New open access press for Ireland
Ireland has gained its first open access university press with the launch last month of Dublin City University Press, a joint initiative between the university’s Office of the Vice President of Research and its libraries. DCU Press will publish research in all fields, selling print editions while making online versions available for free; London’s UCL Press will be providing publishing services in support of the new press.
Profits increase for Cambridge
Cambridge University Press has released its annual report for the financial year ending April 2018. Turnover increased 3.1% to £315.9m, resulting in a rise in operating profits of 25% to £17m. Though figures for the press’s individual business streams were not listed in the report, CEO Peter Phillips pointed to a good year for the Academic sector in the North American market, and ‘very positive’ book sales worldwide. The report’s section on Academic Publishing highlighted the many awards CUP books had received over the past year, including six category winners at the Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Excellence Awards, and thirty titles listed amongst Choice magazine’s Outstanding Academic Titles.
Open access monograph developments
Noting some of the challenges that lie ahead, the Cambridge report drew attention to the decision that monographs submitted as part of the 2027 Research Excellence Framework will be required to be open access. On that subject, a post from Helen Snaith, Senior Policy Advisor for Research England, the English successor to HEFCE, rejected the possibility of providing a dedicated fund for OA monographs and emphasised the need for consultations and a range of possible exceptions, dismissing claims from the Royal Historical Society that the requirement would restrict academic freedom. Meanwhile, SAGE has announced the expansion of its existing open access programme to include monographs: SAGE Open Long Form will form a special section within the publisher’s social sciences and humanities open access journal SAGE Open.
New platforms for Manchester
Manchester University Press has launched two new self-built digital platforms for content in the humanities and social sciences. manchesterhive brings together all the press’s academic content – books, journals, and collections – into a single place, while manchesteropenhive hosts all its free-to-access materials. MUP chief executive Simon Ross described the move as ‘perhaps the most significant event in our 115-year history’.
A busy month for Liverpool
Liverpool University Press Director Anthony Cond has been appointed to a three-year term as board member of the Association of University Presses, formerly the Association of American University Presses, becoming its first representative from outside North America; Jennifer Crewe, Associate Provost and Director at Columbia University Press, assumed the presidency. In a busy month for LUP, it was announced late last month that it will be publishing The Indexer, the quarterly journal of the Society of Indexers, from March 2019 onwards, while its partnership with the University of Oxford’s Voltaire Foundation, announced last year, came into operation from the start of August, and will see the press become publisher of the Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment series.
New tool and criteria from Knowledge Unlatched
Knowledge Unlatched has announced two new sets of partnerships, and some additions to its advisory board. It is working with four university presses – Liverpool, Edinburgh, Cornell, and Michigan – on a new tool which will provide publishers and libraries with a single reporting tool for aggregate Open Access eBooks usage. KU Open Analytics will be made available in the autumn and aims to build a more comprehensive picture of how OA monographs are accessed. The organisation has also partnered with the National Contact Point Open Access to develop quality criteria for OA books, beginning with the areas of formats, metadata, accessibility, costs, and distribution, and then moving on to peer review and text and data mining. KU has also appointed two new members to its advisory board, Terry Ehling, Director for Strategic Initiatives at MIT Press, and Alison Mudditt, Chief Executive Officer at PLOS.
Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University