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Digital Publishing Assistant Intern


U-M Michigan Publishing


Ann Arbor, MI (Remote)


Jeremy Morse, Director of Publishing Technology

Description of the Intern’s Role and Responsibilities

Please use this space to describe the project(s) or areas of work that a student will contribute to. Please identify what skills and knowledge are needed, as well as what students will learn by working on the project and serving your organization.

Fulcrum, developed at University of Michigan, is one of a number of open source tools developed with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enable authors in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) to publish their work in richer ways. It focuses on integrating data and primary source materials into enhanced ebooks. As the Mind the Gap studyhighlighted, there are unrealized opportunities for interoperability between these tools and platforms that could make each of them more useful to scholars and, by better meeting the needs of the community, more sustainable.

The intern will work with the developers of Fulcrum to identify use cases for interoperability with two other open-source publishing platforms, Manifold, developed at the University of Minnesota and CUNY, and Humanities Commons, now based at Michigan State University. While some technical knowledge would be an advantage, the focus of the work will be on studying the changing publishing needs of HSS scholars and translating these into potential development needs. The intern will be working with developers but not doing any programming themselves. The successful candidate will have curiosity about digital publishing, awareness of concepts like user experience (UX) design and process mapping, and some experience conducting structured interviews.

This internship is an opportunity to go behind the scenes to understand the developing world of digital scholarship tools and platforms. This will be of benefit to students thinking about how to publish their own work as well as those interested in potentially developing a career in academic publishing. Working in a team of digital specialists from Minnesota, Michigan State, Stanford, and CUNY, as well as Michigan, the intern will also improve their knowledge of software development concepts such as UX design, API development, and Agile techniques.


Note: all students are expected to work 20 hours per week. The specific days of the week and remote work possibilities (if any) are at the discretion of the site and should be discussed explicitly during the interview and hiring process. Here you can identify specific days of the week students should plan to work because of staff meeting times, team schedules, etc.

The work is project-based and flexible, although there will be a requirement to participate in team meetings every two weeks and a meeting with the supervisor every week.

About the Organization

Michigan Publishing is the Publishing division of the University of Michigan Library. Over 40 employees work on a range of publishing projects, from producing 100 books a year under the University of Michigan Press imprint, through hosting over 30 electronic journals, to running the Deep Blue institutional repository for research data. A particular recent focus has been the development of a publishing platform for media-rich enhanced ebooks, known as Fulcrum. This platform now delivers over 10,000 ebooks to libraries and readers around the world on behalf of a range of university presses and other non-profit publishers.