SAGE buys Talis
As part of its expansion into the research and learning software sectors, SAGE has acquired the technology company Talis and its enterprise teaching and learning platform Talis Aspire, which combines a reading list management system with digitisation services. The company will continue to be run as a separate business by its existing management team in its Birmingham office following the acquisition and will remain publisher and content agnostic.
SAGE has also launched its first preprints server for the humanities and social sciences, in partnership with Figshare. Offering researchers a global platform for sharing work ahead of formal peer review and publication, Advance: a SAGE preprints community will provide each preprint with a DOI and enable the tracking of citations, altmetrics, views, and downloads. Preprints shared on the platform will remain eligible for publication in SAGE journals.
UCL Press titles top open access charts
London’s UCL Press dominates a newly-issued list of the most used open access ebooks on the JSTOR academic platform, with titles from its Why We Post series on social media holding down first, second, and fourth places. How the World Changed Social Media, Social Media in Industrial China, and Social Media in an English Village head a list that also includes two books by Pluto Press and ANU Press, and titles from Open Book Publishers, Berghahn Books, and Yale University Press.
Four of the ten books on the list were published with funding from Knowledge Unlatched, which has recently announced that downloads of its titles have hit one million in the first eight months of 2018, an increase of more than 250% on 2017. Since its foundation in 2012, the organisation has made almost one thousand titles available via open access through its library crowd-funding model.
New consortium of open access scholar-led publishers
Six scholar-led open access publishers have announced the formation of a new consortium to explore the possibilities of working collaboratively rather than competitively. ScholarLed, comprising Open Book Publishers, Mattering Press, meson press, punctum books, Open Humanities Press, and mayfly, aims to develop mutually-supportive systems and practices including pooled expertise and shared infrastructure both on- and offline. The consortium also shares a commitment to opening up scholarly research to diverse readerships and to resisting the marketisation of academic knowledge production.
Emerald involved in inclusivity initiatives
Emerald Publishing is a project partner in a new interdisciplinary research collaboration recently awarded more than half a million pounds of funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The project aims to improve equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within engineering and physical sciences, and forms part of a broader programme within EPSRC’s Inclusion Matters initiative; the publisher will contribute as an advisory board member, a communications partner, and a test bed for piloting a new evidence-based online toolkit. Emerald also recently joined the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Bookshare service that provides print-disabled students within UK institutions with the same educational opportunities as their peers.
Liverpool University Press has been chosen as one of ten scholarly organisations to receive training on the University of Minnesota’s Mellon-funded Manifold digital scholarship platform, which can be integrated into publishers’ existing workflows. Applications for a second round of training will open in April 2019.
Peter Lang has reached an agreement with the East China Normal University Press to publish a ten-volume English edition of the Chinese publisher’s new series on the modernization of China’s educational system; the first volume will appear in 2020.
Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University