[Editor’s note: Welcome, Nina! We’re thrilled to have you.]
Being in the company of seasoned librarians as a student guest blogger on The LibPub is … umm … slightly intimidating but a real honor and actually a great idea for any student completing a library internship. I am currently a scholarly communications intern at Florida State University (FSU), working with Scholarly Communication Librarian Micah Vandegrift. I am also a gradate student at FSU’s School of Library and Information Studies looking forward to winding up the program next semester.
A bit about my background: I practiced labor and employment law for five years before deciding to switch gears and pursue librarianship. I also have some experience in publishing. I edited and wrote for a travel magazine before law school, served as editor-in-chief and articles editor of a student-edited law journal, published some law articles and book chapters, and did some freelance editorial work on legal treatises for Bloomberg BNA as well as copyediting of political science texts for a publishing services company.
As a graduate student, I have steered course projects toward scholarly communications topics to learn as much as I can about a subject that is not widely taught. Some examples: I wrote a hypothetical LSTA grant to fund an institutional repository at an academic library, and I wrote an industry analysis about scholarly journal publishing for a business reference course. My latest is the launching of L.J. eds., a blog about student-edited law journals, for my social media management course.
I see L.J. eds. as a form of outreach to law student editors in a field where two-thirds of the approximately 1,000 law journals published in the U.S. are edited by students and are not peer-reviewed, according to statistics from the Washington & Lee University School of Law’s Law Journals Submissions and Rankings for 2012. With student editors serving one-year terms and moving on, there is a lack of industry (and institutional) memory. So I am experimenting with whether there is interest within that community in a blog that covers and curates industry-related content. Some of my posts may be useful to student-edited journals published at your universities, so please pass it along to anyone you think might benefit.
Law journals are generally published by or affiliated with law schools, and law libraries are getting involved in supporting them. The law journal publishing model is admittedly very different from scholarly journal publishing in other fields, but as the library community looks at big-picture ways to transform a presently very broken academic publishing industry by bringing some operations in-house, law journal publishing might just provide some interesting insights for the library community to explore.
My next post will be about a tool both built and run by law libraries that solves the problem of linkrot in law journal citations. I’ll also post about some of the work I do as a scholarly communications intern. Stay tuned.