Author Identity Metadata: Why a Small Publisher Can Address a Major Challenge

David Parker leads a discussion about an effort to develop more robust catalog records and searchable fields in publishers' online catalogs. This session was part of a Virtual Concurrent Session ancillary to the Charleston Conference. It was held on Monday, November 27th, 2023. 

SESSION REPLAY: Author Identity Metadata: Why a Small Publisher Can Address a Major Challenge

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Session Description:

Library patrons want to search for and locate authors by particular identity markers, such as gender identification, country of origin, sexual orientation, nature of disability, and the many intersectional points that allow an author to express a point of view. Artificial Intelligence, skilled web researchers, and data scientists in general struggle to achieve accuracy on single identity markers such as gender. And what right does anybody have to affix identity metadata to an author other than the author theirselves? And what of the risks in disseminating author identity metadata in electronic distribution platforms and in library catalog systems? Can a "fully informed" author even imagine all the possible misuses of their identity metadata? 

Oh, but the benefits. Academic and scholarly publishing catalogs are not capturing the depth and breadth of voices readers want to read. How can publishers be held accountable to amplify underrepresented voices, globally marginalized voices, and the many counter-narratives we need to hear? Imagine a publisher's online catalog that allowed a reader to select, with confidence, a book from a self-identified queer, neurodiverse author from Ghana?

In this discussion an author, a librarian, a publisher, and an ebook platform provider present the early learnings from an effort at Lived Places Publishing to engage its author and editor community in the development of author-generated, author-approved, and author-delivered identity metadata to support the development of robust catalog records and searchable fields in the publisher's online catalog.


  • David Parker: Lived Places Publishing, Publisher and Founder
  • Kadian Pow, Brimingham City School of Social Sciences
  • Jeremy Garskoff, Gettysburg College, Assistant Dean
  • Amy McCoy, ProQuest/Clarivate, Senior Manager, Product Operations

About Our Publishing House

Lived Places Publishing (LPP) is building a catalog of applied and concise course reading material in interdisciplinary collections. Each title we publish explores the intersection of identity and place, humanizing an issue through lived experience(s).

Each LPP book includes learning objectives, recommended assignments and discussion guides, and is written at a length (100-150 pages) to be completed in 2-3 weeks of a course. Lived Places Publishing books are written to bring theory and concept to life and to illustrate the theories and concepts that underpin the curriculum in each discipline we publish to.

About Our Books

To view our growing catalog:

Here's a sampling of our books so you can get a sense of what we publish:

  1. Stories of Black Female Identity in the Making: Queering the Love in Blackness by Kadian Pow (Black Studies)
  2. Creative Resistance: The Social Justice Practices of Monirah, Halleh, and Diala by Cindy Horst (Forced Migration Studies)
  3. Social Spaces for Older Queer Adults: A Guide for Social Work Practitioners by David Betts (Queer and LGBT+ Studies)
  4. (Re)constructing Memory, Place, and Identity: Sangre Mexicano, Corazon Chicano by Louis Mendoza (Latinx Studies)
  5. Improving the Experience of Health Care for People Living with Sensory Disability by Annmaree Watharow MD, PhD (Disability Studies)
  6. My Precious Legacy: Slave Culture in the American South by Deirdre Foreman (Black Studies)
  7. My Name Is: Is Your Name A Gift or A Burden? by Javeria Shah (Cultural Anthropology)
  8. Trans(formations) and Tenderness: Rhetorics and Resources to Support Transgender Youth by Prathim-Maya Dora-Laskey (Queer and LGBT+ Studies)
  9. Students, Teachers, Families, and a Socially Just Education by Julie Allan and Francesca Peruzzo (Education Studies)
  10. Stuck Outside: The Limits of Progressive Legal Reform by Andrew Taylor (Carceral Studies)

In addition to these titles, we have 90+ more books in development – and 30+ institutions have purchased our entire library collection so far, including Georgetown University, Princeton University, University of Toronto, and Cambridge University.

About Our Collection Model

We currently have two Library Collections and plan to release new collections annually:

Our Library Collections are delivered with libraries in mind:

  • DRM-free, unlimited user access, and unrestricted PDF download of titles
  • Whole ebook interlibrary loan to one partner institution at a time
  • Affordable, perpetual access pricing with region-appropriate discounts to ensure every university across the globe can own the LPP collection
  • 5% of all sales set aside to fund author-choice open access publishing at our average production cost

See complete information about all of the above here in our Librarian Resource Center.

About Our Mission


Written by: Michael Boezi

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