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Scholarly Communications and Publishing Services

Supporting the creation, evaluation, dissemination, and preservation of the University's scholarly output


The Library can support the publishing of online journals, newsletters, technical report series, open educational resources, and other publications using Digital Commons, a publishing platform. Digital Commons combines submission management, editorial, and peer-review tools and offers workflow and design customizations. Publications hosted on Digital Commons are discoverable by Google and other search engines.

Publications hosted on Digital Commons must be sponsored by a faculty or student organization affiliated with North Carolina A&T State University. Persons serving in an editorial or oversight capacity of the publication must meet the following criteria:

  • associated with North Carolina A&T State University
  • willing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that details the expectations of F.D. Bluford Library and the editors or producers of the publication
  • willing to learn the Digital Commons interface
  • committed to posting content on a regular schedule such as quarterly, monthly, etc.

By default, publications hosted on Digital Commons are published as open access. However, Digital Commons can also support subscription-based or hybrid serial publication models. While the Library highly encourages open access, the Library will work with the sponsors of the publication to determine which model will be best suited for the publication.

The Library will assist with the set-up of the publication and coordinate training for Digital Commons’ user interface. The Library does not offer editorial services but can recommend resources to support such efforts.

Getting Started

All requests to start a journal must be accompanied by a completed request form which includes:

  • a signed memorandum of understanding 

  • proposed name for the journal

  • description of the journal including the aims and scope

  • frequency of publication

  • name of the faculty member or staff member who is initiating the request and who will serve as the managing editor

Peer reviewed journals should have an editorial board

An editorial board should be designated to serve as the body overseeing the editorial policies, and to manage the peer review procedures. If the editorial board is comprised of students, at least one faculty member must be on the editorial board to help ensure continuity. The editorial board members will be posted on the journal information page. We encourage composition of boards that include faculty, staff, and students.

Authors retain their copyright

All authors of individual articles retain their copyright to the works submitted; however, all submissions become a permanent part of the Aggie Digital Collections and Scholarship. We cannot honor requests to remove or suppress content, unless it is for reasons of copyright infringement or other intellectual property violation. All authors must sign an agreement form prior to publication.

Advertising and promotion is the responsibility of the publishing department

Publishing entities are responsible for the advertising and promotion of their journal.

Approval of requests

All requests will be reviewed by the Library. In order to allow sufficient time, please submit requests at least two months prior to requesting the start of a journal.

Library responsibilities

Upon approval, the library staff will:

Discontinuation of a Journal

If no new content or issues are produced for two consecutive years, the journal will be considered to have “ceased publication.” The Library will contact the department chair/head of the department and confirm that the journal is no longer being published and appropriate notices will be placed in the in the catalog record and in Aggie Digital Collections and Scholarship.

Adapted from from Florida International University Libraries 

Phases of Journal Development

Phase 1: Meet with Library staff to create a scope of work for your journal.

New editors and existing editorial boards will meet with Library staff to discuss the journal and review:

  • Policies for hosting journals in Aggie Digital Collections and Scholarship
  • Desired launch date
  • Rights management/copyright

Phase 2: Design

In consultation with Library staff, journal editors will provide detailed design specifications for the journal. This includes colors, logo, typography, and layout. Journals are based on a template. Bepress, the Digital Commons vendor,  provides design services and will create a journal site design based on the design specifications provided by the editors and within the template parameters.

BePress designers will provide three (3) iterations of the design at no cost to the journal editors. Therefore, it is important to be as specific and provide as much design direction as possible. The designers will provide a mockup of the site and editors will have an opportunity to review and provide additional feedback to the designers.

See more about the Digital Commons Design Specifications.

Phase 3: Demo and Training

Once the design has been approved by the editors, a demo site is created. This demo site will provide editors an opportunity to work and test the site. This demo site will also be used for training purposes. All editors will receive training on the demo journal site before it is launched.

Site text, including “about the journal”, submission instructions, information about the editorial board, and journal policies should be added to the demo site before launch.

Phase 4: Launch

Once the editors have been trained and the site text has been added, the journal is ready to be launched. After the journal is launched, it is ready to receive submissions.

Adapted from from Florida International University Libraries