We are used to the idea that many funders and universities want academics to publish articles Open Access (OA). However, dismay met the push to make monographs available OA as well. In 2016, HEFCE (as it then was) flagged the expected expansion of OA requirements to monographs in the third Research Excellence Framework (REF). When this was discussed during the University Press Redux in February 2018 there was great debate about whether this is realistic - or even desirable. So what are the concerns and are they valid? What would be the benefits of OA monographs?
What is Open Access?
The International Open Access Week website describes OA as “the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need”. In order to achieve the second aspect, content needs to be licensed to enable reuse. Commonly, this means that content is published under Creative Commons Licences, which allow authors to retain the rights to their work and to set the conditions around which others can copy, distribute, and reuse that work.
Why is it important?
OA is important for a number of reasons. The obvious ones include meeting REF requirements and funding conditions. OA content tends to be viewed more than content that needs to be paid for, and this often results in higher citation rates. The increased visibility helps build your academic reputation. OA brings research to new audiences, inside and outside academia, and this is likely to increase public engagement. Increasing the public’s perception of the relevance of HE is important in the current climate, and demonstrating this has been difficult when the research done is closed and inaccessibly to so many. It also brings the maximum value from research by allowing it to be reused as a building block in ongoing conversations and research.
When is Open Access not really Open Access?
To start with, let's look at OA models for article publishing. These are now widely accepted (though it’s worth remembering the concerns when this discussed began). The Green OA model seems most common. Academics deposit a pre-publication version of their accepted article manuscript in either an institutional or subject repository. They then publish their article, often in a traditional journal. After an embargo period, set by the publisher but (hopefully!) in line with the funder’s criteria, the repository version can be accessed for free. So while the published article may still sit within a subscription journal, a free version is available to everyone once the embargo period ends.
All good, right? Well, yes and no. The repository version is not the same as the published article (usually considered the “version of record”). Academics can find this frustrating. The arguably more accessible repository version (embargo period aside) sometimes lacks key formatting, may not look as professional, and will lack citation-relevant structure (page numbers etc.). Having multiple versions can also mean it’s harder to measure impact and combine metrics etc. Repository versions can also fall under publisher copyright, preventing them being shared and reused freely. This doesn’t really embrace the full spirit of OA (even if it does tick all the boxes from a funder perspective).
Hybrid journals publish some articles free-to-access while others remain behind subscription paywalls. Again, while this offers free access to the OA articles, the copyright remains with the publisher so limiting sharing and reuse. Many funders are now considering if hybrid journals really do meet their OA criteria.
Gold OA, where an article is published in a full OA journal, with no issues around different versions, paywalls or embargo periods, and where the content is published under a licence that allows sharing and reuse, delivers both the free access and reuse aspects of OA.
So... back to monographs
That was relevant. Really! Having a clear understanding of how OA monographs models could work in practice will save time if we hope to include monographs in the third REF.
A Green OA monograph model sees the book sold for a period before becoming free to access online. While being sold it would presumably be “rights reserved” but could flip to a more liberal licence once it becomes OA. This is almost equivalent to the article embargo period. Some publishers already use this model, or something very similar. It doesn’t replicate the version/formatting issues we see with Green OA article publishing, but does create other questions.
Is it fair to the book’s audience that one day they have to pay for something that becomes free the next? Publishers would need to declare the “becomes free” date to prevent backlash. This could change customer behaviour, with readers waiting till the book was free to access it. In the current context of ever-increasing pressure on library budgets, it’s hard to justify buying access to research that will become free for everyone after 12 months. This could then delay the impact of the research by a year, which would frustrate authors and funders keen to see research embraced by the academic community.
There is also question of sustainability. Green OA for articles doesn’t require funding of publishing charges. The publisher covers the costs out of profit made from journal subscriptions, as normal, while the author simply deposits e.g. a PDF of the pre-published manuscript in a repository. For monographs publication costs will apply. These are unlikely to be covered by e.g. a single year of sales. If OA publishing becomes widespread, how will publishers fund these monographs unless passing costs on to funders/institutions? If that happened, wouldn’t this be the Gold model with a delay?
