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November titles from UCL Press

Alison Fox31 October 2017

We are delighted to announce the publication of five new open access books from UCL Press in November:

New Open Access Books

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

Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2017

Alison Fox24 October 2017

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

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!

The International Convention of University Presses

Alison Fox23 October 2017

Posted on behalf of Jaimee Biggins, Managing Editor, UCL Press

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest trade fair for books. It takes place in October every year. UCL Press had a stand at the Fair this year where we could showcase our books, and have meetings with other academic publishers and suppliers. While at the Fair, I attended the 5th International Convention of University Presses. The Convention featured about 100 representatives from more than 22 countries and each year it offers an opportunity to discuss new trends in international academic publishing. It is a great way to network with other university presses and those working in academic publishing and gain an international perspective.

The topic this year was ‘Translation: Unlocking New Worlds of Ideas’. The day focussed mainly on foreign language authors who want to be translated into English. The keynote ‘What factors determine the circulation of scholarly books in translation?’ by Gisèle Sapiro (Director of Research at the CNRS –The French National Center for Scientific Research) set the scene for the discussion. It sparked quite a debate especially around the funding for translation of scholarly works. Scholarly books are costly to translate and do not sell many copies, so there is quite a dependence on subsidies. Other sources of funding are international organisations and private foundations. Also interesting to note is the trend of scholars choosing to write in English so they will be read right away – this is sometimes at the sacrifice of publishing in their national language. There is also a certain pressure by publishers on academics to publish in English to gain access to the widest readership possible.

In the round table discussion there was a presentation of different translation grant programmes, with speakers from organisations in countries such as Canada, Germany, Norway and France all outlining funding programmes that support translation. It was interesting to hear about schemes to support authors by offering grants which cover the cost of translation and also expenses such as book launches and promotional activities. All of the programmes aimed to make academic books more visible through translations. The criteria for this funding varied – for example the Council for the Arts, Canada, base their funding on the impact, merit and feasibility of the project. Unfortunately it is a trend that there are many more applications received than grants available. Astrid Thorn Hillig from the Association of European University Presses said that university presses need to come together collectively to claim the importance of translations and support more translations.

The day ended with pitching of a number of projects for translation by various publishers. Each speaker had two minutes to pitch their potential project, offering a synopsis of the book, and the selling points which provide a case for it to be translated. All in all the day was a real eye-opener into the world of translation and was a great way to connect with international colleagues.

UCL Press announces new North America print distribution partnership with University of Chicago Press

Alison Fox4 October 2017

UCL Press is pleased to announce a new marketing and distribution partnership with University of Chicago Press, the publishing imprint of University of Chicago, USA. Effective January 1, 2018, the University of Chicago Press will distribute, sell, and market UCL books in North America.

Lara Speicher, Publishing Manager of UCL Press, reflected on the new partnership: “UCL Press is keen to expand its global reach, and making its books available in the USA and Canada is a critical component of this plan. Working with a university press such as Chicago and its long-established distribution program representing other university presses and scholarly publishers is the ideal partnership to help us expand our activities in North America.”

UCL Press is the university press of UCL, a research-intensive university ranked in the top 10 universities worldwide in the QS World Rankings. Since its inception as the first fully open access university press in the UK in 2015, UCL Press has established a widely respected list of scholarly monographs and textbooks ranging across anthropology, archaeology, history, architecture, environmental studies, popular science, and higher education. UCL Press publishes authors from UCL as well as many other institutions and makes all its books freely available online, as well as selling print copies through traditional retail channels.

Chicago marketing director Carol Kasper commented, “We at Chicago are delighted to welcome UCL to our family of publishers in the marketing distribution programme. UCL Press has made great strides in just a few years, and we look forward to partnering with them to raise their profile and better reach the North American market. We believe UCL books will find a good home with our growing group of client presses whose signature is serious non-fiction and scholarship.”

“We’re pleased to help introduce UCL Press’s books to our market and look forward to their great success,” added Joe D’Onofrio, Director at the Chicago Distribution Center.

Garrett Kiely, director of the University of Chicago Press, further said, “We are excited to continue to grow the Chicago Distribution Center and Chicago’s distinguished list of client publishers with the addition of UCL Press, whose high quality scholarship will fit well alongside many others in our catalog.”

