"Have an idea for a digital publication?"

digital Publishing Overview

Libraries are downsizing due to budget constraints and universities are urging transitions to paperless teaching. Twenty-first century technology affords you opportunities to present your research beyond simple text-based publications as well as reach a broader audience.

Opportunities for Publishing
Each of the educational opportunities we offer, Publications Only Workshops and Developing Scholarship for the Digital Age Institute, can lead to a digital publication with the African American Studies Series of the university’s IOPN imprint. Once you have been accepted into the Publications Only Workshops your journey toward a peer-reviewed online publication begins. As a self-paced author-directed process the online workshops provide you with expert advice on the development of your digital publication. The process toward publication varies according to the educational training you bring. We also offer our Developing Scholarship for the Digital Age (DSDA) Institute, where you will be guided by expert digital publishing technologists through an intensive 8 module course of study resulting in the choice of two publishable designs or the creation of a digital publishing teaching module.  Upon completion of the institute participants will receive a $1,000 stipend and an offer to participate in the Publications Only Workshops. Use the application form under For Authors to apply. Both opportunities are highly competitive with limited space.

Cover of: Sustaining Black Studies in the 21st Century: The Digital Edition; Editors: marilyn m. thomas-houston, Irma McClaurin and Joshua Lynch

Publication Workflow

Publications Only Workshops
The Publications Only Workshops are designed for participants meeting the requirements for acceptance in at least one of three categories: 1) An idea or a digital project in hand. 2) Access to and permission to create an online edition of out-of-print publications. 3) A resume and a fully developed 2-page prospectus that meets the following proposal guidelines.

  1. Overview of your project’s subject matter, argument, and methodology.
  2. Justification for choosing to publish a digital publication versus a traditional one.
  3. List similar publications in the field.
  4. Anticipated readership.
  5. List types of media you expect to use (text, data, images, video, etc.).
  6. Your desired completion date.

After acceptance into the workshops, participants receive an individualized plan of action for the production of their particular publication. Each plan of action consists of at least two edited versions, approval by two peer reviewers, copyright clearance, complete metadata schema, assigned ISBN (or ISSN) & DOIs and final tech-check. Applications for Workshops are open at the beginning of each month.

DSDA Institute
The Digital Scholarship for the Digital Age (DSDA) Institute has an application process that requires the above-identified prospectus and a formal interview. Upon acceptance into the institute, participants will be expected to complete the 8-modules incubation workshop curriculum based on the original award-winning AFRO PWW model. This model combines the Introduction to Digital Publishing Seminar with hands-on training for each of the four IOPN-supported publishing platforms (Pressbooks, Omeka, Scalar, OJS). Participants will be expected to make weekly progress based on the institute’s curriculum and consultations conducted by the project’s digital publishing specialists.  While experience with digital platforms is preferred, a willingness to commit to learning is key to the selection process for both educational opportunities.

Following the course design and syllabus modules, scholars will be able to:

  • explain the importance of digital publishing for 21st-century educational institutions and the value of the field of Black Studies and HBCUs.
  • analyze the benefits and problems of digital publishing.
  • develop plans for the publications they will create in the tools.
  • identify the different functions of each platform and the differences in their interfaces.
  • analyze the advantages and drawbacks of affordances for each platform.
  • create metadata for two publications.
  • explain differences in platform workflows.
  • demonstrate proficiency in each platform by accurately performing assigned tasks.
  • create and design storyboards or wireframes for two publications based on prospectus.

In addition to the above tasks, participants will be guided in the production of designs using two digital platforms or the choice for the creation of a digital publishing teaching module. The deadline for applications is April 1st. Institute begins on April 10th.

Publication Tools

We Can Support you and your projects.

PWW utilizes a suite of publication tools and platforms to support your projects. We will work with you to determine which tools and platforms best meet your publication goals and requirements.


Simple software, based on WordPress for the production of eBooks in MOBI, EPUB, and PDF formats.


An authoring and publishing platform that enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways.


A web-publishing platform for displaying collections and exhibitions. 

Open Journal Systems

A journal management and publishing system that can support serial publications and other forms of modular content.

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