Gold OA monographs
Gold OA for monographs would see instant free access to the full published version with maximum potential impact through widest possible dissemination from initial release. A recent White Rose University Press (WRUP) publication, Star Carr, reached nearly 1000 downloads in its first week of release and has now reached well over 4000 downloads after 6 months. Published under liberal licences, so the author retains ownership of their work and to enable sharing and reuse, this would seem to be the obvious solution. So what is the problem?
It’s a thorny issue. Gold OA is often called “author pays”- though in reality funding should come from funding bodies, institutions, societies rather from the author themselves. It might be more accurate to call it a “funding required” model. This is likely to be true of any sustainable OA monograph model if we are honest so it’s probably best to explore how to handle it. In Plan S, Science Europe’s cOAlition S addresses fees and funding (who should pay, potential capping). Institutions need to consider the reason for the research they support. Surely, releasing the knowledge gained can only help in engaging with the public, with outreach, with student recruitment etc. as we showcase what we do in HE and why this is so important. Shouldn’t that be part of a business model and so worth investment?
How can we ensure quality?
There is a suspicion, hopefully dwindling, that OA content is of a lesser quality. This may come from misunderstanding “author pays”- they pay and OA publishers will publish anything. This is not the case, and it should be noted that “vanity publishing” is neither new nor linked exclusively to OA. As with any publisher, academics should consider the publisher’s quality control process. How are works commissioned? Is there rigorous Peer Review? What will the quality of the published output be? Publishers, OA or not, should be able to answer such questions. WRUP, for example, details its Editorial Board, commissioning and peer review process on it’s website, and authors can explore for themselves (freely!) the quality of the digital publications.
What about third party content?
It’s assumed to be difficult to use third party content in OA publishing. (Which is ironic, as if everyone published content OA, there would be no barriers). This doesn’t have to be a problem. Most right holders don’t have policies in place for use of their content in OA publications, though a growing number do, and WRUP has found that most are very reasonable when the OA model is explained. Third party content can be licenced separately from the main volume e.g. in an image caption- very much as you might see in a traditional publication. Often the issue for a rights holder can be around the free to access digital version of their content. This is little different in terms of risk to putting the image on their website, if the same rights statement is applied. Working through this can put the rights holder’s concerns to rest. Authors can also search content licenced for reuse (a growing amount is), especially where something is illustrative only rather than a specific image being required.
Isn’t OA complicated? Who can help?
Like anything new, OA can seem complicated. There are lots of people around that can help. Most institutions have a Research Support Team in their Library: Open Access is just one of the many areas they can advise on. And you can always contact us on email@example.com for help and to answer any general questions about OA publishing, or to discuss potential proposals for journals or monographs.
Support is out there and the appetite for OA is growing, as is the pool of scholarly OA content. Engaging with the drive to include monographs in this would seem the next logical step.
This week saw the release of of Oysters, nightingales and cooking pots: selected poetry and prose of Tristan Corbière translated by Christopher Pilling, and edited by Richard Hibbitt and Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe. It offers, for the first time in English, some unpublished poems, early versions of published poems, and a collection of prose pieces, all of which testify to Corbière’s sly humour, linguistic glee, and irony.
A bilingual edition, including the original French with English translations, this volume complements Pilling’s 1995 translation of Les Amours jaunes. Taken alongside that volume, it makes Corbière’s complete works available in English for the first time.
Born in Brittany in 1845, Corbière died at only 29, leaving a scattered assortment of texts. Playful and comic, his work is also experimental, subversive and moving. Combining descriptions of his native Brittany and the urban wilderness of Paris, with witty introspection he builds a kaleidoscopic view of the world. Although a contemporary of Rimbaud and Mallarmé, Corbière wrote very much in isolation, developing his own idiosyncratic style. Almost unnoticed in his own lifetime, his ironic wit was championed by Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, and his influence in the English-speaking world has arguably been at least as important as in France.