The University of Chicago Press’s distinctive and diverse list of distributed publishers includes the American Meteorological Society; Amsterdam University Press; the Bard Graduate Center; the Bodleian Library; Black Rose Books; Brigham Young University; Campus Verlag; the Center for the Study of Language and Information; Conservation International; the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Diaphanes; French National Museum of Natural History; GTA Verlag; HAU Books; Haus Publishing; Hirmer Publishers; Historic England; Intellect Books; Karolinum Press, Charles University, Prague; Leiden University Press; Logan Center Exhibitions, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts; McMullen Museum, Boston College; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Missouri Botanical Garden Press; Missouri History Museum; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Museum Tusculanum Press; National University of Singapore Press; Park Books; Policy Press at the University of Bristol; Prickly Paradigm Press; Reaktion Books; Renaissance Society; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Royal Collection Trust; Scheidegger and Spiess; Seagull Books; Solar Books; Tenov Books; Unicorn Press Ltd.; University of Alaska Press; University of Exeter Press; University of Wales Press; and Zed Books.

As of January 1, 2018 all UCL Press backlist and forthcoming titles in North America will ship from the Chicago Distribution Center.

October titles from UCL Press

Alison Fox2 October 2017

We are delighted to announce the publication of two new open access books from UCL Press in October:

In case you missed it, UCL Press also published three titles in September:

Please note that Key Concepts in Public Archaeology was previously published as a living book and will be released for the first time as a free PDF download and in print.

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

COASP – Conference of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (Lisbon, 20-21 September 2017)

Alison Fox27 September 2017

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

The annual conference organised by OASPA took place in Lisbon this year, and for the first time members of UCL Press were there to present a paper and to attend the conference. Now in its 9th year, COASP presents a key opportunity for publishers and affiliated colleagues – such as librarians, funding agencies, government, academics and higher education communities – to gather and discuss developments in open access for scholarly research.

This year’s conference started with an inspiring talk by Jean-Claude Burgelman, Head of Open Data Policy and Science Cloud for the European Commission, who outlined the Commission’s vision for open access to scholarly research. This included an announcement that the Commission would start to publish articles themselves and would be seeking a partner to provide a journal publishing platform with fast publication times and open peer review, along the lines of that adopted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust (both of whom use the F1000 publishing platform).

Sessions followed on open infrastructure, APCs, research evaluation and assessment and peer review, with speakers including the Head of Scholarly Communications at Cambridge University Library, Danny Kingsley, the Publisher for PLOS, Louise Page, and the Head of Open Research for the Wellcome Trust, Robert Kiley. Interspersed, were panel presentations featuring related initiatives in OA infrastructure, policy and publishing.

The conference and the society are geared towards scientific journals, and there was therefore very little on OA monograph publishing. I was on the only panel discussing OA book publishing, focussing on peer review for OA monographs, along with Anke Beck, CEO of De Gruyter, and Aina Svensson, Head of the Electronic Publishing Centre at Uppsala University Library. Many delegates commented after our presentations on how different peer review is for books than for journals, since it involves considerably more editorial development and discussion, and often makes a significant contribution towards the shaping of the overall book, rather than simply evaluating quality.

Overall, it was an immensely useful couple of days and, as always at conferences, it was also a chance to see our many colleagues and partners in the industry who come from far and wide and who we don’t see very often, and to meet new publishers and hear about other initiatives and practices from around the world. I was particularly interested to meet the university presses of the University of Technology Sydney and Adelaide University, who both have thriving OA book and journal publishing programmes. It was also great to meet the Head of University of Missouri Library’s Open Scholarship and Publishing Services, who have a fantastic open access textbook programme that has seen great success so far, and from which UCL Press’s developing OA textbook programme can draw inspiration.

Join IAS & UCL Press for the launch of Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History

Alison Fox26 September 2017

Join the UCL Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World, the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies and UCL Press to celebrate the publication of Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History, edited by Zoltán Biedermann (UCL) and Alan Strathern (Oxford).

