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RLUK Warwick Meeting | Academic Book of the Future, Samantha Rayner

RLUK Warwick Members' Meeting 2015

The Academic Book of the Future, Samantha Rayner, UCL

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RLUK Warwick Meeting | Academic Book of the Future, Samantha Rayner

  1. 1. Dr Samantha J. Rayner University College London @samartha @AcBookFuture #AcBookFuture Project Progress RLUK Members Meeting November 20th 2015
  2. 2. • AHRC/BL collaboration • Call launched by AHRC Feb 2014 • Project begins Oct 2014 Project team:  Samantha Rayner, Nick Canty & Rebecca Lyons (UCL),  Simon Tanner & Marilyn Deegan (KCL)  Michael Jubb as key consultant Context of Project #AcBookFuture
  3. 3. Project Structure Core Management GroupAdvisory Board Stakeholders Partners Community Coalition Strategy Board Advisory Board Chair: Professor Kathryn Sutherland (Professor of Bibliography and Textual Criticism, Oxford University) Strategy Board Chair: Anne Jarvis (Cambridge University Librarian)
  4. 4. Starting Point #AcBookFuture To examine the roles and purposes of academic books to serve scholarship and wider learning To examine and analyse the dynamics of academic book production, curation, and use To investigate and assess the opportunities and challenges associated with technological developments ( v i a 2 p h a s e s o f a c t i v i t y ) “What do scholars want?” We all want our cultural record to be comprehensive, stable, and accessible. And we all want to be able to augment that record with our own contributions. Jerome McGann, Sustainability: the Elephant in the Room. Paper for the 2010 Conference, Digital Humanities Scholarship: The Shape of Things to Come.
  5. 5. Aims of the Project “It is expected that this project will have a significant impact on a wide range of stakeholders in research, library and publishing communities and generate new evidence and dialogue that will inform policy and national approaches to this important area of scholarly communications.” - AHRC Press Release, 19th August 2014
  6. 6. In other words… This project facilitates conversation with and between all stakeholders in the academic book: - Academics - Publishers - Learned Societies - Librarians - Booksellers - Policy-makers To interrogate and reflect current and emerging issues around the academic book and its contexts.
  7. 7. So far… The Project has engaged with: • 22 publishers • 12 libraries • 40 academic institutions • 3 bookselling chains • 24 organisations and societies • Over 200 individual collaborators
  8. 8. So far… The Project Team has also: • attended over 30 events • given over 20 talks • helped facilitate over 60 events and mini-projects • published 25 blog posts, with an article and collection of essays published this month Project activity has extended across several countries, including: • UK, Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, Spain • Italy, Germany, Sudan, The Netherlands, Iceland, India
  9. 9. Examples and Highlights • University of Nottingham -SOFT Project Sprinting to the Open FuTure • University of Lincoln - [im]Possible Constellations: Publishing in the digital age • Katharine Reeve, Bath Spa Uni – Editors in Academic Publishing • International Arthurian Society – Iconic Books • Anthony Watkinson – The Academic Book in North America • Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities – Training Camp – Peer Review • New University Presses – Conference, March 2015 • The Future of Academic Bookselling – Conference, April 2015
  10. 10. Knowledge Unlatched • A collaborative, award winning initiative between global library community and publishers to develop a sustainable route to OA for books • Opportunity to make OA monographs a reality • Participation costs less than purchasing hardbacks or ebooks • A space to learn together
  11. 11. THE UNIVERSITY PRESS REDUX University Presses Conference Hosted by Liverpool University Press | 16-17 March 2016 | University of Liverpool Alison Mudditt Director, University of California Press Prof. Mark Llewellyn Director of Research, Arts and Humanities Research Council Dr. Steven Hill Head of Research Policy, Higher Education Funding Council for England Alison Shaw Director, Policy Press at the University of Bristol Marike Schipper Director, Leuven University Press Dr. Samantha Rayner UCL, Principal Investigator, Academic Book of the Future Charles Watkinson Director, University of Michigan Press Eelco Ferwerda Director, OAPEN Peter Berkery Executive Director, Association of American University Presses
  12. 12. Investigating the REF2014 #AcBookFuture REF 2014 submissions provides a rich data set as a means of learning more about the academic books created and deemed worthy of submission in the last REF cycle (2009-2014). Focus = Main Panel D for Arts and Humanities. Within this Panel the data can be investigated by Unit of Assessment Subject Area and by Research Output Type. Likely outcomes: Allow an identification of who are the publishers of the book submissions Other possibilities:- author gender, book format/length etc, books per submitting institution, open access books Results may stimulate discourse Caveats abound...
  13. 13. REF 2014: Looking at Unit of Assessment 30: History  1657 Books in the following output types  Authored Books (1320),  Edited Books (290) and  Scholarly Editions (47)  295 unique Publishers found  Top 10 most used Publishers = 930 books or 56%  258 Publishers (87%) had 5 or fewer books submitted  171 Publishers (57%) had one book submitted – mostly non-UK  761 books submitted (46%) were from a University Press.  Outside the top 5 these were mostly non-UK publishers. Initial draft data – subject to change © Simon Tanner, 2015 Publishers with >10 books submitted 213 Oxford University Press 162 Cambridge University Press 143 Palgrave Macmillan 98 Manchester University Press 74 Ashgate 70 Routledge 52 Boydell & Brewer 51 Yale University Press 40 Brill Academic Publishers 27 Continuum International Publishing 27 Edinburgh University Press 21 I B Tauris 21 Pickering & Chatto 20 Harvard University Press 19 Bloomsbury Publishing 16 Penguin 14 Allen Lane 14 British Academy/Oxford University Press 14 Liverpool University Press 14 University of Wales Press 12 University of Chicago Press 11 Reaktion Books