Christopher Pilling is an award-winning poet, playwright and translator. He has translated a number of poets, mainly from French but also from Latin. His first major translation was also of Corbière’s work, published to great critical acclaim as These Jaundiced Loves (1995).
The editors said “This book will appeal both to general readers interested in poetry and to an academic
audience interested in nineteenth-century French literature or Corbière specifically. It will be of particular interest to those who want to find out more about a cult figure of the period, who is still little-known”.
“We are very excited about bringing the poetry and translations in this volume to as wide an audience as possible” said Kate Petherbridge, the Press Manager. “Christopher began his association with the University of Leeds as a student in the 1950s and it’s fantastic that this continues with the publication of this volume by White Rose University Press”.
This bilingual edition, with an introductory chapter and annotations, also features video readings of some of the poems in both French and English. It is the third book to be published by White Rose University Press, joining the successful Star Carr volumes, and the newly published Occupation diaries of Madeleine Blaess. Oysters, nightingales and cooking pots can be read and downloaded for free through the White Rose University Press website. Print copies are also available to buy online.
We are proud to announce the release of 320 rue St Jacques: the Diary of Madeleine Blaess - a translation of the Occupation diaries of a Sheffield academic, by Dr Wendy Michallat. This is the second monograph published by White Rose University Press, and follows a two-volume work on Star Carr published in April this year. That work was incredibly well received and the volumes are approaching a combined download total of 3,500 after four months on release.
Translated from the French for the first time, this new book reveals the compelling testimony of a young, female academic who found herself trapped in Paris during the Occupation. French-born, but raised in York, Madeleine studied at the University of Leeds. In November 1939 she went to Paris to study for her doctorate at the Sorbonne. In June 1940, the German invasion cut off her escape route and prevented her return to Britain. She was forced to remain in France and began to write a diary. Barely missing an entry for almost four years, Madeleine provides an unprecedented day-by-day account of the struggle to manage material deprivation, physical hardship and mental exhaustion during the Occupation. The reader shares the detail of Madeleine’s experiences, where the loss of friends and acquaintances - either through death or imprisonment - becomes commonplace, and where the battle to stay warm and find enough food is in stark contrast to the drive of a young woman in Paris to further her academic career.
Madeleine survived the war and went on to lecture at the University of Sheffield for forty years. After her death, she donated her archive to the University of Sheffield, where it remains in the care of the University Library’s Special Collections Department. The diaries were almost lost, however, and were found under Madeleine’s bed rather than with the bulk of her papers.
Dr Michallat, Head of French Studies at the University of Sheffield, has been working on this translation since 2014. She said “I am thrilled to see Madeleine’s diaries published and made public at long last. Not only is this an important record of civilian life in Paris during the Second World War but it’s also a testament to Madeleine’s personal resilience and determination. She achieved her ambition of becoming a university academic at a time when there was little encouragement for women to prioritise education and career over marriage and motherhood - her diaries tell the story of a remarkable woman.”
“When Wendy first approached us about publishing this translation” said Kate Petherbridge, the Press Manager, “we knew immediately that this was a very exciting project. Madeleine lived in York, went to Leeds University and eventually became a lecturer at the University of Sheffield. She was an extraordinary woman, with a strong connection to Yorkshire that lasted throughout her life, and White Rose University Press is proud to publish her diary”.
Translated into English for the first time, with introductory chapters and annotations, the diary can be read and downloaded for free through our website. Print copies are also available to buy online.
We are very pleased to announce that the second volume of the Journal of the European Second Language Association is now available on our platform!
The peer-reviewed published articles are selected from submissions based on the best papers from the EuroSLA annual conference - last year this was held in Reading, UK. The new volume is published in advance of this year's EuroSLA conference in Münster, Germany, Sept. 5th – Sept. 8th, 2018. The scope of the journal covers fundamental and applied issues in second language learning and the readership includes second language researchers from the fields of linguistics, psychology, sociology, education, as well as related sub-disciplines and interdisciplinary areas.
