flow of monographs (or any, actually), and we discussed whether there were loads of ideas out there where LITA could add value and books needed to be written. Opinions differ.
  • Technology Electronic Reviews: With a resigning editor, two 2007 issues (the second having only three reviews) and no 2008 issues, TER appears moribund. The general feeling during the meeting was that the best solution might be to revitalize ITAL’s reviews section and invite TER reviewers to submit reviews to ITAL. That discussion may also be ongoing.
  • The role of Publications Committee: Some discussion. Is the committee vital as a revenue source? Should members be actively soliciting possible monographs? Should the group take a look at both content that’s out there and appropriate venues? This is probably a long-term discussion, maybe to be moved forward with a younger and more energetic chair.

–Walt Crawford, chair (for now), LITA Publications Committee