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  34. 34. Source: #AcBookW “Academic Book Week has provided an opportunity for the University Bookshop to take centre stage as a place of discussion on the future of the academic book” Alan Staton, Booksellers Association “ We’ve seen Academic Book Week evolve into something powerful, engaging, interactive, thoughtful and at times controversial. My favourite part of this week? Evidence that the academic book is alive and kicking.” Suzanne Kavanagh, ALPSP Academic Book Week 2015 could not have come at a better time to celebrate our industry and - as we move into 2016 I’ve no doubt that in a year’s time we’ll be back here with as much, if not more debate, passion and indeed even more to celebrate. Emma House, Publishers Association
  35. 35. Source: #AcBookW Some Key themes emerging from Academic Book Week: • Where will the impetus for change come from? • Confusion about OA models • What will value be defined as in an OA world? • Concerns about “digital death” through lack of adequate preservation • ECRs questioning shapes of outputs, like the PhD • Need for technology to create a better reading experience for academic texts • Physical book is still needed alongside ebooks
  36. 36. Some brief reflections & directions from Michael Jubb’s research for the Project #AcBookFuture Sales, acquisitions, licensing etc models. Neither publishers nor librarians nor aggregators/intermediaries are satisfied with current models, especially for e-books, despite recent experimentation. Further examination of current models, the constraints on all sides, and how they might be eased, could help to signal ways forward and promote the further use of e-books Relationships between publishers, intermediaries, libraries and retailers. There is considerable concern both from publishers and libraries about the complexities of the supply chain to end-users, and about the concentration in the intermediary market. Further examination of the relationships between the different kinds of agents in the supply chain could help to point ways to reduce complexity and thus to ease those concerns.
  37. 37. Some brief reflections & directions from Michael Jubb’s research for the Project #AcBookFuture The role of books in the digital scholarly infrastructure. Books remain a critical part of the scholarly infrastructure in analogue form. But we have not yet clearly articulated how to present the broad range of scholarly resources in the humanities in an effective and user-friendly way, integrating ‘books’ into the wider range of resources and tools. Further examination of this issue could provide powerful insights into how research in the arts and humanities might most effectively develop for the future. Incentives to publish books. No crisis in Scholarly Publishing. There seem to be powerful incentives to write and to publish books, even as volumes of sales of individual titles fall; and there is concern that too many books with little chance of significant sales or readership are being published. Further examination to develop more evidence is needed.
  38. 38. CALL FOR CONTENT: BOOC Outputs of the research project Peer reviewed content published as a ‘live’ book on platform hosted by UCL Press Presentation Non-linear content presentation Subjects Concentrates on all aspects of academic publishing and its future e.g. peer review; role of the editor; bookshops of the future; libraries; open access; digital publishing and technology Formats Formats may include: videos, blogs, podcasts, short monographs and articles Authors invited from all areas of the academic publishing and bookselling communities Authors Authors invited from all areas of the academic publishing and bookselling communities Launch Date The BOOC will be launched in spring 2016 and new content will be added throughout the year. The AHRC/British Library Academic Book of the Future Project invites submissions for its BOOC (Book as Open Online Content) To propose content, email 500 word (max.) abstracts to: Dr Sam Rayner Principal Investigator of the Academic Book of the Future Project Email:
  39. 39. Project Team’s Recommendations #AcBookFuture The OA landscape We urgently need a portal that allows for information about different OA publishers and initiatives to be easily obtained, compared, and understood. Provide training for academics at every career level In copyright and IP; in OA; in how to peer review effectively; in how to work with librarians and publishers to create outputs that can be found easily, preserved safely, and configured innovatively Build more cross-community projects, like AcBookWeek, so that deeper understanding of the interdependencies between sectors can push progress forwards.
  40. 40. Project Team’s Recommendations #AcBookFuture More discipline specific research: Each discipline has different needs and uses for texts. Closer working with Learned Societies needed. Widening Accessibility to the Academic Book: Via further investigation into the crossover book, a case study of the Academic Book in the Global South, and looking at accessibility for the visually impaired.
  41. 41. “ It is essential that the arts, humanities and social science community takes a lead in shaping thinking about these issues to ensure that the models that emerge sustain and improve the communication of scholarly information rather than distorting it.” Crossick Report, #AcBookFuture Why get involved?
  42. 42. “ In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Charles Darwin #AcBookFuture Finally…
  43. 43. @AcBookFuture #AcBookWeek The Academic Book of the Future

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RLUK Warwick Members' Meeting 2015 The Academic Book of the Future, Samantha Rayner, UCL


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