Each year a paper is awarded the prize of Best Article. This year's prize-winner is the article Foreign language learning in the third age: A pilot feasibility study on cognitive, socio-affective and linguistic drivers and benefits in relation to previous bilingualism of the learner by Simone E. Pfenninger and Sabrina Polz.
Last year the most popular article from Volume 1 was Examining the LLAMA aptitude tests by Vivienne Rogers, Paul Meara, Thomas Barnett-Legh, Clare Curry, and Emma Davie - it had 1205 views and 352 downloads. We hope that Volume 2 will enjoy similar success!
On Thursday 21 June, colleagues from across the White Rose Libraries collaboration travelled down to London to the THELMA awards dinner. This was the first time White Rose Libraries had been shortlisted for a THELMA, and our entry was in the category of Outstanding Library Team. This recognised work done on shared collection management, targeted staff training, and also the development and progress of White Rose University Press. This has been a very significant achievement for White Rose Libraries, and the timing of the THELMAs could not have been better - coming so soon after the publication of the very well received Star Carr monograph.
In a category with such depth, it was a great achievement just to be shortlisted, and it was absolutely fantastic to actually win. This recognised the incredible work done by colleagues across all three White Rose Libraries, and we believe that the collaborative nature of our work was key in winning the award. The judges felt that “White Rose University Press [is] an exemplar of effective teamworking across the partner institutions”.
It was fantastic to see this collaboration and teamworking fully represented at the awards dinner, with colleagues from all three libraries representing the full range of White Rose projects. It was also a great opportunity for us to hear about the innovative work being done in different areas across so many HE institutions. Congratulations to all who were shortlisted this year, and to all those who were successful on the night.
Looking forward, hopefully we can continue to build on what has been a fabulous year for White Rose Libraries, and for White Rose University Press, and continue to make the most of the opportunities that working collaboratively brings.
We are proud to announce the release of our first monograph - Star Carr by Nicky Milner, Chantal Conneller, and Barry Taylor. This two volume work is the culmination of decades of archaeological investigation at one of the most important Mesolithic sites in Europe. Discovered in the late 1940s, the site has become famous in the archaeological world for the wealth of rare organic remains uncovered. From 2003-2015, excavations explored in depth how the site was used. The findings show that Star Carr is much larger and more complex than ever imagined.
As an open access publisher, we are committed to supporting the open access agenda and publishing high-quality academic content, free to access online. This has already been evidenced by the journals offered through our online portal. The release of Star Carr as our first book further emphasises this commitment to publishing first class scholarship. Funded by Historic England, this publication is free to read online and download. You can also buy printed copies too.
“We’re very pleased to publish this prestigious work” said Kate Petherbridge, the Press Manager. “The groundbreaking research by the team is beautifully presented in these two volumes. The digital versions really bring this to life. It’s great that we can make this innovative work available to the academic community and wider public.”
The Star Carr volumes showcase the award-winning team’s research and their findings, taking full advantage of the digital format to share high-quality images, videos and comprehensive data. Co-author Nicky Milner said “We are thrilled to see the publication of this book. The project has been very important to a great number of people. We feel that publishing our findings in digital format will allow readers to engage with the material in a way they can’t with a printed volume. The project has already prompted interest from all over the world so we’re absolutely thrilled to finally share all the data, photographs, videos and state-of- the-art scientific techniques employed to interpret and reconstruct the lives of people who lived 11,000 years ago.”
White Rose University Press will release two further monographs in the coming months: one on the poetry of Tristan Corbière and one a translation of the Occupation diaries of Madeleine Blaess. The Press is also looking forward to working with the Star Carr authors on a companion project, covering the archaeological work done at Flixton Island, located near to the Star Carr site.
