This project to re-constitute and redefine publishing is inspired by the movement by academic libraries to create “makerspaces” where patrons can experiment with designing art installations or objects and use equipment such as 3D printers to prototype their ideas; these workshop spaces and creative laboratories are, in turn, inspired by the makerspaces where engineers and computer scientists come together to take things apart and put them back together in innovative ways. Working in such inventive spaces, whether in open laboratories or prototyping studios, people are finding innovation in using old circuits or tools in new ways. Such Makerspaces encourage experimentation, drawing from existing skill sets and encountering a process of discovery that leads to innovation.
In this same spirit of openness and experimentation, the Publishing Makerspace project brings together people with skills relevant to publishing and opens the possibility of reconfiguring the scholarly-publishing process in new ways that encourage new modes of scholarship. Our intent is to provide an environment in which scholars work with editors, publishers, librarians and digital specialists to explore collaborative structures and mechanisms for publication that contribute to public scholarship, that take full advantage of digital platforms, and that provide exciting models for scholarly communication.