As a follow-up to the chef’s best books read during 2016, I’m happy to present a selection of our favorite university press reads of 2016 (and thanks to one of our commenters for the suggestion!). We tend to think of […]
University presses bring a diversity not only of costs, scale, and business models, but also of organizational capacity, incentives, and objectives. As efforts are mounted to transition monograph publishing to open access, it is vital that we recognize the richness and complexity of this community.
University presses are not well positioned to thrive in journal publishing because they have not adopted any of the (relatively few and common) business strategies that are necessary, given market dynamics, for success. I do not put forth this thesis lightly. I have great affection and admiration for university presses, their value — craftsmanship, attention to detail, “getting it right”— and their mission. This is not admiration from afar: I served, in the formative years of my career, at the University of Chicago Press (Chicago), where I learned the tools of the trade and many of the practices and protocols of scholarly publishing still in use today. But after nearly two decades of observing university presses, from within and without, this thesis seems to be inescapable.
An interview with Charles Watkinson, Mike Row, and Mark Edington of the newly-announced Lever Press open access book initiative.
Alison Mudditt presents a guest post from Julia Kostova and Patrick Alexander that asks questions about how information is vetted in the digital age, and what role scholarly publishers will continue to play.
Library-based publishing is growing. A recent survey in Australia shows that “increasing visibility of the university brand” is a common objective. Charlie Rapple considers some of the challenges relating to brand for this growing sector.
Gold open access for monographs is based on the notion that provosts will pay for what librarians will not. This seems like an improbable model for scholarly publishing. Publishing that is not based on end-user demand is not likely to have strong support in lean times.
There is much discussion now about creating new online bookstores, especially for academic publishers. Some of these discussions, however, are not aligned with overarching trends on the Internet and risk creating something that appears to be out of date the moment it is launched.
As North American university presses struggle with identity, and seek to redefine their place in the publishing ecosystem, it is worth exploring the activities, and outlook of the American University in Cairo Press through the eyes of its Director, Nigel Fletcher Jones. What can we learn from this publisher, who has ambition, optimism, and a recent track record of significant growth?
Librarians have been acting in a limited way as publishers since well before the internet, but over the last 5 years or so, a revitalized librarian-publisher movement has emerged. This new wave of library innovation may have had its origins partly in a desire to disrupt traditional publishers, but it’s beginning to make a positive impact on the landscape of scholarly communication in some unexpected ways.
How much of the book usage in a research library collection involves books from university presses? Findings from this case study suggests that the answers are complex and, to some degree, suprising.
Drawing on a presentation from the recent AAUP annual conference, this post argues that the business of publishing scholarly books requires reciprocal arrangements among many publishers. This system is undermined by free riders.
A study of sales data for 2012 imprints from the University of Chicago Press offers tantalizing hints about the importance (or lack thereof) of library sales to university presses — particularly with regard to scholarly monographs.
Are university presses really “under fire,” or are they simply experiencing the natural consequences of doing the wrong things at the wrong time in a marketplace that has evolved away from them?
A response to Joe Esposito’s post last week about partnerships between libraries and university presses.