Academic Newsletter – February 2018

Academic Newsletter – February 2018

UCL Press launches megajournal

UCL Press has announced the launch of a new cross-disciplinary open access megajournal, on the model of existing megajournals such as the Public Library of Science’s PLOS One and Nature’s Scientific Reports. Piloting initially in environmental science, but soon expanding to include other disciplines, the journal will incorporate open peer review, so that readers will be able to see reviewer comments on papers attributed and in full. UCL is also developing an open access platform for textbooks, with its two launch titles expected to rise soon to twelve. The Press’s existing programme of open access publishing has seen its 50 books downloaded more than 650,000 times across 218 countries.

Williams appointed CEO at Emerald Publishing

Emerald Publishing, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year, has appointed Vicky Williams as its new CEO. In an eighteen-year career with the company, Williams has held several senior roles, including head of publishing development and director of business and development; most recently, she combined the posts of director of people (HR) and CEO of Emerald’s creative agency business, Research Media. Meanwhile, Richard Bevan, already CEO of Emerald Group, will take on an additional role as the group’s executive chair, replacing founder Keith Howard, who remains on the board.

Neylon to replace Pinter at Knowledge Unlatched Research

Knowledge Unlatched Research, the independent research group focusing on the usage of open access monographs, has announced that founder Frances Pinter will be stepping down from her position as executive director in the spring. Her replacement will be Cameron Neylon, former advocacy director at PLOS, and currently Professor of Research Communication at the Centre for Culture and Technology. Pinter, who described KU Research, which she founded in 2016, as ‘my last start-up in the industry’, will continue with a few board positions while pursuing other interests outside of scholarly publishing; her article on variation in book processing charges appeared in the Journal of Electronic Publishing earlier this month.

Pinter’s previous venture, open access service provider Knowledge Unlatched, announced earlier this month that it had seen a growth of 20% year on year in its open access programmes in the humanities and social sciences, with 300 books and 15 journals set to be made available following the success of its KU Select 2017 offering. The organisation has now made than 1200 HSS monographs available through open access since its foundation in 2012, amounting to more than 10% of all titles listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).

Redux conference to honour outstanding contribution to university press sector

Next month’s second University Press Redux conference will feature the inaugural University Press Redux Award, recognising an individual, team, or press that has made an outstanding contribution to University Press publishing. A shortlist of four candidates, compiled from those most frequently nominated, will be voted upon by attendees, in order ‘to democratically reflect the views of the university press community’, and the winner announced at the close of the first day. Hosted by UCL Press and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) at the British Library on February 13th and 14th, the conference will feature keynote talks from speakers including Amy Brand (Director at MIT Press), Timothy Wright (Chief Executive of Edinburgh University Press), and Richard Charkin (Executive Director, Bloomsbury).


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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