Session Proposal: Doing Academic Outreach

We are the believers: we know that a new era of scholarly communication is upon us, and that it requires digital writing and publishing platforms, a more open approach to peer review, and acknowledgement of the changing terrain of publishing markets and modes of access (online, open, or otherwise). We believe. We know.

But what about them?

This session proposal asks us to consider how we market new approaches to scholarly communication on campus. How we define “them” (and perhaps whether it’s problematic to be thinking in “us/them” terms). And, most importantly, what strategies are needed to shepherd and shape the move toward sustainable academic publishing.

As someone relatively new to the publishing world (I am a current CLIR Fellow at MPublishing, but I come from an English department as both a former grad student and a less former lecturer), I’m interested in how and where good outreach takes place. What I’ve found fascinating about the enterprise of academic publishing so far is that it requires a marketing cocktail that’s two parts simply exposin’ cool sh…stuff that already exists, and one part evangelism. With this recipe in mind, the guiding questions become: At what level(s) (student, faculty, department, library, etc.) do we begin the process of exposure and evangelism? And, in the granular world of the university, where should university presses (and library-based publishers) put their time and energy?

My hope is: 1) that participants with experience in creating successful outreach programs and events, or useful marketing and promotional materials, would be willing to have an open conversation about what works, what doesn’t, and why. And 2) that everyone at the table would have the opportunity to suggest good (and perhaps best) practices for doing and designing outreach strategies.

Categories: General |

About Korey Jackson

I hold a PhD in English from the University of Michigan and, during the 2010-2011 school year, was a Lecturer in the English Department at UM, where I taught courses on writing, poetry, and historical and science fiction. Some of my research interests include dialect literature, the history of language study and language policy in 19th-century America, and digital media and pedagogy. In August 2011, I began as a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow at MPublishing, the library-based publishing division at the University of Michigan.

One Response to Session Proposal: Doing Academic Outreach

  1. I’d love to talk about this, too. I’m often amazed at how little imagination (if that’s the word for it) faculty have. There’s something about the training they get that becomes sort of … a cult of publishing a certain way, regardless of whether it suits your work or in fact has an audience.

Comments are closed.