Global Encyclopaedia of Informality Book Launch Event

By Alison Fox, on 20 March 2018

Join UCL Press and the FRINGE Centre for the launch of the two-volume Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, which marks the first publication in the FRINGE Series.

Date: Thursday 22nd March 2018
Time: 16:00 – 20:00
Location: IAS Common Ground, Wilkins Building, UCL

Register your attendance

Alena Ledeneva invites you on a voyage of discovery, to explore society’s open secrets, unwritten rules and know-how practices. Broadly defined as ‘ways of getting things done’, these invisible yet powerful informal practices tend to escape articulation in official discourse. They include emotion-driven exchanges of gifts or favours and tributes for services, interest-driven know-how (from informal welfare to informal employment and entrepreneurship), identity-driven practices of solidarity, and power-driven forms of co-optation and control. The paradox, or not, of the invisibility of these informal practices is their ubiquity. Expertly practised by insiders but often hidden from outsiders, informal practices are, as this book shows, deeply rooted all over the world, yet underestimated in policy. Entries from the five continents presented in this volume are samples of the truly global and ever-growing collection, made possible by a remarkable collaboration of over 200 scholars across disciplines and area studies.

An open access edition of both volumes of the book is available to download free from UCL Press, in addition hardback and paperback editions.

Could you be our new admin assistant?

By Alison Fox, on 29 January 2018

We’re looking for a new admin assistant to help support the UCL Press team! Could it be you?

This is a rare opportunity to join a fantastic team who are incredibly knowledgeable, experienced and friendly, who have already made a splash in the academic publishing world. Reporting to the Publishing Manager, the postholder will mainly be responsible for assisting with the Press’s marketing and distribution activities as well as other general administrative duties to support the UCL Press team on a part-time basis.

The postholder will play a key role in the team,  supporting the Publishing Manager, Managing Editor, Commissioning Editor, Marketing and Distribution Manager and Journals Manager in a wide variety of tasks. The ideal candidate will be someone with some marketing and publicity experience, preferably in book publishing, with strong Excel and Powerpoint skills, social media and website experience, with excellent interpersonal skills who is highly organised and methodical.

The role holder will also be expected to undertake other related tasks such as updating the website, writing and commissioning blog posts, writing AIs, and other associated sales and marketing activities. This is a wonderful opportunity to play a key role in the early phases of a dynamic new university press at one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Applications close at 23:59GMT on 13 February 2018.

For more information, to see a job description, or to apply, click here

Book Launch Event: Feminism and the Politics of Childhood

By Alison Fox, on 15 January 2018

Date: Wednesday 7th March 2018
Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Location: IAS Common Ground, Wilkins Building, UCL

To celebrate the launch of Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes?, we invite colleagues, friends and contributors to join us at the Institute of Advanced Studies on 7 March 2018 at 6pm. As well a brief overview of the book and an opportunity to hear from contributors, there will be wine and nibbles to enjoy.

Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes? edited by Rachel Rosen and Katherine Twamley, is a collection of 18 chapters which together offer an innovative and critical exploration of perceived commonalities and conflicts between women and children and, more broadly, intersections and antagonisms between various forms of feminism and the politics of childhood. This unique collection brings into dialogue authors from a wide variety of geographical contexts, academic disciplines, activist organisations, and theoretical perspectives. Together the contributions offer new ways to conceptualise relations between women and children and to address injustices faced by both groups.

An open access edition of the book will be available to download free from UCL Press. Find out more at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/feminism-and-the-politics-of-childhood

Praise for Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes?

“This book is genuinely ground-breaking.” Val Gillies, University of Westminster

“Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes? asks an impossible question, and then casts prismatic light on all corners of its impossibility.” Cindi Katz, CUNY

“This provocative and stimulating publication comes not a day too soon.” Gerison Lansdown, Child to Child

“A smart, innovative, and provocative book.” Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University

“This volume raises and addresses issues so pressing that it is surprising they are not already at the heart of scholarship.” Ann Phoenix, UCL

Book Launch Event: Brexit and Beyond

By Alison Fox, on 10 January 2018

Date: Mon 29th January 2018
Time: 18:00 – 19:30
Location: G29 JZ Young Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Join us for the launch of a new book with contributions from 28 leading experts on Brexit and the future of Europe, edited by Uta Staiger and Benjamin Martill.

Brexit will have significant consequences for the country, for Europe, and for global order. And yet much discussion of Brexit in the UK has focused on the causes of the vote and on its consequences for the future of British politics. This volume examines the consequences of Brexit for the future of Europe and the European Union, adopting an explicitly regional and future-oriented perspective missing from many existing analyses.

Drawing on the expertise of 28 leading scholars from a range of disciplines, ‘Brexit and Beyond’ (UCL Press) offers various different perspectives on the future of Europe, charting the likely effects of Brexit across a range of areas, including institutional relations, political economy, law and justice, foreign affairs, democratic governance, and the idea of Europe itself. Whilst the contributors offer divergent predictions for the future of Europe after Brexit, they share the same conviction that careful scholarly analysis is in need – now more than ever – if we are understand what lies ahead for the EU.

Speakers:

Helen Drake, Professor of French and European Studies, Loughborough
Piet Eeckhout, Dean of the Faculty of Laws and Professor of EU Law, UCL
Simon Hix, Harold Laski Professor of Political Science, LSE
Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

About the editors:

Dr Uta Staiger is the co-founder and Executive Director of the UCL European Institute. Her research examines the relationship between culture and politics, drawing together insights from modern European thought, the arts, and the history of European integration. She is particularly interested in mid-twentieth-century German theory and philosophy that seeks to straddle aesthetics and the idea of the political. Uta also holds the position of Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe), a strategic role shaping UCL’s engagement with Europe, and acting as advocate for UCL’s work on the continent.

Dr Benjamin Martill is a Dahrendorf Fellow in Europe after Brexit at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research looks at how political ideology and party politics affect foreign policymaking, with particular reference to the politics of Cold War strategy in Europe. At LSE, Benjamin contributes to the work of the Dahrendorf Forum, a joint research venture between LSE Ideas and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He was previously Lecturer in Politics at Canterbury Christ Church University and Research Associate at the UCL European Institute.

Call for Nominations: The University Press Redux Award 2018

By Alison Fox, on 3 January 2018

Launching at The University Press Redux Conference hosted by UCL Press and ALPSP in February 2018, the University Press Redux Award will recognise an individual, team or university press that has made an outstanding contribution to university press publishing through innovation, providing inspiration and visibility for the sector as a whole, or challenging university presses to rethink or evolve their practice.

Nominations should state the individual/team/press name, an explanation in no more than 100 words of why they deserve the Award, and the name and contact details of the nominator (who will remain anonymous unless they choose otherwise). Nominators are encouraged to consider all aspects of university press publishing and to consider colleagues at all career stages.

A shortlist of four will be formed from those most frequently nominated, and conference delegates will be invited to vote by email to select the inaugural recipient. In this way the Award will democratically reflect the views of the university press community.

Nominations
Should be submitted by email no later than Friday 19 January to Lara Speicher at UCL – l.speicher@ucl.ac.uk

Shortlist
The shortlist will be announced and details of how to vote sent to delegates w/c 28 January 2018 (voting closes Friday 2 February)

The award 
The award will be announced at the close of day one on Tuesday 13 February at the University Press Redux Conference.

Please do not nominate or vote for your own press as this will invalidate your entry.

New film from UCL Grand Challenges explores Biel’s work on sustainable food systems

By Alison Fox, on 24 November 2017

UCL’s Grand Challenges team have produced a short film detailing the work done by Dr Robert Biel, author of the popular open access book Sustainable Food Systems: The Role of the City, and Senior Lecturer Development Planning Unit in the UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment. Watch the film below, and download Dr Biel’s book for free here.

University Press Redux: The Return

By Lara Speicher, on 16 November 2017

For me, and I think for many others in the university press sector, the first University Press Redux Conference in March 2016 marked a sea change in the way UK university presses are seen, and see themselves.

Kick-started by the momentum generated by the Academic Book of the Futureproject (a two-year research project into the scholarly publishing industry, funded and supported by AHRC and the British Library, 2015-2017), the first University Press Redux Conference in Liverpool in March 2016 was launched by Anthony Cond, Managing Director of Liverpool University Press (winner of both the Bookseller and the IPG Awards for Independent Academic Publisher of the Year in 2015).

I use the word ‘launched’ deliberately, since ‘organised’ does not fully convey what Anthony achieved in that first conference. Attended by over 150 delegates from around the world and with speakers from the US, UK and Europe covering all aspects of university press (UP) activities, and with representatives from all levels and functions, the conference offered an opportunity on this side of the Atlantic for university presses to meet, discuss and exchange ideas and information. The mood was buoyant, the presentations were stimulating, and we all learnt a huge amount.

Redux 2016 happened at a particular moment, which also helps to explain its success. Scholarly publishing is undergoing significant change, with a challenging market, changes in library supply, digital distribution, new HE policies, and changing university missions which have led to a reexamination of the purpose of university presses. At the same time, many new presses have been springing up, signaling a desire on the part of institutions to do things differently. Redux was an opportunity to share those challenges and changes with all those who work in the sector – not just the UPs, but also the affiliated sectors that we work with: libraries, authors, academics, suppliers, policy makers, funders and our own institutions.

The things that shone through clearly to me during that conference were threefold:

1) that we are a ‘thing’, with distinct skills, responsibilities and challenges, quite different from scholarly publishing generally, even though we share many similarities
2) that despite our shared identity, we are also remarkably diverse in our outputs, activities, practices, sizes and missions
3) that we should be incredibly proud of what we do, and that our parent institutions should also be incredibly proud of what we do for scholarship and for our universities’ brand recognition

And what also came through very clearly was the feeling that we must do this again.

And so Redux was born as a regular event on the conference calendar. The University Press Redux 2018 takes place on 13-14 February 2018, at the British Library Conference Centre. It will take place every two years, and it is now ably supported by ALPSP, putting it on a firm footing for the future. Each conference will be hosted in a different location by a different university press which is responsible for organizing the speakers and the programme.

I volunteered for Redux 2018 for the main reason that having only launched in 2015, UCL is very new university press with a fully open access model which is still very unusual. As such, UCL Press is keen to collaborate as much as possible with other university presses – to help establish itself, to learn, and to share its experience of its OA model. But also, I volunteered because it’s fun. I think we are incredibly lucky to work in such a collegial sector. There is a genuine eagerness to collaborate and help each other which really stands out.

Registration for Redux 2018 bookings is now open and well underway – please join us for two full days of stimulating conversation and presentations. We look forward to seeing you in February!

Publishing with UCL Press – an author’s perspective

By Alison Fox, on 6 November 2017

Today’s guest post is by Gabriel Moshenska, Senior Lecturer in Public Archaeology at UCL and author of Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, a textbook produced as part of JISC’s Institution as E-Textbook Publisher study

The book is out. It has gone where academic books are supposed to go: a copy in the library, a copy to my parents, one to my former PhD supervisor, and one placed casually on the coffee-table in my office as if to say ‘Oh this? Just my latest with UCL Press’. In these moments of pride, it’s easy to forget the blood, the sweat and the tears, so let’s take a few minutes to look back.

The colourful cover image of Stonehenge is a visual cliché in archaeology, and Key Concepts in Public Archaeology is a textbook example. Public archaeology is a mixture of science communication and science studies focused on archaeology and the ancient world, and UCL has been a leader in research, practice and teaching in this field for decades. The textbook draws on UCL Institute of Archaeology’s undergraduate module and the MA degree in public archaeology, and most of the authors of the chapters are regular guest lecturers on these courses.

Collections of papers by multiple authors are challenging to edit: one or two recalcitrant authors can delay publication and strain professional relationships, while the need to maintain a consistent standard and ‘voice’ requires a considerable effort, particularly for a textbook that needs to be more straightforwardly readable than other academic texts. The finished product, beautiful though it is, is considerably later and marginally slimmer than originally intended, but the Press remained supportive and encouraging throughout.

Public archaeology is grounded in a philosophy of openness and sharing scholarship, so the opportunity to publish an Open Access textbook with a Creative Commons license was extremely welcome. To combine this with the high editorial and production standards and the prestige of a University Press was a unique and brilliant opportunity. As chapter authors dragged their feet the Press decided to take advantage of the open, digital publishing format to launch the volume as a ‘living book’ to which additional chapters could be added until the final version appeared in print, pdf and a variety of other digital formats. This willingness to innovate was a significant part of the pleasure of working with UCL Press.

The print-runs for many academic books have dipped from the hundreds into the tens, while their prices have gone in precisely the opposite direction, and production values have apparently fallen out of somebody’s window. In contrast to this, UCL Press have produced a high-quality textbook that is improbably, gloriously free to download in pdf (as nearly two thousand people have discovered), and very reasonably priced in print. From an author/editor perspective the process has been exemplary, and I very much hope to work with UCL Press again in the future.

Open Access Week 2017: 23-27 October 2017

By Lara Speicher, on 26 October 2017

This year UCL Press is celebrating Open Access Week with the news that the 52 books we have published since launching two-and-a-half years ago have been downloaded over 500,000 times in over 200 countries around the world. This is wonderful evidence of the potential of scholarly monographs to travel when they are made freely available. The evidence is similar from other open access publishers as two reports due out in the next two weeks will show: one from Knowledge Unlatched Research and JSTOR, about the usage of open access books on its open access monograph platform, and the other from Springer Nature on its OA books usage.

Universities and other organisations around the world are celebrating Open Access Week with events to raise awareness among stakeholders of the benefits of publishing scholarly research as open access. Today I spoke at an event at Cambridge University aimed at helping researchers understand the open access publishing landscape. Speakers included publishers (Cambridge University Press, Open Humanities Press, Open Book Publishers, UCL Press), SocArxiv (a preprints platform), and The Conversation (a free online news site featuring articles written by academics). For researchers grappling with open access it was useful to hear such a range of publishing options, many of which demonstrated that authors are achieving considerable global reach with different OA models.

The questions from the floor indicated that many misconceptions and concerns about open access still persist: early career researchers are still advised by their supervisors to publish with well-known traditional presses; worry that REF panels are influenced by publisher brand; and concern that open access publishing is lower quality.

There is much work still to be done but Open Access Week is a good opportunity to focus on the positives. Cambridge University Library was celebrating a particular success – it had just released Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis as open access on its repository. In just a few days it has had over 750,000 unique views and received media attention from far and wide. A great open access success story.

Frankfurt Book Fair

By Lara Speicher, on 24 October 2017

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the oldest and largest book fair in the world. Founded in 1454, it has taken place regularly ever since, and it attracts more than 7,000 exhibitors from over 100 countries and over 278,000 visitors annuallydownload(2016 figures). It has five separate halls each with several floors. The Fair has a dual purpose: for most international publishers it is a trade fair where they come to do business every year: to sell international rights, and meet with suppliers and other collaborators and colleagues, and that is what the first three days of the Fair are devoted to. For many of the German publishers, it is very much a Fair to promote their new books to the public, and visitors come at the weekend to see the displays of books and attend author presentations.

Each year there is a country of honour, and this year it was France. The Fair was opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron, demonstrating the importance of the Fair to international trade and culture. Every day on the German news there are reports from the Fair’s activities, showing the central place it holds ifbfn the country’s calendar.

This year was the first year that UCL Press exhibited. We had a small stand in Hall 4.2 where we were surrounded by other UK and European university presses, and other science publishers and small scholarly publishers. I attended for the first three days then Jaimee Biggins, UCL Press’s Managing Editor, came to look after the stand for the weekend and attend a Convention of International University Presses (see here for more).

I had over 25 meetings during the three days I was there, and among those I met were other university presses and other institutions with whom we have collaborative projects already happening or in development, such as Chicago and Cornell University Presses; other university presses for sharing of knowledge and information, such as Sydney University Press and Wits University Press; publishing associations with whom we are collaborating such as the Association of American University Presses, the Association of European University Presses and ALPSP; our existing suppliers and distributors such as NBN, OAPEN, JSTOR and Science Open; and potential new suppliers and collaborators.

Among the most interesting of this last category was a company called Baobab who distribute both print and ebooks to African university libraries. As an open access publisher with a mission to disseminate scholarly research around the globe, I was particularly keen to hear whether Baobab might be able to help UCL Press distribute its open access books to African university libraries. It turned out that Baobab has an existing service that distributes free ebooks on behalf of NGOs and aid agencies that UCL Press can take part in. Although OA books are made freely available online, ensuring that they reach targeted communities is not always easy since OA supply chains for monographs are not fully developed. So this new partnership is very encouraging and exciting, and it meets one of the key drivers of UCL’s global strategic objective of ‘increasing independent research capability around the world’ by making high-quality scholarly research freely available.

All in all it was a very worthwhile event for raising UCL Press’s profile, strengthening our existing relationships, and forging new ones, and we are already planning Frankfurt 2018!