We’re very pleased to announce that the White Rose Libraries collaboration - the team behind White Rose University Press - has been shortlisted for a prestigious Times Higher Education THELMA award. The award we’ve been nominated for is the Outstanding Library Team.
Professor Wyn Morgan, Chair of our Editorial Board noted in our submission that “the Press is an extremely important initiative as it is a clear manifestation of the three institutions' commitment to supporting the open access agenda. The need to support academics and offer viable and attractive publication options in a changing environment is a key driver, as is ensuring academic quality through rigorous peer review processes.”
Prof. Morgan continued “It is important that open access publication is seen as an equal option to more traditional models, as OA arguably offers advantages to the author (ownership of their work, global dissemination without paywall); advantages to the academic community with increased immediate free access to high quality publications; and advantages to the non-academic audience, including policy makers and practitioners, who benefit from the growing commons of high quality scholarship freely available to all. The White Rose Libraries collaboration is an apt home for WRUP as library colleagues can marry their existing expertise in supporting academics in the open access environment with the long standing mission of library services to make content as accessible as possible to everyone.”
We’ll be dusting off our ballgowns and black ties for the awards event on the 21st June and hoping that we get the gong on the night.
White Rose University Press is pleased to announce the publication of the first articles by the Undergraduate Journal of Politics and International Relations (www.ujpir-journal.com).
Edited by Simon Lightfoot, Pro-Dean for Student Education at the University of Leeds, the journal offers a platform to undergraduate students to publish original research which underpinned their undergraduate studies. The first six articles reflect the breadth of interesting undergraduate research in universities across the UK and beyond. They range from an examination of the use of social media by parliamentary candidates in the 2015 general election, to an analysis of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
UJPIR is open for submission all year round and invites articles addressing any aspect of politics and international relations. Published articles are based on work that achieved a first class mark or equivalent as academic quality is central to the UJPIR ethos. All articles are fully peer reviewed by independent experts and the Board of Editors select material based on quality of research and writing, diversity and relevance of topic. The aim of the journal is to show that undergraduate researchers can make novel and academically significant contributions to the field, and to support their journey as developing researchers.
More information can be found on the journal website, and you can read and download the newly-published articles for free.
White Rose University Press is pleased to announce that the British and Irish Orthoptic Journal (BIOJ) has now joined our open access journal platform.
The BIOJ is the official journal of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society. First published in 1939, the journal has been in print for over 75 years and this February will make the transition to a fully open access free-to-read online format. This move recognises the reputation UK orthoptics holds as a leader in education and clinical practice: the new open access format will make original research, review articles, and case reports freely available to orthoptists around the world.
The BIOJ is open for submission now and invites researchers working in the areas of clinical ocular motility, visual function, amblyopia, binocular vision, and strabismus to get in touch. The journal will consider submissions from a wide variety of disciplines, including orthoptists; optometrists; ophthalmologists; and vision technicians, among others.
We are thrilled to see this journal join the growing number of journals transitioning to our open access format. We look forward to seeing the BIOJ publish its first articles in this new phase, continuing its long tradition of contribution to their field.
White Rose University Press is an open access digital publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals and books, publishing across a wide range of academic disciplines. We are run jointly by the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York but welcome proposals from across the wider academic community.
January 2018 sees White Rose University Press mark its second birthday, and to celebrate we’ve got exciting news on forthcoming and newly-commissioned titles.
We are pleased to announce two new monographs to be published in 2018/19:
Dickens After Dickens will focus on Dickens' diverse adaptability beyond the conventional realm of film adaptation. It will examine new Dickensian forms in the 21st century including video games, neo-Victorian fiction, and digital media, and will draw out resonances between all of these. Edited by Emily Bell (University of York) this collection will tackle questions about the nature of Dickens' adaptability and legacy.
