Bringing History into the Digital Age: A Case Study of an Online Journal Transition

Caitlin Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Scholarly communication and library publishing services are becoming more widespread, giving academic libraries new opportunities to become more active participants in the creation and distribution of resources. These new ventures can help librarians to broaden their understanding of scholarly publishing. Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) Library partnered with WLU Press in an e-journal initiative, launching the digital counterpart of a long-running print publication, Canadian Military History. This article presents a summary of that project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-266
Number of pages4
JournalSerials Librarian
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
At the same time, the Centre was considering applying for funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), which offers aid to scholarly journals for up to $30,000 per annum. Requirements included “diversity and relevance of the journal’s proposed strategies for reaching the appropriate readership,” “nature and extent of the journal’s readership, and of the journal’s efforts to increase or broaden that readership,” and “impact of the journal’s articles,” as measured either by citation indices or usage reports.6 The SSHRC program had awarded 138 of the 208 applicants in 2011.7 The SSHRC evaluation criteria served as a kind of checklist for the development of policies. At the outset of the project, the Managing Editor of CMH , the Director of the Press, and the Acquisitions Editors completed a questionnaire designed to help determine their expectations and objectives, as well as to ascertain what policies were already in place. Many journals—particularly niche publications—operate without formalized policies or agreements. Because these journals typically operate with fewer staff members and smaller circulations, formalization can seem unnecessary and a journal’s policies are conceived of almost as tacit knowledge. This can be an ill-advised assumption to make as confusion or miscommunication may result, with potentially serious ramifications, especially where issues of copyright or finances are concerned.


  • e-journal publishing
  • libraries as publishers
  • scholarly communications
  • scholarly publishing


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