X Close

LibNet staff news

Home

Menu

July titles from UCL Press

AlisonFox10 July 2017

We are delighted to announce the publication of 3 new open access books from UCL Press.

New Books (July)

Please don’t hesitate to contact the UCL Press team with any questions or queries about UCL press or any of our titles.

April to June titles from UCL Press

AlisonFox7 June 2017

We are delighted to announce the publication of 9 new open access books and 5 open access journal issues from UCL Press. Additionally, we are also delighted to provide information about a brand new student journal, Interscript, hosted on UCL’s student publishing platform.

New Books (April-June)

New Journals (April-June)

Student Journals Hosted by UCL Press (April-June)

  • Interscript: UCL Journal of Publishing (vol 1, issue 1). This journal is run by students of the MA publishing course, and hosted on UCL’s OJS platform. The students have also published an online magazine.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the UCL Press team with any questions or queries about UCL press or any of our titles.

UCL Press to host and curate University Press Redux 2018

AlisonFox7 June 2017

We are delighted to share the news that UCL Press will be hosting the second  University Press Redux Conference in February 2018. We will be the second Press to take up the programming challenge. The conference was launched and hosted by Liverpool University Press in 2016, and has become a biennial event.  From 2018 onwards,  the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) will be supporting the organisation of this biennnial event from now on to build on its success.

Find out more about the 2018 conference at https://www.alpsp.org/UPRedux.

The 2018 Conference will take place over two full days at The British Library Conference Centre, London on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 February 2018. Registration will open Autumn 2017. Confirmed speakers so far include:

  • Peter Berkery, Executive Director, Association of American University Presses
  • Amy Brand, Director, MIT Press
  • Richard Charkin, Executive Director, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Max Landry, Chief Executive, The Conversation, UK
  • Frank Smith, Director, Books at JSTOR
  • Jan-Peter Wissink, Managing Director, Amsterdam University Press
  • Timothy Wright, Chief Executive, Edinburgh University Press

Find out more at https://www.alpsp.org/UPRedux.

Screening of The White Helmets & panel discussion

Kieron LJones24 May 2017

WhiteHelmetsYou are hereby cordially invited to the following event, organised by Library Services and UCL’s Refuge in a Moving World Network:

Thursday 1st June 2017, 17:00-18:15
Archaeology G6 Lecture Theatre

Synopsis: A Netflix original short documentary, set in Aleppo, Syria and Turkey in early 2016. As the violence intensifies, The White Helmets follows three volunteer rescue workers as they put everything on the line to save civilians affected by the war, all the while wracked with worry about the safety of their own loved ones. Moving and inspiring, The White Helmets (winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short) is both a snapshot of the harrowing realities of life for ordinary Syrians who remain in the country, and a humbling portrait of the power of the human spirit.

After the screening, a multidisciplinary panel discussion will reflect upon the issues raised, future of the region and human rights abuses within countries following the onset of civil war.

The event is free but you do have to book a seat.

 

UCL Press Open Access Textbooks: Call for Proposals

AlisonFox8 May 2017

Open access presents the opportunity to revolutionise how – and how widely – knowledge is disseminated. By making research outputs and teaching materials freely available online, readers worldwide can engage with them, regardless of their ability to pay.

Following the successful open access publications of Textbook of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, UCL Press is expanding its textbook publishing programme. It now invites applications from UCL academics to submit textbook proposals for any discipline taught at UCL at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

The expansion of our textbook programme demonstrates both UCL’s commitment to harnessing a culture of research-based learning through the Connected Curriculum, and to establishing a world-class digital learning environment.

We are particularly interested in proposals for textbooks that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Potential to supply large student cohorts for the maximum benefit of the student experience
  • Current provision is very expensive or out-of-date
  • Where there is currently no textbook provision, because a course is very new, for example
  • Potential to create a bespoke textbook tailored to any UCL programme

Multidisciplinary subjects are welcome, as are proposals for textbooks with a digitally innovative approach.

Awards

UCL Press plans to offer 10 awards of £1500 each to successful applicants. Payment will be on delivery of the final accepted manuscript.

Deadline and evaluation

Please submit a 300-word description of the proposed project by 1 July 2017 to Chris Penfold, UCL Press Commissioning Editor: c.penfold@ucl.ac.uk. Please explain in your description how the project meets the above criteria and what stage the project is at.

UCL Press’s Executive Group (Editorial Board) will evaluate the submissions in the first instance and will then inform authors/editors of the projects it would like to take forward as full proposals. Final acceptance of projects for publication will be dependent on receipt of a full proposal and positive peer review reports.

