A revitalised university press movement: reclaiming publishing for the global research community

  • Brian Hole

Abstract

See video of the presentation.

This presentation will argue that university presses and library-based publishing programmes are best placed to work closely with academics and in the interests of the research community. Case studies will be presented from the Ubiquity Partner Network to show how a growing number of institutions are working together to achieve a sustainable future with a range of innovative business models.

By sharing infrastructure and services, these presses are creating a sustainable economy of scale together and are able to become established quickly, and to try out new publishing models in close collaboration with researchers in a low-risk environment.

I contend that this is especially important, because the established legacy publishers in the main no longer operate in the best interests of the research community. As ever-larger shareholder-driven organisations they primarily seek to increase profit and to defend inflexible, out-dated business models. Moves toward sustainable open access, particularly in the HSS disciplines, and alternative forms of publication such as that of research data are thus hampered by their inertia.

Examples will be given from Norway, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and the United States, with models that seek to address a range of issues, including sustainable open access, fostering developing world scholarship, broader recognition for the role of the community in publishing, an equitable role for the humanities and social sciences, open access monograph publication, and encouraging the sharing of data and other critical research outputs.

This global network of presses that are all financially secure and independent, yet supporting one another to produce a broad range of publication solutions reflecting the actual needs and diversity of the academic community, has the potential to not only greatly improve research communication, but also to be somewhat disruptive to the publishing industry overall.

Published
2015-11-24