Academic Publishing – September 2019

Academic Publishing – September 2019

New COPE study explores challenges for HSS journal editors

A new study undertaken by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), with support from Taylor and Francis imprint Routledge, has investigated the greatest ethical challenges faced by journal editors in the arts, humanities and social sciences. A survey of more than 650 journal editors found that more than half (58%) reported that detecting plagiarism was the most serious issue they faced. Almost two thirds of editors encountered issues in addressing language and writing quality barriers while seeking to remain inclusive; 55% experienced problems in recognising and/or dealing with bias in reviewer comments, while fraudulent submissions and image fabrication were also frequent challenges. The survey found no significant differences between subject areas, however.

COPE has responded to the study by encouraging the development of new and updated publication ethics guidance; chair Deborah Poff promised that the organisation would ‘continue to roll out discussion material and resources specifically focused on issues in these fields’ in the coming months.

New partnerships for Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched has announced a new partnership with the European project OpenAIRE which will see the two organisations collaborate on the development of an Open Infrastructure for Open Research Analytics that will integrate data from sources including repositories, open access platforms and OpenAPC. The memorandum also notes several further objectives for the partnership, including the development of a public roadmap, collaboration on an international membership model, increasing the number of OpenAIRE compliant Institutional Repositories, and supporting on-going improvements of the KU Open Analytics and OpenAIRE technical infrastructure.

The social sciences publisher Berghahn Books has also announced a pilot project to move thirteen of its anthropology journals to open access from 2020, with the support of Knowledge Unlatched.

Academic Studies Press partners with De Gruyter

De Gruyter has formed a commercial partnership with Academic Studies Press which will see the German publisher distribute the independent Boston-based press’s 360 frontlist and backlist ebooks, which are mainly concentrated in the areas of Jewish and Slavic studies.

News in brief

The University of Strasbourg has become the latest institution to join the Open Library of the Humanities’ Library Partnership Subsidy system, supporting its APC-free publishing model. Originally founded in the sixteenth century, the university has more than 50,000 students and 3,000 researchers.

UCL Press has announced plans for its second BOOC – literally, a Book as Open Online Content, or a ‘living book’. Paper Trails, a ‘social history of ideas’, will consider academics’ affective relationship with research material, juxtaposing critical histories with reflections on practice. It follows the first BOOC, published in 2017, which concerned the Academic Book of the Future project.

Bristol University Press has been awarded the Web Marketing Association 2019 Web Award for Best Publishing Website.


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

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