Academic Publishing – December 2022
New book series from SAGE
SAGE has announced the launch of a new book series that aims to provide a platform for emerging academics, journalists, and activists of colour to address vital societal issues. Social Science for Social Justice will be international and interdisciplinary in its scope and intends to challenge conventional and exclusive conceptions of expertise by bringing in authors not just from academia but also from a range of fields including social activism and journalism, and by centring uncensored voices of colour. The first two books in the series will be Consuming Crisis: Commodifying Care and COVID-19 by Francesca Sobande and The Muslim, State and Mind: Psychology in Times of Islamophobia by Tarek Younis, with more titles following in 2023, covering topics including racial trauma, gender, and African feminisms. Kiren Shoman, Senior Vice President of Editorial, Global Learning and UK Teaching, said that the series would champion bold new voices that may not be part of the homogenous canon in academia, using accessible language to share radical ideas.
SAGE has also launched a new learning and teaching tool following a successful two-year pilot. SAGE Catalyst will offer subscribing institutions with unlimited access to 700 premium social science textbooks, alongside multimedia resources, engagement analytics, and in-text collaborative discussion tools.
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Liverpool gains new distributor, signs up for two new climate commitments
Liverpool University Press has announced that Wiley has, from 1 December, become the exclusive distributor for its UK, Europe, and Rest of World territories, excluding North America, following the placing of Turpin Distribution in administration two months ago. Wiley will provide the Press with customer service, distribution, and credit control functions. LUP has also confirmed its commitment to environmental sustainability with two new moves: it has become the latest publisher to sign up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Publishers Compact, and it has become a founding signatory of the Publishing Declares sustainability pledge, committing it to taking action on the climate, protecting life on land, strengthening partnerships for tangible action, and both educating and advocating for sustainability.
OLH gains new donor, features in EC report on OA funding models
The Open Library of the Humanities, featured prominently in the recent European Commission report on business models for sustainable non-for-profit OA publishing, has announced another new addition to its Library Partnership Subsidy system. James Madison University, founded in 1908, is based in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and has more than 22,000 students. The Commission report is an independent expert study exploring business models for the future development of Open Research Europe (ORE), the European Commission open access publishing platform that represents a collective pan-European publishing initiative supported by funders and institutions across Europe. OLH is one of seven case studies included in the report, alongside Brazil’s SciELO, France’s Open Edition, the UK’s Europe PMC, eLife (the US and UK), OAPEN (The Netherlands), and Switzerland’s SCOAP3.
University Press Week focuses on the future
University Press Week, run by the Association of University Presses, ran for the eleventh time this year, from November 14-18. Focusing on the future evolution of presses, under the theme ‘Next UP’, the week included both in-person events – in Kansas, Chicago, and New York – and online discussion. President Charles Watkinson praised the ‘diversity of thought and identity’ fostered by university presses against a background of consolidation by commercial publishers, while executive director Peter Berkery celebrated the fact that presses ‘remain devoted to the core mission of introducing new ideas and authors to readers everywhere’. Media attention saw Berkery featured in Publishers Weekly, while Watkinson was interviewed on the New Books Network podcast; in the New York Times, Margaret Renkl wrote that ‘University Presses Are Keeping American Literature Alive’. As previously, representatives of the Association chose sixty projects to represent a small sample of university presses’ innovative work across a wide range of formats.
Awards for books by Edinburgh and Bristol
Five titles published by Edinburgh University Press have been shortlisted for Scotland’s National Book Awards, organised by the Saltire Society. Slaves and Highlanders (David Alston) and R. B. Cunninghame Graham and Scotland (Lachlan Munro) have been shortlisted for Scottish History Book of the Year, while Surveying the Anthropocene (Patricia Macdonald), Craftworkers in Nineteenth Century Scotland (Stana Nenadic), and Recovering Scottish History (Craig Beveridge) are all shortlisted in the Scottish Research Book category. Another EUP title, Zoroastrian Scholasticism in Late Antiquity by Arash Zeini, recently won the AIS Book Prize for Ancient Iranian Studies.
Bristol University Press has also had a notable victory for one of its titles: Responsibility Beyond Growth – A Case for Responsible Stagnation, written by Stevienna de Saille, Fabien Medvecky, Michiel van Oudheusden, Kevin Albertson, Effie Amanatidou, Timothy Birabi, and Mario Pansera, recently won the EASST Chris Freeman Award for a publication which makes a significant collective contribution to the interaction of science and technology studies with other disciplines or areas of study.
War of the words of 2022
As the end of the year approaches, so do the nominations for word of the year. Cambridge University Press has this year chosen ‘homer’ as its word of the year, on the basis that searches for the word on the Cambridge Dictionary website spiked when it featured as the answer to the popular online word game Wordle. This exemplified a larger trend whereby several words used in the game – including ‘humor’, ‘caulk’, ‘tacit’, and ‘trope’ – were searched for more frequently than usual.
Oxford has meanwhile put its own choice for word of the year to a popular vote. Its three-strong shortlist comprises the hashtag ‘#IStandWith’, the phrase ‘Goblin Mode’, and the coinage ‘metaverse’, first used in Neal Stephenson’s 1991 science fiction novel Snowcrash but now used to describe the virtual worlds associated with virtual and augmented realities. Voting is taking place across Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and on the OUP website, with the result revealed on December 5th.
Alastair Horne is a lecturer in publishing studies at the University of Stirling.
Alastair writes our STM Publishing and our Academic Publishing Newsletters.