Two Sides of the Straits: An Anthology of Gallipoli Poems in English and Turkish will be a bilingual anthology comprising poems written during and after the Gallipoli Campaign by British, Anzac, and Turkish poets. Translated by Berkan Ulu (İnönü University, Turkey), and edited by Berkan Ulu and Richard Hibbitt (University of Leeds), the collection has two principal aims: revisiting less-known poems of the campaign written in English, and presenting them in dialogue with poems from the Turkish side - most of which have not been translated into English before. This will be a scholarly edition featuring notes on the poems and poets.
These will join our growing catalogue of monographs, the first three of which are expected to be published in early 2018: the two-volume Star Carr will explore the world-famous Mesolithic site at Star Carr and present new discoveries; 320 Rue St Jacques - the diary of Madeleine Blaess is a unique chronicle detailing the everyday struggle of civilians to survive in occupied Paris; and Oysters, nightingales and cooking pots - selected poetry and prose of Tristan Corbière brings together in a bilingual edition little-known and previously-unpublished pieces by the 19th century French poet.
These books are published alongside our scholarly journals. The content already published by the Journal of the European Second Languages Association and the Journal of African Cultural Heritage Studies will soon be joined by the first articles in the Undergraduate Journal of Politics and International Relations. We are also looking forward to launching our most recently commissioned journal, the British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, in the very near future.
At White Rose, we aim to demystify the publishing process and make it as straightforward as possible for the authors and journal editors we work with. We are always very keen to add more publications, and we welcome proposals from authors and editors across the academic community. We’d really like to hear about ideas for scholarly monographs, edited collections or academic journals - you can download our proposal form from our Publishing page, or contact us to talk about your idea. All proposals go through a rigorous peer review process, with commissioning decisions made by our Editorial Board. As our existing projects show, we are committed to publishing works of the highest academic standard.
White Rose University Press is an open access publisher, and we are fully engaged with the benefits this publishing model brings. As all our content is published under Creative Commons licences, our authors retain the copyright to their work and can choose how they want to allow others to use their work. As well as this, open access publishing ensures maximum distribution as publications are free to access online by the reader.
We can now offer a sneak peek of “Paris by Night”, one of the translations from the forthcoming volume of writings from 19th century Brittany poet Tristan Corbière. The collection, Oysters, nightingales and cooking pots, features English translations by Christopher Pilling and is edited by Richard Hibbitt and Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe.
You can read the excerpted poem here: Paris By Night - a translation of Tristan Corbiere’s Paris Nocturne
The book features poems and prose, and brings together several less well-known pieces, some early versions of published poems, and others which were handwritten into Corbière's own copy of his only published collection, Les Amours Jaunes.
The published volume will contain the original French texts by Corbière alongside Pilling's translations, with some works appearing in English for the very first time. Selected poems read in the French original and English translation will be embedded as videos. You can listen to the reading of Paris by Night / Paris Nocturne here.
White Rose University Press (WRUP) is participating in an Open Access event on Tuesday 24 October, held at the University of Leeds and hosted by the Library. The event is aimed at anyone interested in Open Access (OA), especially those thinking about where to publish their research. It will feature an academic speaker giving real-world advice and lessons learned, followed by a Q&A session with the academic and the WRUP Press Manager.
If you’re in the area and want to hear more about OA publishing then come along and listen to Dr Richard Hibbitt from the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies talk about his experience of publishing through the White Rose University Press. Dr Hibbitt is the co-editor of a book that is due to be published by WRUP in early 2018.
The event is free to attend and you can register at the Eventbrite page here.
The details are:
Day: Tue 24 October 2017
Time: 11:15 – 12:00
Where: Edward Boyle Library, Research Hub (Level 13), Research Meeting Room 2, Leeds, England LS2 9JT
Take advantage of the Q&A session to ask the WRUP Press Manager, Kate Petherbridge, any questions you may have about publishing through the Press. If you aren’t able to come along, but want to talk to us about Open Access publishing, do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently published through White Rose University Press: the first volume of the Journal of the European Second Language Association (JESLA).
