Academic Newsletter – December 2020

Academic Newsletter – December 2020

I4OA signs up 75th member

The Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA) has signed up its 75th publisher member less than three months after launching this September. Oxford University Press has become the latest publisher to join this collaboration between publishers, infrastructure organisations, librarians, and researchers, which aims to promote the open availability of abstracts by encouraging publishers to submit abstracts to Crossref alongside bibliographic metadata and references.

Oxford in historical clean sweep

It’s been a successful month for OUP on the awards front, with its authors winning the three main history prizes. Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America by Caleb McDaniel won the Pulitzer Prize for History; David Abulafia’s The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans (published in the US by OUP, but in the UK by Allen Lane) won the Wolfson History Prize, and Camilla Townsend’s Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs was awarded the Cundill Prize for the best history writing in English.

Bristol joins UN compact

Bristol University Press has become the latest signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Publishers (SDG) Compact. Launched at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, the compact is designed to inspire action among publishers to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and is a collaboration between the United Nations and the International Publishers Association.

Westminster partners with Michigan and Janeway

Open Access publisher the University of Westminster Press has partnered with Michigan Publishing Services and the Janeway Systems digital journals publishing platform in an agreement which will see the press’s six scholarly journals – Active Travel Studies, Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman, The Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, The Journal of Deliberative Democracy, Silk Road: A Journal of Eurasian Development, and Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture – published on Janeway from January.

New partners for the Open Library of the Humanities

The Open Library of the Humanities, the creators of Janeway, have announced three new partners for their Library Partnership Subsidy Scheme, which enables the publication of research in the humanities and social sciences without requiring the payment of article processing charges by authors. The Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB), the library of the Technische Universität Dresden, is one of the largest academic libraries in Germany; the Royal Danish Library, the national library of Denmark and the university library for five of Denmark’s eight universities, is the largest library in the Nordic countries, and The University of Liège’s Library is one of Belgium’s leading advocates of open access publication, responsible for the creation of several OA portals and platforms.

And finally,

The academic publishing sector has once again performed well in the Bookseller’s Diagram Prize, awarded to the book with the oddest title published each year. Bloomsbury Academic’s Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music and the University of Wales Press’s Introducing the Medieval Ass both featured on the shortlist but were beaten by a study of animal metaphors in Eastern Indonesian Society with an extremely colourful title, published by Canada’s McGill-Queen’s University Press.


Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University.

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