Production period

Applications are welcome for textbooks that will be ready for manuscript submission between now and July 2019. Publication will follow within approximately 9 months after submission of the final manuscript. Once a textbook has published, the Press will review the potential for updates and new editions where necessary.

UCL Press Meets Chinese Publishing Delegates from China Publishing Group

AlisonFox6 April 2017

Posted on behalf of Lara Speicher, Publishing Manager, UCL Press

On 22nd March I had the great pleasure of meeting a delegation of 15 Chinese publishers from the largest publisher in China, the China Publishing Group, and presented a two-hour session to them on academic publishing in the UK and, more specifically, the university-based open access publishing model forged by UCL Press.

CPG, which was ranked no.14 in the 2014 Top 50 Global Publishing Groups, has been in the Top 30 of Chinese Cultural Enterprises for six consecutive years, and owns 40 individual publishing companies and imprints which produce over 10,000 titles per year. Importantly, it concludes licensing agreements with overseas publishers for over 1,000 books and journals per year, and comprises China’s biggest publications import and export enterprise, importing and exporting over 200,000 titles every year. CPG also owns 28 overseas publishing houses and bookshops.

The publishers I met reflected the wide range of publishing that takes place in the CPG family – scholarly, children’s, poetry, encyclopedias, and art and architecture to name just a few. The delegates were in England as part of a three-week training programme during which they met publishers, wholesalers, PR agencies and others in the publishing industry, to gain greater insights into the possibilities for doing business with publishers in the UK, and their trip also included attendance at the London Book Fair, who had organized their training programme.

I was joined during the session by one of UCL Press’s authors, Dr Gabriel Moshenska, Senior Lecturer in the UCL Institute of Archaeology, whose textbook, Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, has just been published by UCL Press. Gabe explained from an author’s point of view why open access publishing is so important i.e. the ability to communicate his ideas to a wide global readership, and why open access textbooks in particular are increasingly important for supporting the student experience and for making UCL teaching resources available globally, thereby raising the profile of UCL teaching and research. We demonstrated UCL Press’s online publishing platform, which features scholarly functionalities such as highlighting, making notes, saving personalised copies of books, sharing and citation. The CPG publisher for fine art books was particularly interested in the subject of public archaeology, a field that was pioneered at UCL and has been taught here for twenty years. There is growing international interest in public archaeology in countries such as the US, Australia, Italy, Sweden and China. We were able to tell the delegates about UCL’s global standing, particularly in subjects such as archaeology, architecture and education.

The publishers asked a range of perceptive questions about the Press’s model, for example, could a particularly successful OA book raise an author’s profile to the extent that they decide to publish elsewhere with a commercial publisher, and how the endeavour is financed.

In China, open access does exist for journals but not yet for books. Print books are in any case sold at a very low price, between £2.50 and £3.50 typically, and, according to one of the publishers who works for CPG’s academic imprint, scholarly monographs can sell in relatively large numbers ie 4000-5000 copies, so the scholarly publishing model in China does not suffer from the same degree of problems as the Western one. One particular barrier in China to open access for monographs is a culture in which free things are not trusted to be of good quality. And as in the UK and US, publisher brand prestige is hugely important.

In order for UCL Press to make its books available in China in Chinese, it will need to arrange licensing deals between a Chinese publisher and the author, for the Chinese publisher to translate and sell the work in China, which is the usual way books are licensed to foreign-language publishers. UCL Press has had expressions of interest in some of its books from Chinese publishers and as our publishing programme continues to expand, this interest is likely to grow. While we would ideally like our books to be published open access around the world, we recognize that the OA model for books is not yet widely enough developed and therefore we accept that a commercial model for making the books available in other languages can be the only available route. This is with the notable exception of books in our social media series, Why We Post, which the WWP project has undertaken to translate into all eight languages of the project. These will be published by UCL Press as open access, with the exception perhaps of the two Chinese titles, Social Media in Industrial China and Social Media in Rural China, for which there is strong interest from Chinese publishers who are unlikely to agree to publication of a simultaneous OA Chinese version.

UCL Press will of course always make the English language version of our books available as open access to a global audience, something the publishers from CPG did not think would be a barrier to Chinese publication. All in all, it was a fascinating couple of hours exchanging ideas and information about different publishing models. The Beijing Book Fair beckons!

London Book Fair 2017

AlisonFox31 March 2017

Posted on behalf of Lara Speicher, Publishing Manager, UCL Press

The London Book Fair is one of the highlights of the year for many publishers from all over the world, and is one of two key annual publisher trade fairs, along with the Frankfurt Book Fair held in October every year. This year, there were 1,577 exhibitors from 57 countries, showing their books and services and meeting with their business partners. For many publishers at the Fair, selling rights to publishers in other countries is the main purpose. UCL lbfPress had a stand this year on the IPG (Independent Publishers’ Guild) collective stand, and all UCL Press staff spent two or three days at the Fair, having meetings and attending seminars.

Altogether we had over 40 meetings over the three days, Lara took part in two panel sessions in The Faculty area (one on the Academic Book of the Future project, and one with Ingenta and Wiley on how to reach readers in a world of overwhelming content), and Press staff attended several seminars relevant to their roles. Our meetings were with existing partners and suppliers, freelance editors and designers, our counterparts at other university presses, as well as potential new suppliers and partners. We also had chance meetings with many others who saw our stand and came to talk to us – booksellers, sales representatives, editors etc. Even before the Fair, a number of meetings had already taken place with people who were in town for the Falbfir – Jaimee (UCL Press Managing Editor) met up with the Managing Editors and Production Managers of other university presses, a regular twice-yearly meet up for sharing knowledge, and Lara met up with the Association of American University Presses Director who are helping the Press with a number of interesting projects.

At such a critical point in UCL Press’s development, when we are in the process of appointing a North American distributor, developing a new website, expanding to 50 books a year, planning a major conference for university presses in 2018 (University Press Redux 2018), participating in a European OA infrastructure project (OPERAS), developing publishing services for other institutions and reviewing journal publishing models, the Fair was the perfect opportunity to advance all these projects with key people and potential new partners in one intensive block. It also enhances visibility for the Press via the stand, appearances on discussion panels, and articles and interviews by staff links.

We were also very proud to see the UCL Publishing Studies MA students launching the magazine element of their new student journal, Interscript, which is hosted on UCL Press’s OA student journal platform. With plenty of social media promotion, publicity at the Fair and a launch at the Association of Publishing Educators’ stand, it has got off to a very promising start. It’s inspiring to see the publishers of the future in action.

Altogether, the Fair provides a very exciting and collegial environment. As ever after the Fair, I have come away feeling that I have learnt a great deal, forged new relationships and been inspired by the sheer creativity and commitment of my fellow publishers.

Related Articles

New publication explores philanthropy and the soul of universities

AlisonFox27 March 2017

From the Enlightenment to the first Apple Mac, universities have been the driving force that change the world. Now a new publication from UCL Press explores the role of philanthropy in a rapidly changing higher education environment.

Dr Gerald Chan speaks at It's all academic launch

The publication brings to a wider audience the keynote speech given by investor and philanthropist Dr Gerald Chan, who spoke at UCL’s Insiders Day in July 2016 – a preview for close friends and supporters of the new Campaign for UCL which launched publicly in September 2016. Read about the launch here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/campaign/campaign-news/campaign-launch

Highlighting the vital need for philanthropic public-private partnerships, Dr Chan argues that the independence of universities is crucial for maintaining their dual role as engines of the economy and places of curiosity driven research. He concludes: “This is not a budgetary struggle, it is a struggle for the very soul of the university.”

Read the full publication here – https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/the-research-university-in-todays-society/

Payng tribute to Dr Chan in the publication’s foreword, UCL’s President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur says: “We could not have asked for a clearer and more cogent overview of the unique, far-reaching value of philanthropy.

“It is doing something completely different. It enables great researchers to be daring and disruptive, to follow a hunch, to end in a place completely different from the one they expected, to pursue the projects that, for a variety of reasons, public funding cannot support.

“It is this work that produces outcomes that shake society.”

This post originally appeared at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/campaign/campaign-news/Gerald-Chan-philanthropy-and-universities 

UCL Press partners with JSTOR

AlisonFox27 October 2016

UCL Press is delighted to announce a partnership with JSTOR to provide access to open access books on their widely used platform.  JSTOR is a leading digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources used by academics and researchers worldwide. All titles will also be preserved in Portico, ensuring that they will be available to researchers in perpetuity.

The only UK publisher to be an inaugural partner in this programme, UCL Press titles are included in an initial set of open access books available from four leading university presses, including University of California Press, University of Michigan Press and Cornell University Press.  Books published by UCL Press that will appear on JSTOR’s widely used platform from Wednesday 26th October include:

The ebooks are freely available for anyone in the world to use and do not have DRM restrictions, nor do they have limits on chapter PDF downloads or printing. Users will not need to register or log in to JSTOR in order to access any of our titles. Free MARC records are available for librarians, who will also be able to activate the titles in discovery services; more information for librarians is available here. The titles are also cross-searchable with other content on JSTOR.org.

