Academic Publishing Newsletter – February 2020

Academic Publishing Newsletter – February 2020

UKRI seeks open access monographs by 2024

From January 2024, monographs resulting from government funded research will need to be made freely available within 12 months of publication, according to new draft proposals from UK Research and Innovation, the body that distributes £6bn in government research funding annually. The proposals, which form part of the organisation’s Open Access Review Consultation, open until 17 April, also include a requirement for all research articles similarly funded to be made immediately available from January 2022. The results of the consultation will inform a further consultation relating specifically to the first post-2021 iteration of the Research Excellence Framework.

Responding on behalf of the Publishers Association, CEO Stephen Lotinga called for a collaborative ‘partnership involving researchers, funders, publishers and the wider academic community’ to expand open access for publicly-funded research, while Martin Eve, co-CEO of the Open Library of the Humanities, noted in a blogpost the several exemptions proposed for trade books, scholarly editions, creative works, and volumes with significant re-use of third-party materials.

Academic Book Week and Redux conference make announcements

Two offshoots from the Academic Book of the Future project are continuing to thrive more than three years after the end of the original project. Academic Book Week, which will take place from 9-13 March, has announced a ten-strong list of essential academic books about the environment, including Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Mike Berners-Lee’s There is no Planet B, and Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe. The full list is available on the Academic Book Week website.

Meanwhile, the programme has been announced for the third biennial University Press Redux conference, which will take place in Cambridge on 17-18 March. An international line-up of speakers from across the sector features representatives from presses on three continents including Europe (several UK presses plus also the Association of European University Presses), North America (MIT, Princeton, and Michigan) and Africa (University of Namibia Press and Wits University Press, South Africa); a range of sessions focus on the changing role of university presses in the contexts of the marketplace of ideas, money, public debate, open access, and sustainability.

Gadsby to step down from Rowman & Littlefield

Oliver Gadsby is to step back from his executive role at Rowman & Littlefield at the end of this month; he was appointed head of the publisher’s global academic and professional division in 2016 after having set up its London-based international division three years earlier. Julie Kirsch will take over responsibility for the academic book division, as senior vice-president and publisher of Rowman & Littlefield and Lexington Books.

Open Library of Humanities celebrates fifth anniversary with new member

The Open Library of the Humanities, which this year celebrates its fifth anniversary, has announced that the University of Arizona Libraries have become the latest member of its Library Partnership Subsidy system. The publisher is also seeking applications from subscription-based German journals to flip to fee-free gold open access as part of collaborative project with the University of Konstanza, launched in 2018 with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany.

Busy month for Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched, which this week launched its Open Research Library, a hosting platform for thousands of open access monographs, anthologies, and journals, has announced the results of its 2019 pledging round for publications. 274 HSS titles and 38 STEM books, plus 13 journals and 98 other titles, will be made available through open access as a result of the successful initiative. The organisation has also added three new staff to support planned expansion into Asia and Africa.

AUP opposes end to arts funding

The Association of University Presses has announced its opposition to United States President Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2021, which calls for the ending of federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.


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

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