A new university press as a space to connect the building blocks of Open Science
A look through the prism of an open textbook publishing pilot
Keywords:New university press, Open Science, Open Educational Resources, Open Textbooks
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The number of new university presses is growing, and they are becoming a more influential phenomenon in the publishing world and in the realm of scholarly communications. These new university presses often challenge traditional scholarly publishing models with their focus on Open Science and open publishing practices. The University of Groningen Press (UGP), the Netherlands, is an example of such a publisher that tries to harmoniously connect the building blocks of Open Science and translate the lessons learned from one area into another.
This session will outline our experience with setting up the newest UGP initiative, an open textbook publishing service, based on the expertise and lessons learned from the already well-established open access journals and open monographs publishing initiatives. By including open educational resources in the form of interactive open textbooks in its portfolio, the UGP is transitioning to being an all-around open publisher that enables cross-contamination and mutually fruitful exchange between different fields of Open Science, thus enhancing the synergy between them. Drawing on our experience from the (ongoing) open textbook pilot, we would like to demonstrate that a new university press could serve as a natural playground for connecting these building blocks of Open Science, thus allowing for a more sustainable transfer of know-how, better dissemination of knowledge, and closer engagement with the wider “open” agenda.
Being an open-access publisher, the UGP offers a publishing platform for journals, books, series, and textbooks by university faculty and researchers. The open access publishing model enables any researcher, student, or interested reader around the world to find and access scholarly information without barriers. At the same time, the UGP’s publishing decisions are not dependent on the potential commercial success of a title but rest on scientific relevance, thus enhancing the academic and societal impact of such publications. This way, every scholar gets an opportunity to publish high-quality open monographs, articles, and lately also textbooks, thus contributing to wider dissemination of research and more equitable access to education.
Along with other new university presses, the UGP has been reflecting and at times spearheading the changes in scholarly communication, research and education cultures. This includes the incorporation of Open Science practices supported by technical innovations. Transition to Open Science and greater uptake of open practices requires a shift in the academic and publishing culture that would be impossible without joint actions from all sides and without facilitating mutually beneficial exchanges within the open movement.
As a result of this session, by turning to our open textbook publishing case study, we would like to spark a conversation around the role of new university presses in the greater Open Science framework as a space for connecting its multiple facets. Together with the audience, we hope to generate new ideas and solutions to potential challenges such initiatives face along the way.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Mira Buist-Zhuk, Margreet Nieborg
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