As a publication with high-quality, peer-reviewed articles in the field of second language research, JESLA aims to stimulate the debate on the bilingual and multilingual individual and society. The journal publishes one issue per year comprising the best papers from the EuroSLA annual conference. In fact, this first issue comprises eleven of the best papers originally presented at the EuroSLA conferences from 2014 to 2016.
While JESLA is a new publication, it replaces the EuroSLA Yearbook Series which ran from 2001-2016. It has been very exciting for WRUP to support the transition of that established publication to its new form on our Open Access platform, making this high-quality scholarship available to all with no paywall hindering access.
We look forward to working with the team behind JESLA in the coming years, and to seeing this new publication go from strength to strength.
Jisc’s newly-released report Changing publishing ecologies: A landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing maps the rise of new university presses and academic-led presses in the UK.
It’s a long report but definitely worth reading. It’s a comprehensive review of the new and changing landscape of new university academic presses. As Jisc’s Chris Keene says in the introduction:
A new wave of university presses is emerging. Common characteristics are that they are open access (OA), digital first, library-based, and they often offer a smaller set of services than a traditional publisher, blurring the line between publisher and platform… These new publishing initiatives have a potentially disruptive effect on the scholarly communication environment, providing new avenues for the dissemination of research outputs and acting as pathfinders for the evolution of academic publishing and the scholarly record.
At White Rose University Press we’re very pleased to be part of this new wave of new university presses (NUPs) and we see our model as offering an important alternative to the traditional scholarly publishing model. In common with other NUPs mentioned in the report, we don’t see our not-for-profit model as the only one or as the best one; rather, we offer one avenue in an increasingly diverse academic publishing landscape. We already have three journals online, with another due soon, and we have several monographs in the pipeline. All our content will be free to download or read online, meaning it can be disseminated and read worldwide. It won’t be behind a paywall and won’t be confined within a handful of print copies held by specialist academic libraries.
There are some really interesting points made in the report and there’s evidence that the growing community of NUPs is looking to work together and to explore new ways of working - all of which is very positive.
White Rose University Press (WRUP) is very pleased to announce that the Journal of African Cultural Heritage Studies has now published its first articles. This new journal aims to be the major conduit for publishing research carried out in its subject areas, ensuring that African philosophies are represented in the heritage disciplines in both the African and global contexts. Congratulations to the journal editor, Dr Ashton Sinamai of the University of York, on the publication of their first articles.
This is also the first content that WRUP has published so we are doubly excited that it's now available for everyone to freely access, download and read. We expect this to be followed later this summer by articles in the other WRUP open access journals: the Journal of the European Second Language Association and the Undergraduate Journal of Politics and International Relations. The first wave of WRUP monographs are also moving into production (see our 2017 catalogue for more details), and should be available to access later in 2017. Watch this space!
Our Press Manager and members of the WRUP Management Board attended the recent UKSG Conference, where there was much discussion around scholarly communications and the open access landscape.
Highlights included Chris Banks (Imperial College London) talking about scholarly communication, and the proposed UK Scholarly Communications Licence (PDF), expanding on her Insights article where she discussed OA challenges facing librarians:
From the librarian’s perspective, OA may have started as a means of using the disruptive innovation that came about with the development of the internet in order to seek to drive down journal subscription costs, but it is increasingly seen as a mechanism by which publicly funded research can be communicated to the public at the earliest possible opportunity and without having to pay at the point of use. OA means moving the costs of publishing upstream, from the point of consumption to the point of production.
Banks, C., (2016). Focusing upstream: supporting scholarly communication by academics. Insights. 29(1), pp.37–44. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.292
Chris Keene and Graham Stone from JISC also ran a lively breakout session on new university presses and academic-led presses. In it they noted that today’s publishing environment is evolving and that new university presses like WRUP play an increasing role in the shift in scholarly communication.
