Academic Book Week returns
Academic Book Week is to return for a fourth year, focusing this year on banned academic books. Organised by the Booksellers Association in collaboration with University College, London, the week will run from March 4th to the 9th, and will once again feature a public vote to decide the most popular banned book. Previous years have seen John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money crowned the academic book that has most influenced modern Britain, Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race voted the #1 academic book by a woman to have changed the world, and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species chosen as the most influential academic book of all time.
The organisers call on academics, booksellers, publishers, libraries, institutions and researchers to host events – debates, workshops, seminars, exhibitions and competitions – all with the aim of making academic books more accessible to a wider general audience.
Line-up for Research and Scholarly Publishing Forum announced
Asking ‘Is this the end of publishing as we know it?’, this year’s Research and Scholarly Publishing Forum will focus on issues including the real impact of research open access research, the challenges and global trends facing research communication, and the latest open access initiative, Plan S. The event, which will take place during the London Book Fair on Wednesday 13 March, is being jointly chaired by Alicia Wise, Senior VP of Information Power, and Rachel Bruce, Head of Open Science at UK Research and Innovation.
The opening keynote from David Sweeney, Executive Director of Research England and Co-Chair of the Plan S Implementation Committee, will be followed by a panel discussion on stakeholder perspectives featuring speakers from the British Academy, LIBER, Portland Press, Taylor & Francis, and the University of Manchester. Then, after a short conversation between Michael Healy, of the Copyright Clearance Centre, Jonathan Nowell of the Book Trade Benevolent Society, and Alison Tweed of Book Aid International, Roger Kain of the School of Advanced Studies will offer an update on Universities UK’s work on open access monographs. Tickets for the Forum are available here.
Cambridge launches new academic format
Cambridge University Press has launched a new publishing model aiming to provide an outlet for writing beyond the traditional formats of book or journal article. Cambridge Elements will publish peer-reviewed work of between 50 and 120 pages digitally and through print-on-demand. Titles will be published in just twelve weeks and are intended to be regularly updated; open access publication options will also be available. More than seventy Elements titles have already been published, including works on miracles, science fiction, and the representation of academics in children’s literature.
Bloomsbury signs exclusive sales deals with Rowman and Littlefield and Manchester
Bloomsbury has announced two new strategic sales partnerships. A deal with Manchester University Press will see Bloomsbury sell the press’s Manchesterhive ebook collections, launched last year, exclusively across the Americas, while an arrangement with US publisher Rowman and Littlefield will give Bloomsbury exclusive rights to sell their Select Collections globally.
Mellon grant funds extension of diversity programme in the US
In the United States, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Washington Press a four year grant worth $1.2m to support the development and expansion of its pipeline program aiming to diversify academic publishing through offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments. The grant will fund three more years of academic fellowships at the following university presses: Washington, MIT, Cornell, Ohio State, Chicago, and Northwestern.
More than a thousand monographs published by Peter Lang have been added to the OAPEN Library as open access content. The 1,235 titles, primarily in German, cover the humanities and social sciences and are available under a creative commons licence as downloadable PDF files, making Peter Lang the largest open access publisher on OAPEN.
The Open Library of the Humanities has launched an advocacy network on Slack, intended ‘to build a community and the scholarly commons’, and as a ‘space where OA early career researcher, scholars, editors, librarians, or information specialists can have a conversation, share information, propose new initiatives and provide feedback.’
Bristol University Press has appointed Andy Williams, formerly head of operations at Thames and Hudson, to the new role of Operations Director.
Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University