On Tuesday, December 11, Roger Schonfeld and SUNY’s Mark McBride are presenting on “Bolstering Openness and Impact: University Publishing as a Strategic Priority at SUNY” at CNI’s Fall Meeting. For more details on the talk, which will begin at 1:00 pm, please see the conference website.


Publishing is a significant activity and strategic priority for many higher education institutions, even if an increasing share has been outsourced, especially to commercial providers, in recent decades. As large and complex organizations, universities support a remarkable array of publishing activities but often without understanding them well enough as a strategic asset that can contribute to scholarly communications priorities. How can universities better understand their own publishing activities and provide greater support to them?

Over the past year, the 64-campus SUNY system has been working with Ithaka S+R to examine its publishing activities broadly. This includes not only its university press but the full panoply of publishing activities of a major and diverse university system, including scholarly and student journals, departmental working paper series, open educational resources, library publishing, institutional repositories, and more. Most of these efforts have grown up independently of one another and in the absence of any kind of central planning or support. Through this project, SUNY has identified numerous opportunities to better serve and support publishing as a major strategic priority. Now, as we move into an implementation phase, we want to reflect with the CNI community about some of what has been learned.

Key topics we will discuss include:

  • The enormous range of publishing activities and the taxonomy we developed to organize them;
  • Opportunities to rethink and expand the work of the university press in alignment with the university mission;
  • The vital importance of considering research workflow platforms as an essential ingredient of any strategic engagement with publishing.
  • Should your university or university system review its publishing activities systematically and develop coordinated mechanisms to support them?

This session will provide an opportunity to discuss what we learned and consider how it might impact your institution as well.