Academic Publishing – January 2022

Academic Publishing – January 2022

Cambridge delivers annual report

Cambridge University Press has issued its annual report for 2021, a year which saw the 488-year-old publisher merge with exams provider Cambridge Assessment. Revenues – calculated over a fifteen-month period ending July 2021 – stood at £384m, compared to £336m in the previous, twelve-month financial year, while profits fell from £23.6m to £20.7m. Within the academic division specifically, revenues from both print books and digital products grew, while the delivery of a new digital platform for higher education textbooks almost six months ahead of schedule was among the year’s highlights identified by CEO Peter Philips. On open access, the Press reports that it now has 112 transformative agreements in place with almost 900 institutions across 30 countries, with a new initiative, Flip to Open, set to deliver open access publication for selected titles that reach a certain revenue threshold.

Acquisitions

Crowd-funding open access innovator Knowledge Unlatched has been acquired by Wiley. KU MD Sven Fund will continue to lead the business, which will now form part of Wiley’s research division. In a letter to the Open Research community, Fund, who bought Knowledge Unlatched from founder Frances Pinter in 2016, described the acquisition as one that would provide ‘resources which are not, nor ever will be, at my disposal’ to ‘help this small company unlatch its full potential’, and noted that the deal would enable him to ‘finally devote 100% of my time to Knowledge Unlatched’.

In a separate deal, Wiley also purchased eJournal Press, a provider of software and support services for scholarly publishing; the company will continue to operate independently, delivering online manuscript submission, peer review, and journal production tracking systems.

Bloomsbury has acquired the academic publisher ABC-CLIO in a deal worth more than £17m. Founded in 1955 and based in California, ABC-CLIO has more than 23,000 titles, comprising reference, nonfiction, online curriculum and professional development materials, across its four imprints and 32 databases; in the last twelve months, it generated £0.9m of profit from revenues of £11.5m.

Clarivate has completed its acquisition of digital publisher ProQuest from the Cambridge Information Group in a deal worth just under £4bn.

Founder Miller McCune passes control of SAGE to trust

Sara Miller McCune, the founder and owner of SAGE Publishing, has signed over her voting shares and therefore control of the company to the independent SAGE-SMM Trust, in a significant step towards guaranteeing the publisher’s continuing independence. Ultimately, SAGE will be run by the Trust, with several higher education institutions in the role of beneficial owners, thereby fulfilling Miller McCune’s long-held intention that the company should never be acquired by another publisher but will remain an independent, mission-driven company. McCune still holds 80% of the non-voting shares in SAGE and will continue to attend and take part in board meetings and events.

New supporters for OLH

Open Access publisher the Open Library of the Humanities has announced several new supporters. The Hungarian Research Centre for Linguistics and Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have both joined OLH’s Library Partnership Subsidy system, while the University of Aberdeen has become a bronze super-supporter.

New office for Princeton

Princeton University Press has moved its European office from the Oxfordshire town of Woodstock to a larger location in Oxford itself. The new site, which the Press will share with the Voltaire Foundation and the Higher Education Policy Institute, is on the Banbury Road and includes space for author events.

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