Academic publishing has long been a challenging and potentially expensive enterprise—both for faculty looking to get published and for the university itself to maintain a current library of academic journals. EKU’s library is working to change that.

Thanks to its digital publishing platform, Encompass, the library now has the ability to publish its own peer review journals. In fact, since its launch in September 2010, the Encompass platform has published hundreds of articles in eight different journals. Created by the faculty and staff around campus, each journal focuses on providing material for many of EKU’s interests.

The list of journals continues to grow. Just this March, the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education (JOTE) was created, providing a new outlet of information for students and professors in that department. Other journals include:

  • PRISM: A Journal of Regional Engagement
  • Journal of Military Experience (JME)
  • ninepatch: A Creative Journal for Women and Gender Studies
  • Kentucky Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning
  • Journal of Retracing Africa (JORA)
  • The Chautauqua Journal

“Each journal supports some aspect of the EKU mission,” says Linda Sizemore, copyright and scholarly communications librarian at EKU. “Not only for students and faculty but it also shows the impact that EKU has not only in the United States but on a global basis…It’s outreach.”

Encompass is unique because of its “open access” policy, Sizemore said. Unlike other peer review journals that require a subscription for access, Encompass is free and open to people around the world.

“The publishing platform really works on making this content discoverable via Google or Bing or any other search engine on the internet,” said Laura Edwards, discovery and metadata team leader at the library.

Edwards said scholarly journals present academic libraries with a big challenge: having to pay for subscriptions to all of them every year, which can add up quickly.

“This is kind of our way to fight back against that,” Edwards said. “The libraries pay the full cost of the platform.”

Scholars from around the world are welcome to submit articles for publication, but like any peer review journals, the works are still held to high standards, Edwards said. To be published, the author generally must be a scholar in the field they’re writing about. There are some exceptions, such as the Journal of Military Experience and ninepatch, which are both creative journals. The journals can be found online at encompass.eku.edu.