Academic Newsletter – February 2018

Academic Newsletter – February 2018

HEFCE statement attempts to calm open access monograph controversy


HEFCE Head of Research Policy Steven Hill has attempted to calm the recent storm over open access monograph requirements in a blogpost published on the HEFCE website last Friday. The controversy stems from a talk Hill gave at this month’s Redux conference of university presses (recording available here), where he repeatedly stated that monographs submitted for the next but one REF process – likely to be known as REF 2027, but covering a period beginning in 2021 – would need to be open access. Though this news came as a surprise to many attendees, the general intention – as Hill pointed out – had previously been signalled in an Annex to the Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework, published in December 2016, which announced that ‘We therefore intend to move towards an open-access requirement for monographs in the exercise that follows the next REF (expected in the mid-2020s).’ However, the annex acknowledges the many challenges involved in formulating a policy that works for monographs, and includes many caveats glossed over or omitted by Hill’s talk, such as the need for exceptions, and the intention to ‘be flexible about the proportion of monographs submitted to a future exercise that will be expected to meet open-access requirements’. In his blogpost, Hill reassuringly reinstates most of these positions, suggesting that the funding body – which will shortly be absorbed into the new organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation – may be more willing to consult with publishers than his conference talk may have suggested.

Innovation, collaboration high on the agenda as Pinter scoops inaugural Redux award

Innovation and collaboration were the watchwords for the rest of the Redux conference, hosted by UCL Press and the ALPSP, as presses shared expertise and news of new projects. The new breed of university presses – which could soon number 30, according to JISC’s Graham Stone – were well-represented, with a speech from Goldsmith’s Press director Sarah Kember calling for more collaborative, scholar-led, institutional publishing models. Peter Berkery of the Association of University Presses introduced TOME, a five-year programme to support open access monographs, while Charles Watkinson of the University of Michigan Press introduced Fulcrum, the press’s new platform for hosting enhanced academic ebooks. And the inaugural Redux award, honouring an outstanding contribution to university press publishing by an individual or press, was given to Frances Pinter, former CEO of Manchester University Press, and founder both of institutional crowdfunding platform Knowledge Unlatched and its usage data-focused offshoot Knowledge Unlatched Research. Pinter recently stepped down from executive roles, including her post as Executive Director of KUR, to develop her own research interests, centring upon the phenomenon of book-burning, and its digital equivalents.

Shortlists announced for IPG Awards

Scholarly publishers are once again well-represented in the shortlists for the annual IPG Awards, whose winners will be announced on Thursday 8th March at a gala dinner during the IPG Spring Conference. The five publishers shortlisted for the ProQuest Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year award are Class Publishing, Kogan Page, first-time shortlistees Boydell & Brewer and Emerald Publishing, and 2017 double award winners Edward Elgar Publishing; of these, Kogan Page has also been shortlisted for the Bookseller International Achievement of the Year award, while Class Publishing is up both for the IPG Digital Publishing Award and, in the form of editorial manager Emma Milman, for IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year.

Cambridge extends partnership with author services provider

Cambridge University Press has announced an expansion to its partnership with author services company American Journal Experts (AJE). At its launch last year, the joint site offered language editing for authors writing in English as a second language, but this will now be extended to include translation of manuscripts from Chinese, Japanese, Spanish or Portuguese into English, manuscript formatting, and figure and poster preparation.



Alastair Horne is a PhD student

at the British Library and Bath Spa University

The Academic Newsletter is sponsored by The Copyright Clearance Center.

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), with its subsidiaries RightsDirect and Ixxus, is a global leader in content workflow, document delivery, text and data mining and rights licensing technology for thousands of publishers, businesses and academic institutions. CCC’s solutions provide anytime, anywhere content access, usage rights and information management while promoting and protecting the interests of copyright holders. CCC serves more than 35,000 customers and over 12,000 copyright holders worldwide and manages more than 950 million rights from the world’s most sought-after journals, books, blogs, movies and more. The company has locations in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Romania and Japan.

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