Expanded resources for supporting the creation of multimodal and digital publications at Penn Libraries are currently under development. Check back on these pages for updates and more information and/or reach out to the Contemporary Publishing Fellow with specific questions or to request a consultation or workshop.
Selecting a platform for your digital publication requires several considerations. Although it can be tempting to pick a platform before beginning a project, it's important to define the publication scope and articulate the need for digital tools or affordances before settling on a platform in order to make sure that the platform's features can support the project.
Some of the main considerations to think about include:
Technical experience: Outline what technical skills or knowledge of tools that you have, the ones you do not, and the ones you have the time and capacity to learn. As you learn more about platform options, this will help you evaluate what kind of support your project will need.
Identifying the Publication Genre: Is the narrative short- or long-form? Do you need a table of contents to engage with the project? Do you need to be able to organize content by volumes or issues? Not all platforms can support every publication type, so identifying the needs of your publication will help determine the platform.
Digital tools and/or enhancements: What kind of digital tools and/or enhancements are necessary to support your narrative? Making a list of the essential digital tools, enhancements, and/or assets (e.g. a gallery of images, an interactive map, an audio file) will help determine the platform options. Ranking digital tools, enhancements and/or assets from essential to auxiliary (need-to-have to nice-to-have) will also help identify a supporting platform, as well as start to outline considerations for the project timeline and preservation.
Explore digital publications: Spend some time researching digital publications that are similar in genre, scope, theme, or leverage of digital tools. Exploring other digital publications that do something similar to the project you hope to achieve can also help narrow down platform options.
Publication Endurance: How long does your digital publication need to endure and be fully accessible? Does your publication require a long-term preservation strategy (e.g. for a monograph or journal, especially if published by an academic press), or is it a class project that can be sunset after 3-5 years? Considering the long-term life cycle of your publication will also help identify a digital publishing platform based on your project needs.
Discoverability: How do you anticipate readers will find your digital publication? Does your digital publication need an ISBN, ISSN, or DOI? Does it need to be discoverable in peer library catalogs? Can it be linked to your research center or department website if not cataloged? Identifying how readers will find your digital publication will also help determine the platform that will support your project.
Digital Publishing Platforms Supported by Penn Libraries:
Additional Digital Publishing Platforms:
(Not currently supported by Penn Libraries, however you can contact the Contemporary Publishing Fellow to learn more about these resources)