They reported on a 2016 JISC study which was undertaken to understand the motivations, models, policies and future direction of these new presses. The session highlighted the appetite from authors for non-traditional publishing routes, and also noted the changes in policy (in particular regarding the REF) that make OA publishing an increasingly relevant option.
"UK funding bodies intend the current open-access policy to be extended to monographs for the as-yet unannounced third REF"
If you're on the fence about publishing your book as open-access (OA) I urge you to read Martin Paul Eve's recent post published on HEfCE's research policy blog. He makes a number of relevant points, and acknowledges that monographs are harder to make OA than journal articles, but advocates that institutions and publishers should start thinking about the challenges now.
It's a call to arms: "I would hope to see examples of experimental or new business models for open-access monographs... If we are going to achieve a transition to open-access books, we need to have a range of funding routes to compensate the labour of publishing"
And he goes on to say "There is a persisting erroneous belief that OA books are somehow less rigorous or ‘real’ than a monograph sold as a commodity item or are reviewed to a lesser standard. There is also a wrongly-held belief that publishing digital, open-access books means eradicating print."
The White Rose University Press is proud to be in the vanguard on this: we're already experimenting with ways of publishing books open-access and have two monographs planned for 2017. Our editorial board comprises distinguished academics from across the three partner Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, and we have a rigorous process of peer review and quality control.
We're always happy to hear from scholars with monograph ideas - we can point you towards funding bodies, and those scholars from Leeds, Sheffield or York may be eligible for funding from the Libraries' waiver fund. Get in touch at email@example.com
Sharp-eyed readers have noticed that the White Rose University Press now has its own YouTube channel.
We're interested in exploiting the possibilities that digital formats offer, so we're hoping to use videos and other media in some of our forthcoming books. We may link out to YouTube for some files (maybe for particularly large ones), while other media may be embedded and downloadable with an eBook.
We're experimenting with lots of ideas but in the meantime we thought we'd share a few videos that tie in with one of our books due out later this year. The book is a collection of 19th century French poet Tristan Corbière’s poetry and prose, translated into English. These videos feature readings of a selection of poems in French and in English - they'll be included in the eBook and it's hoped they'll not only be a great teaching aid but will really bring the poems to life.
This year marks the first anniversary of the Press and we've been working with authors and editors from all three Universities, and beyond, to commission several new publications.
Full details are here: universitypress.whiterose.ac.uk/site/catalogue
These include a two volume book on the archaeological excavations and discoveries at the world-famous Mesolithic site of Star Carr in North Yorkshire; the Journal of the European Second Language Association (formerly the EuroSLA Yearbook); and a translated collection of the 19th century French poet Tristan Corbiere. In addition to these, the White Rose University Press will also publish the Journal of African Cultural Heritage Studies; the Undergraduate Journal of Politics and International Relations; and the translated diary of Madeleine Blaess - a York-born alumna of Leeds and former academic at Sheffield whose diary records her time trapped in Paris during the Second World War.
We’re thrilled to have secured such a varied and interesting collection of publications in only 12 months. We feel they really reflect the diversity of research happening at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, and will firmly establish us as a respected academic press. We’re particularly excited that some of the ebooks will feature embedded videos and other innovations made possible by the digital format.
The White Rose University Press is open access and digital, with print-on-demand capability. Electronic books and journals are free to read, anywhere in the world, reaching a global audience without restrictive pay-walls. We have rigorous peer review and quality control processes, under the supervision of an editorial board of distinguished academics.
With the first twelve months under our belt, we look forward to announcing the launch dates of these first publications later this year.
Scholars throughout the UK are encouraged to get in touch to discuss proposals - we can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Academics from the partner Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York can apply for a waiver scheme to support their publications.
Thrilled to report that next week we'll be releasing details of of some of the books and journals we'll be publishing in 2017.
This year marks the first anniversary of the Press and we've been working with authors and editors from all three Universities, and beyond, to commission several new publications.
Watch this space and keep your eyes peeled on Twitter where we'll send links and teasers: @WRUniPress