Date: 30th October 2017, 6-8pm

Location: UCL Institute of Advanced Studies

All welcome, but registration is required

The peoples of Sri Lanka have participated in far-flung trading networks, religious formations, and Asian and European empires for millennia. This interdisciplinary volume sets out to draw Sri Lanka into the field of Asian and Global History by showing how the latest wave of scholarship has explored the island as a ‘crossroads’, a place defined by its openness to movement across the Indian Ocean. Experts in the history, archaeology, literature and art of the island from c.500 BCE to c.1850 CE use Lankan material to explore the history and historiography of Sri Lanka, the Indian Ocean region, kingship, colonialism, imperialism, and early modernity.

Read more about the book here.

UCL Press announces new journals platform

Alison Fox19 September 2017

Posted on behalf of Ian Caswell, Journals Manager, UCL Press

UCL Press is pleased to announce a new hosting partnership with ScienceOpen, a platform which will host its open access journal programme. ScienceOpen is an open access indexing platform provider based in Berlin and Boston, which indexes journal abstracts or full text OA articles. The platform, for the first time offered as a white labelled hosting platform, extends UCL Press’s list of dedicated and enhanced content discoverability for its authors, editors and journals. Published as full text XML and metadata (as well as the more traditional PDF), UCL Press journals can link better into search engines and other online scholarly materials and outlets.

Authors, editors, reviewers and readers will be able to make use of post-publication peer review, online commenting, individual article and author metrics (like Altmetric), citation and access tracking, ORCiD integration, and a whole host of other benefits that you can read more about on the ScienceOpen website and blog, here.

Dr Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen, said ‘ScienceOpen’s new hosting service is the logical extension of our commitment to putting research in context. With our advanced technology, we can ensure that UCL Press articles are found by the right researchers and then give those readers the opportunity to interact with the content in a variety of ways. A range of aggregated journal – and article – level metrics then provide enriched usage statistics for the publisher to monitor impact.’

In the coming months, UCL Press plans to experiment with new forms of more transparent peer review and sees the open peer review infrastructure on the ScienceOpen platform as an ideal way to explore post-publication review workflows. All UCL Press journals will be available for continuous peer review – where articles can receive further review and comments after final publication, that are updated using a system of version control (meaning identified revisions and iterations of an article and its reviews) – to encourage collaboration and elicit debate and discussion. Further announcements on this will be made in due course.

Have a look at the journal webpages here!

Contact: Ian Caswell, UCL Press Journals Manager. Email: i.caswell@ucl.ac.uk | @UCLPress

September titles from UCL Press

Alison Fox30 August 2017

We are delighted to announce the publication of five new open access books from UCL Press in September:

New Open Access Books

Please note that Key Concepts in Public Archaeology was previously published as a living book and will be released for the first time as a free PDF download and in print.

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

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris19 August 2017

The future of monograph publishing

The future of the scholarly monograph is much debated in academic and publishing circles. Dwindling print sales and pressure on library acquisition funds mean that the future of the scholarly monograph as a unit of output is in some doubt. A recent report, The Academic Book of the Future, underlined the drop in sales figures being experienced by such monographs.

In a recent letter, published by the THE (Times Higher Education), 17-23 August 2017, p. 29, I offered evidence from the experiences of UCL Press to cast light on this thorny topic. Here is the letter as it was published:

Open optimism

Annual Report 15-16In her article “Open access monograph dash could lead us off a cliff” (Opinion [in THE], 27 July), Marilyn Deegan warns of the dangers of open access monograph publishng”. As head of UCL Press, the UK’s first fully open access university press, let me look at some of these concerns in more detail.

UCL Press has been in existence as an open access press since June 2015. In that time, we have published 42 books. These have been downloaded, along with our journals, 448,524 times. The most downloaded book, How the World Changed Social Media, has been downloaded 127,836 times. It is still possible to purchase copies of all UCL Press books in other formats, digital and paper, and these comprise 4,795 copies to date – an average of just over 114 per title. In addition, UCL Press titles are downloaded in 218 countries and dependencies around the world.

If it is true, as The Academic Book of the Future report shows, that monograph sales have fallen from an average of 100 to 60 per book in the UK in the past decade, the figures from UCL Press seem to show that open access represents a lifeline. Far from killing the book, open access is a possible route to salvation in an area of publishing that otherwise seems to be in terminal decline.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost