New BISG project aims to improve tracking for OA books
The Book Industry Strategy Group has announced a major new project to improve usage and engagement tracking for open access books. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project starts this month and will run until the end of May next year. It aims to identify the challenges involved in understanding the usage of such titles – including gathering and aggregating information from a range of platforms while respecting user privacy – and to find opportunities to resolve those challenges and create a framework for future action.
The principal investigators include several names that will be very familiar to readers of this bulletin: Charles Watkinson, Director of University of Michigan Press and a speaker at this year’s Redux conference, Lucy Montgomery of KU Research, Brian O’Leary of BISG, and Kevin Hawkins, Assistant Dean for Scholarly Communication at the University of North Texas Libraries. At the end of the research period, BISG will publish a white paper of findings and propose a pathway for future actions. Further information on the project can be found in the proposal document, available here.
Yale makes history with the Wolfson Prize
This year’s Wolfson History Prize has been awarded to a book published by Yale University Press, marking the first time in six years that a scholarly publisher has taken the award. Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation was written by Peter Marshall, professor of history at the University of Warwick. The last time an academic publisher took the prize was in 2012, when Professor Alexandra Walsham’s The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity & Memory in Early Modern Britain & Ireland, published by Oxford University Press, shared the title. The prize, first issued in 1972, rewards books which combine excellence in historical research with readability for a wider general audience.
Plastic announced as children’s word of the year
Oxford University Press has announced the latest of its words of the year. The Children’s Word of the Year for 2018, drawn from a national writing competition for children run in collaboration with Radio 2, is plastic. Usage of the word in the 134,790 stories submitted to the competition has doubled since 2017, with children increasingly aware of the environmental impact of plastics. Over the past seven years, the award has captured trends in children’s use of language; ‘hashtag’ was word of the year for 2014, while last year’s winner was ‘trump’, which appeared not only as a name, but also as a verb and the root of a wide selection of neologisms, including Trumplestiltskin and Trumpdiddlydumper.
New title for Liverpool
Liverpool University Press has announced that it will be publishing Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire from next year, on behalf of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.
Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University