Publishers Committing to Sustainability & Accessibility, And Transformative Deals Around the World

Publishers Committing to Sustainability & Accessibility, And Transformative Deals Around the World

Academic Publishing – January 2023

Oxford signs up to DORA

Oxford University Press has signed up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which aims to improve the assessment of scholarly research globally and across all disciplines. First published in 2013, the Declaration recommends that journal-based metrics such as Journal Impact Factors should not be used as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, and that publishers specifically should either refrain from using Journal Impact Factors as a promotional tool, or present them within the wider context of a range of other journal-based metrics; publishers are also encouraged to make article-level metrics available, in order to shift assessment towards the content of individual articles rather than the quality of the journal that published them. OUP joins a long list of publishers that have signed the declaration, including SAGE, Emerald, and Cambridge University Press.

Cambridge aims to accelerate progress on sustainability

Cambridge University Press has announced that it is taking part in the United Nations Global Compact Sustainable Development Goal Ambition Accelerator, a six-month programme that aims to help companies develop strategies that will enable them to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Agreed in 2015, the seventeen goals – including ending poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, reducing inequality, and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns – are intended to be attained by 2030. Cambridge’s Head of Sustainability Vicky Evans stated that participation in the accelerator programme would enable the press to discover where it could most effectively make gains that would build upon its existing progress.

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Taylor & Francis makes new commitments on accessibility

Taylor & Francis, which last year won the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing for its ‘innovative approach to alternative text for images, graphs, and diagrams’, has signed up to two accessibility charters. The ABC Charter for Accessible Publishing, organised by the Accessible Books Consortium, aims to make ebooks accessible to all by encouraging publishers to implement eight commitments, including publishing an accessibility policy, incorporating accessibility features within its publications, providing technical training for staff, and promoting the adoption of accessibility standards throughout the supply chain. The PAAG Accessible Publishing Charter was launched last year by the Publishing Accessibility Action Group whose chair, Stacy Scott, is Accessibility Lead for Taylor & Francis. It commits signatories to ten actions, including nominating a company accessibility champion, and making use of opportunities provided by metadata to increase the discoverability of accessible content. Taylor & Francis had already fulfilled both sets of requirements and was recently certified by not-for-profit accessibility organisation Benetech as a Global Certified Accessible publisher.

Two more universities sign up to the Open Library of the Humanities

The Open Library of the Humanities has announced two new members of its Library Partnership Subsidy system which funds the OLH platform and the journals it publishes. The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, one of Germany’s youngest universities, and Wayne State University (WSU), Michigan’s third-largest university, join more than 300 institutional members of the system that currently supports the publication of twenty-eight journals.

Transformative deals

Oxford University Press has signed a two-year read-and-publish agreement with the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries (CSAL) that will provide researchers at the consortium’s member and customer institutions with read access to Oxford’s full journals collection, along with improved open access publishing opportunities. The deal is the publisher’s thirty-first globally, and its first in Switzerland.

SAGE has agreed a three-year deal with the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), representing universities in Australia and New Zealand, which will provide affiliated researchers with unlimited open access publishing rights in more than 900 hybrid journals and a discount on article publishing charges for over 150 Gold Open Access titles; they will also have read access to SAGE’s journals in the social and behavioural sciences, as well as their STM collection.

Wiley has announced a three year with HEAL-Link, the Greek consortium of academic and research libraries that this year celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. Researchers at forty-three participating institutions will gain read access to all Wiley journals and the ability to publish accepted articles open access in Wiley’s hybrid journals.

Taylor & Francis has signed a three-year deal with the Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE) that will enable researchers at affiliated institutions to publish their work open access in Taylor & Francis and Routledge Open Select hybrid journals without paying article publishing charges. Consortia members will also have the option of supporting their researchers to publish in the company’s fully open access journals. The agreement aligns with the roadmap established by the organisation – Japan’s largest library consortium – for a transition from journal subscriptions to open access.

In brief

Edinburgh University Press has appointed Dr David Sorfa to be the new convenor of its Press Committee, which decides which books and journals the press will publish. Sorfa is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and succeeds Professor Alex Thomson, who stood down in September.

Routledge has announced the launch of a new journal that will publish multi-disciplinary research into the histories of people of African descent, with a particular focus on Black British history. Black Histories: Dialogues, edited by Dr Elizabeth Williams (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Christopher Roy Zembe (De Montfort University-Leicester), will publish its first issue this year, and will examine the social, intellectual, economic, political, and financial aspects of Black histories.

The Higher Education Policy Unit has issued a new policy note, Why open access is not enough: Spreading the benefits of research. Written by Victoria Gardner, Director of Policy at Taylor & Francis, and Dr Laura Brassington, Policy Manager at HEPI, the note explores the challenges involved in making academic research accessible to different audiences, including those outside academia.

Profile image of the newsletter author Alastair Horne

Alastair Horne is a lecturer in publishing studies at the University of Stirling.

Alastair writes our STM Publishing and our Academic Publishing Newsletters.

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