Academic Publishing – September 2020 (2)

Academic Publishing – September 2020 (2)

All shall have prizes!

Scholarly publishers took this year’s Independent Publishing Awards by storm, as Emerald Publishing completed an impressive double by winning not only the title of PLS Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year – ahead of Bloomsbury Academic, Bristol University Press, Edward Elgar Publishing, and Kogan Page – but also the overall Ingram Content Group award for Independent Publisher of the Year. Kogan Page didn’t go home empty-handed, however, winning the IPG Digital Publishing Award for its Accessible Ebook Programme, which opens up textbooks to visually impaired students, while Cambridge University Press won the IPG Sustainability Award both for its publishing – key academic research and trade books such as Mike Berners-Lee’s There Is No Planet B – and for its environmental projects, including ISO standards accreditation and a new solar panel roof for the University Printing House building.

Meanwhile, at the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers Awards for Innovation in Publishing, the main prize was shared between multilingual search engine for international law Jus Mundi and the Daisy Consortium’s WordToEPUB, a free tool for creating EPUB publications with built-in accessibility features. The Open Library of the Humanities, which recently announced that the Dutch Research Council (NWO) had joined its Library Partnership Subsidy system and was committing three years of funding, was highly commended.

Edinburgh announces rise in sales and Wright retirement

Edinburgh University Press has announced that CEO Timothy Wright is to retire in July next year after 24 years at the press. EUP has also issued figures for the period ending 31st July 2020, showing sales of £3.68 million – a 2% rise on the previous year – and a low operational loss, given the pandemic, of £22,000. Though print sales declined because of the lockdown, ebook sales rose by 17% and journal revenues by 9%.

New outreach site from AUP

The Association of University Presses has launched another new site. Ask UP – the site’s name is an acronym for Authors Seeking Knowledge from University Presses – aims to explain how university presses work; it contains, at launch, answers to more than thirty common questions about scholarly publishing, ranging from the general ‘What should I include in my proposal?’ and ‘When can I expect a contract?’ to the rather more specific ‘Why should I consider publishing my article in a university press journal?’ and ‘How do I find a publisher for my digital project?’. Visitors can also ask their own questions, which will be answered quarterly by staff at an AUP member press. AUP Faculty Outreach Committee chair Anne Donlon said that she hoped the site would ‘not only serve prospective authors but will also nurture informed scholar-advocates for university presses everywhere.’

In brief

Emerald has partnered with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) to launch the South Asian Journal of Marketing (SAJM), a peer-reviewed open access journal. Early issues will be published by SLIM alone, with Emerald coming on board in 2021.

Knowledge Unlatched has beta-launched a new workflow management tool for libraries and OA departments to manage their open access transactions. Oable ingests information on books and journal articles, checks compliance with institutional financing rules, and supports stable and efficient approval processes across multiple departments.


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

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