A New Chapter for Associate Professor Gabriel Lugo and UNCW’s Randall Library

Friday, October 01, 2021

For Gabriel Lugo, associate professor of mathematical sciences, publishing his book Differential Geometry in Physics marked a new chapter for both himself and William Madison Randall Library. Lugo’s book is the first to be published through UNCW.

While serving as chair of the Faculty Assembly from 2016 to 2018, Lugo was introduced to John Sherer, the director of UNC Press. Sherer provided Lugo with an invaluable opportunity through which he could publish his work.

“After I did my service in faculty governance and finally had time to engage in my own project, it was time to finish my book that had been on hold for many years,” said Lugo. “When I was done, I called John asking for advice on some commercial publishers, and he made me aware of this new initiative of UNC Press to better serve the UNC System.”

UNC Press, which publishes premier journals and books from the country’s greatest intellectuals, scholars and writers, provides access to a range of sustainable, mission-driven publishing models and solutions. The Office of Scholarly Publishing Services also provides some grant funding to help cover the costs of publishing services through its Thomas W. Ross fund. Grants range from $500 to $4,000 dollars.

“The book developed from my notes on a course with the same title that I have taught for many years at UNCW,” said Lugo. “The subject is fascinating and beautiful. I want students to have access to it in a manner that does not financially burden them with books that are too expensive and too difficult to read because of the emphasis on the math and not the applications. The initiative by the UNC Press made it completely natural to publish via Randall Library. I have to say that it gives me great joy to see the UNCW logo on the cover.”

The publishing process involves a partnership between Randall library and OSPS. While the OSPS produces the ebook (and will provide the paperback version on request), Randall Library serves as a liaison between the press and the author. The UNCW library has also joined nine other UNC libraries that have partnered with UNC Press, promoting UNC System authors’ work.

“Randall was planning to launch its publishing service later this year, but Dr. Lugo reached out to UNC Press first,” said University Librarian Lucy Holman. “John McLeod, with OSPS, knew we were launching our program and referred Dr. Lugo to us. Together with McLeod we worked out all the arrangements. So, Dr. Lugo’s book will be the first book published by Randall under this partnership. We look forward to serving as publisher for other faculty works.”

Randall library is an institutional partner for Dr. Lugo—which fulfills one of the requirements of the Thomas W. Ross Fund Publishing Grant, noted Allison Kittinger, a scholarly communications librarian.

“Since I arrived on campus in June, I've seen a lot of interest in publishing open books and textbooks, which is very exciting,” she said. “I'm looking forward to supporting more of these efforts with UNC Press in the future.”

Lugo’s work represents not only a milestone in his own career, but also a milestone for his academic unit.

“The College of Arts and Sciences is very excited about this partnership between UNCW and UNC Press,” said Michelle Scatton-Tessier, French professor and interim CAS dean. “Professor Lugo is an exemplary scholar and educator, and CAS is delighted to see his work published by UNCW and supported by one of the oldest and most distinguished university presses in the country.”

--Diego Berrocal ’22