Open Academic Book Publishing during COVID-19 Pandemic: A View on Romanian University Presses

Authors : Mariana Cernicova-Buca, Katalin Luzan

In the context of the 2020 public health crisis that discourages exchanges of physical objects in society, university-led publishing needed to rethink its operations. Worldwide the opening of quality scholarly content proved to be a solution.

University presses reacted rapidly and offered books according to the open access model. The present research aimed to map the editorial landscape of Romanian university presses, to identify the main features displayed online by the university presses parented by public universities and to highlight the readiness of these players to further open access academic books, especially in the time of the COVID-19 crisis.

The quantitative approach investigated the availability of e-books in the university presses’ portfolios, including the alignment to the open access scholarship movement, the use of social media accounts to promote the presses and the response of the presses to the challenges of the health crisis.

Out of the 46 active university presses, only six had open book titles in their portfolios and only one genuinely responded actively to the challenges posed by the need for electronic formats in 2020. Unless Romanian university presses modernize and restructure their modus operandi, they can prove irrelevant in the post-crisis period.

URL : Open Academic Book Publishing during COVID-19 Pandemic: A View on Romanian University Presses


Towards inclusive scholarly publishing: developments in the university press community

Authors: Niccole Leilanionapae‘aina Coggins, Gisela Concepción Fosado, Christie Henry, Gita Manaktala

This article provides an overview of the ways in which the members of the Association of University Presses are working towards more inclusive practices in scholarly publishing.

The authors consider the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship Program (now in its fourth year), the work of the Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, the Gender, Equity and Cultures of Respect Task Force and the new Equity, Justice and Inclusion Committee.

They also look at press-based working groups and several ‘Toolkits for Equity’ that are currently in development.

The volunteers engaged in these and other efforts are working to document how bias has shaped universities and university presses, to propose actions to disrupt this powerful force and to share what they have learned with their colleagues as well as with the larger scholarly publishing and academic communities.

URL : Towards inclusive scholarly publishing: developments in the university press community


Mapping the Publishing Challenges for an Open Access University Press

Authors : Megan Taylor

Managing a New University Press (NUP) is often a one-person operation and, with limits on time and resources, efficiency and effectiveness are key to having a successful production process and providing a high level of author, editor and reader services.

This article looks at the challenges faced by open access (OA) university presses throughout the publishing journey and considers ways in which these challenges can be addressed. In particular, the article focuses on six key stages throughout the lifecycle of an open access publication: commissioning; review; production; discoverability; marketing; analytics.

Approached from the point of view of the University of Huddersfield Press, this article also draws on discussions and experiences of other NUPs from community-led forums and events.

By highlighting the issues faced, and the potential solutions to them, this research recognises the need for a tailored and formalised production workflow within NUPs and also provides guidance how to begin implementing possible solutions.

URL : Mapping the Publishing Challenges for an Open Access University Press


Developing a model for university presses

Authors : Megan Taylor, Kathrine S H Jensen

This article presents a model for developing a university press based around three guiding principles and six key stages of the publishing process, with associated activities.

The model is designed to be applicable to a range of business models, including subscription, open access and hybrid. The guiding principles, publishing stages and strategic points all constitute the building blocks necessary to implement and maintain a sustainable university press.

At the centre of the model there are three interconnected main guiding principles: strategic alignment, stakeholder relationships and demonstrating impact.

The publishing process outlined in the outer ring of the model is made up of six sections: editorial, production, dissemination, preservation, communication and analytics.

These sections were based on the main stages that a journal article or monograph goes through from proposal or commissioning stage through to publication and beyond.

The model highlights the overall importance of working in partnership and building relationships as key to developing and maintaining a successful press.

URL : Developing a model for university presses


The Surge in New University Presses and Academic- Led Publishing: An Overview of a Changing Publishing Ecology in the UK

Authors : Janneke Adema, Graham Stone

This article outlines the rise and development of New University Presses and Academic-Led Presses in the UK or publishing for the UK market. Based on the Jisc research project, Changing publishing ecologies: a landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing, commonalities between these two types of presses are identified to better assess their future needs and requirements.

Based on this analysis, the article argues for the development of a publishing toolkit, for further research into the creation of a typology of presses and publishing initiatives, and for support with community building to help these initiatives grow and develop further, whilst promoting a more diverse publishing ecology.

URL : The Surge in New University Presses and Academic- Led Publishing: An Overview of a Changing Publishing Ecology in the UK


Navigating the Political Waters of Open Access Publishing in Libraries

Authors : Carol Ann Borchert, Charlene N. Simser, Wendy C. Robertson

In recent years, many libraries have forayed into the world of open access (OA) publishing. While it marks a major shift in the mission of libraries to move from providing access to content to generating and creating content ourselves, it still involves the same basic values regarding access to information.

The environment has changed, and libraries are adapting with new approaches and new staff skills to promote these fundamental values. The authors selected nineteen libraries and conducted phone interviews with a specific list of questions, encouraging discussion about how each library approached being a publisher.

This chapter examines the politics and issues involved, and makes recommendations for defining our roles in this new territory.

The authors highlight the approaches various libraries have taken—and the challenges faced—in selecting a platform, writing a business plan, planning for preservation, educating researchers about OA publishing, working with a university press, marketing, and navigating staff training issues.

The chapter concludes with recommendations for areas of focus and future research.


Teaching an Old University Press Publisher New Tricks: Living in the Present and Preparing for the Future of Scholarly Communications


“University presses currently exist in the dual worlds of print and digital publishing. Current staffing needs require that they hire personnel with skills and experience that mirror that present duality. Training and maintaining a skilled workforce requires a commitment to flexibility and an openness to the ever-changing nature of scholarly communication. As the scholarly publishing ecosystem continues to evolve, university presses will need to look to a future workforce that has additional training, knowledge, and experience beyond the traditional skills associated with academic publishing, one that fully embraces the realities of a digital world, the habits of new generations of researchers, and the increasing role of technology in scholarly communication. This article looks at what the future might look like, what skills might be required, and how one might prepare for that future.”