The academic book in the (Global) South

LesleyPitman21 March 2016

Earlier this month I attended a remarkable conference at the British Library. For the first time, academics and representatives of the publishing industry in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa were brought together to discuss their experience of producing, distributing and accessing academic books. The conference, on 7th and 8th March, was part of the Academic Book of the Future project, in which UCL is involved, and was funded by the AHRC and the British Library.

The two days were of great potential use both in trying to understand how to expand our range of resources from the Global South and in ensuring that the resources we produce here are accessible throughout the world. A detailed account of the whole conference has been created from tweets by delegates. At the risk of oversimplifying, I will try to summarise here just the main messages in the following areas: publishing, access, and digitisation:

Publishing

Academic publishing in the south is clearly facing numerous problems, starting with a lack of investment in education and a lack of training in academic writing, editing and publishing. Data on the publishing industry is patchy and multinationals dominate the markets, with pressure on academics to publish abroad and with big name publishers rather than at home. Censorship and civil unrest in some countries can stifle academic work in the social sciences and some publishing markets (Syria, Libya, Iraq, Sudan) do not function, although the market in Iran is now opening up. E-books are published in “walled gardens” on incompatible platforms, and print is still the dominant medium. The language of publication can be a political issue, with local languages not considered acceptable. Piracy is a big problem and a disincentive to multinational companies to license content. Open access publishing was described as a “doubtful panacea”, privileging the few readers with good Internet access and  institutions with technical knowledge, but disadvantaging authors – presumably because they can’t pay Gold OA fees. Academics in the south need to be more involved in peer review. There was some self-criticism and a desire for southern publishers to be better at promotion, and for southern universities to collaborate in negotiations on price. Differential pricing for different countries would be helpful but is unusual. There was an emphasis on the need to involve the public outside universities. One example of this from India was the vibrant Bengali blogosphere focusing on cultural debate.

Access

Access both to print and to the Internet is very restricted, and the mobile phone is the technology with by far the greatest reach. Even in South Africa the example was given of an article taking four hours to download. Books and journals published in the North were too expensive, and the example was given of a £50 book costing a month’s wages in Africa, although locally published versions of the same title were seen as less desirable. Multinational publishers were criticised for buying archives and local collections and them putting them behind paywalls, making them inaccessible in their country of origin. When material is published in local languages there are few translations.

Digitisation

Like open access, digitisation was presented as potentially useful but problematic. One audience member pointed out that it can be seen as theft, and there was general agreement. Funding from external sources can be short term, and can distort the value of local collections. Shamil Jeppie from the University of Cape Town, talking about his work with the Timbuktu manuscripts, pointed out that digitisation cannot capture the tactile physical nature of this material or help with problems like dating mss. Digitisation was just a gateway, although essential to capture vulnerable collections. He reminded us of what is being lost currently in Iraq and Syria. Dr Satti, the Director of the National Library of Sudan, pointed out that the selection of content for digital projects could be divisive in culturally diverse societies if the processes were not participatory and transparent. A cultural revolution was needed to deal with the debates over freedom and state control generated by the rise of digital technologies. Again lack of technical infrastructure was a problem. It was not possible to know what collections had been digitised in India because they were not accessible. Digital tools and metadata schema for local languages did not exist. No Indian language has a working digital lexicon for digitised content. On the positive side, Tanzania is about to have the first official Trusted Digital Repository in Africa.

Among all the problems summarised above there were many positive moments and some memorable ones too. Sukanta Chaudhuri used his keynote to advocate an alternative knowledge order, with wider social sharing of knowledge, breaking down institutional barriers and involving amateur scholars as well as academics. More south-south collaboration was essential. He also asked that all digitised content that is out of copyright should be made available free of charge.

On a practical level the importance of recognising the ubiquity of the (not necessarily smart) mobile phone was stressed, with a need for small packages of content that are easy to download. Simple, static websites were recommended for the same reason.

Examples of good practice include the African Books Collective, which distributes African writing from 149 publishers in 24 countries. It is based in Oxford but is managed by a consortium of African publishers. The Knowledge Unlatched model was also presented as a possible model for collaborative publishing in the south.

Finally, among many highlights there were two particularly memorable moments. The first, to universal hilarity, was when Sukanta Chaudhuri, from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, accidentally referred to the British Library as the British Empire. Everyone laughed, including the British Library curators in the audience.

The second memorable moment was when Sari Hanafi, Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut, held up a copy of his book on Timbuktu. It was the British Library’s copy. He didn’t have a copy of his own, as the publishers (Routledge) either could not or would not ship to Beirut. That seemed to symbolise the gulf between the north and the south.