Editor’s Note for Reimagining the University Press [JEP Fall 2010 issue]

November 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs | Comments Off on Editor’s Note for Reimagining the University Press [JEP Fall 2010 issue]

Editor’s Note for Reimagining the University Press:

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, this already tottering publishing system – while still publishing an impressive stream, both broad and deep, of scholarly books in all of the humanities and social sciences, as well as providing many of the most important analyses of the critical social, political and cultural issues for general as well as academic readers (the latter precisely the kind of books that the large US trade publishers, almost all now controlled by global media conglomerates, have been rapidly jettisoning) – had to confront arguably the greatest disruptive force of all: the accelerating and escalating digital tidal wave, which, it became quickly apparent, would overwhelm all preexisting forms of social and professional communication—while providing entirely unforeseen and massive new opportunities and resources. But this comes at a Faustian price, since such root-and-branch transformation inevitably threatens all existing publishing processes, personnel, and prerogatives as well.

As individuals at beleaguered institutions are wont to do, the initial reaction of some at university presses consisted of circling the wagons, repeatedly intoning stale mantras of self-praise, clinging to fraying publishing practices like a security blanket, and convincing themselves (or letting their benighted professional organization convince them and others) that they could ride out this technological tsunami intact, in part by clutching ferociously to the Disney-corrupted version of the print copyright regime.”

Scholarly publishers are looking at libraries right now and seeing what has always been the best and most reliable market for their products suddenly changing into a highly unreliable one.

September 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Libraries, Monographs | Comments Off on Scholarly publishers are looking at libraries right now and seeing what has always been the best and most reliable market for their products suddenly changing into a highly unreliable one.

If I Were a Scholarly Publisher:

Very interesting essay on the outlook for scholarly publishers and the academic library market:

Given the currently dire and highly unpredictable budget environment for higher education, 2010 is a rather frightening time to be a librarian. For the same reasons, this must be an absolutely terrifying time to be a scholarly publisher.

Online/On-Demand Roundup

March 26, 2010 at 11:36 am | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs, Print on Demand (PoD) | Leave a comment

Sydney UP
“Sydney University Press was restarted in 2003 as a digital and print “on demand” publisher. Books can be ordered from the SUP website and are printed and dispatched as required.”

Rice UP
“Users will be able to view the content online for free or purchase a copy of the book for download through the Rice University Press Web site. Alternatively, thanks to Connexions’ partnership with on-demand printer QOOP, users will be able to order printed books if they want, in every style from softbound black-and-white on inexpensive paper to leather-bound full-color hardbacks on high-gloss paper. ‘As with a traditional press, our publications will be peer-reviewed, professionally vetted and very high quality,’ Henry said. ‘But the choice to have a printed copy will be up to the customer.’…”

Manchester UP
“MUP currently has about 110 ebooks, sold through various channels, and has plans to digitise a further 300 to 400 books. Furthermore MUP currently has around 150 titles regularly reprinting as Print on Demand.”

Univ. of Pittsburgh Press
“The University of Pittsburgh Press has made 500 out-of-print titles open access with a future fee-based print-on-demand option.”

Univ. of Michigan Press
“The University of Michigan Press is announcing today that it will shift its scholarly publishing from being primarily a traditional print operation to one that is primarily digital.

Within two years, press officials expect well over 50 of the 60-plus monographs that the press publishes each year — currently in book form — to be released only in digital editions. Readers will still be able to use print-on-demand systems to produce versions that can be held in their hands, but the press will consider the digital monograph the norm. Many university presses are experimenting with digital publishing, but the Michigan announcement may be the most dramatic to date by a major university press.”

Cornell Internet-First UP
“Just when the recording, music and publishing industries are going all-out to stop people from making their products available on the Internet, a new publishing venture at Cornell University is challenging traditional scholarly publishing by taking the opposite approach: Make the full text of a new book freely available on the Internet, and give readers the option to buy the printed book.”

amongst others … . Another developing trend is for university presses to merge with their university libraries.

Bowker reported that print-on-demand and short-run book titles grew 132% in 2008, and, for the first time, they exceeded traditional book titles.

The next logical step for the future of book publishing

March 26, 2010 at 11:34 am | Posted in Monographs, Print on Demand (PoD) | Leave a comment

Berlin-based Springer Science+Business Media has signed an agreement with Amazon’s print-on-demand arm CreateSpace through which Springer’s English-language paperback book catalogue will be made available via POD in the U.S. Springer said that in addition to moving a significant amount of its paperback selection to POD, it will also supply many new paperback titles only in POD format. ‘If a hardcover is suitable for print-on-demand, that is the format we’ll use,” said the company’s Mark Conmy. The goal, he added, is to make all of Springer’s titles available as quickly as possible.’

Syed Hasan, Springer’s president STM Sales Americas, said the POD initiative complements the publisher’s e-book program which features editions of most print titles. “This shift to an inventory-free distribution model using print-on-demand is the next logical step for the future of book publishing.

Springer Partners with CreateSpace for Print on Demand – Publishers Weekly

Cambridge Online Books

March 26, 2010 at 11:26 am | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs | Leave a comment

As library and academic budgets are increasingly stretched, we
believe eBooks and content packages have a vital role to play in
delivering quality content at affordable prices

I note that the current bestseller is available as an ebook priced at $104 …

Cambridge Books Online

Sales of university press hardcover books decreased by 3.0% for the year

March 26, 2010 at 11:15 am | Posted in Monographs | Leave a comment

The Assn of American Publishers’ report for 2009 notes that sales of university press hardcover books decreased by 3.0% for the year and that their paperback sales were down 0.1%

AAP Report for 2009

‘Giving it away’ a textbook argument

November 12, 2009 at 9:41 am | Posted in E-Books, Monographs, Open Access | Comments Off on ‘Giving it away’ a textbook argument

‘Giving it away’ Matthew Reisz’s artcle in the THES assesses what open access means for academic monograph publishing

MIT Press Will Focus More on E-Books; University Presses See Ten Percent Drop in Book Sales

April 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Posted in E-Books, Monographs | Comments Off on MIT Press Will Focus More on E-Books; University Presses See Ten Percent Drop in Book Sales

As the transition from print publication to digital publication of scholarly work becomes more prevalent, university presses are being forced to adapt their business plans to appeal to the new electronic demand.
A recent survey published by the American Association of University Presses estimates an average 10 percent loss in sales and revenue between July and December 2008.

As a result of declining earnings, university presses are also starting to take different approaches to their business models. For instance, Yale University Press plans to cut back on printing and focus more on their new e-book program.

In today’s soft economy, the e-book system has acted as a way out of financial shortcomings

The University of Michigan Press, however, has reacted differently by reestablishing itself as a sub-organization of the university’s library. In effect, the press will receive funding as an academic department, lessening the pressure to follow a profitable business model.

(Via The Tech – MIT’s Student Newspaper.)

Progress toward OA in the social sciences and humanities

June 5, 2008 at 7:37 am | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing, Monographs, Open Access | Comments Off on Progress toward OA in the social sciences and humanities

Progress toward OA in the social sciences and humanities: ”

Tracey Caldwell, OA in the humanities badlands, Information World Review, June 4, 2008. Excerpt:

The field of social sciences and humanities (SSH)…faces a…crisis in publishing [similar to that in the STM fields]. In STM, this crisis has been one of the drivers for open access, but this has not been the case in SSH so far.

The dearth of funding in the SSH sector has been one the main reasons it has lagged behind in getting research online and embracing open access. There is not a lot of money around to finance author-pays models of open access (OA), although there has also been an absence of drive on the part of researchers towards open access, backed by a cultural resistance in some disciplines to any sharing of research at all.

But recently, there has been a dawning of understanding among researchers that OA can bring benefits much broader than simple speed and ease of access to research.

At the same time, publishers facing demands for open access have started to make their concerns known, citing the long tail of access to research in this sector that would threaten their business model. Compared with the STM sector, there is a much higher proportion of journal articles accessed for the first time over a year after publication in SSH….

The launch of the Open Humanities Press (OHP), an international OA publishing collective in critical and cultural theory, at the end of April is one sign of the growing realisation of the need for OA in humanities….

The EU has put its weight behind moves to hasten OA in SSH through the so-called Action 32 of the STM-based COST (Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research) European programme. Action 32 aims to create a digital infrastructure for collaborative humanities research on the web….

[Jonathan Gray of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF)] believes the first step to OA in the SSH sector is to provide better access to research that is already in the public domain….

Many researchers in this sector simply do not know how to go about making their research open access. A survey by RIN showed that only 14% of arts and humanities researchers (compared with 30% in the physical sciences and 36% in the life sciences) think they are familiar with the options for making their research outputs open access.

[David Green, global journals publishing director for Taylor & Francis] believes it is too early to tell what the true impact of OA would be on the SSH sector.

‘One of the big American medical journals found a one-time drop of around 5-10% of subscriptions when it made its back archive free to access after a couple of years. We saw something similar, if less marked, with two of our journals when they introduced their 12- and 24-month embargo postprint policies. Renewals since have been good. This seems a common experience: a small loss in the first year after introducing some form of OA, followed by a large increase in usage.’

So would it hold more widely in SSH? ‘Hard to say, but we would remain concerned that SSH material has a much longer half-life and much longer usage tail than STM….

[Michael Jubb, director of the Research Information Network (RIN)] is part of a concerted effort to guide institutions towards centralised arrangements to pay publishing fees. He says: ‘I see no sign at all that research councils have much enthusiasm for meeting the costs of publishing. I am chairing a meeting on payment of publication fees and the practicalities of how institutions might take a more strategic approach to payment for publication….

The idea of providing a quality assurance layer to open access articles deposited in institutional repositories [sometimes called ‘overlay journals’] may be of especial interest to the fragmented and cash-strapped social sciences and humanities communities….

(Via Open Access News.)

University press issues OA editions of its OP books

October 30, 2007 at 5:37 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs, Open Access | Leave a comment

Peter Suber comments thus on ULB’s decision to issue OA editions of its OP books:

 This is an excellent idea. Instead of letting OP books disappear from view, the original publishers should issue OA editions.  One day presses will routinely publish monographs in dual OA/TA editions, and use the OA editions to increase the visibility and sales of the TA editions.

(Via Open Access News.)

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