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Global Initiatives in Scholarly Electronic Publishing Colin Steele Emeritus Fellow, ANU.

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Presentation on theme: "Global Initiatives in Scholarly Electronic Publishing Colin Steele Emeritus Fellow, ANU."— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Initiatives in Scholarly Electronic Publishing Colin Steele Emeritus Fellow, ANU

2 Quotes for University Presses  “University Printing Presses exist … for the purpose of producing books that no-one can read”, Microcosmographia Academica 1908  “A university press exists to publish as many good scholarly books as possible short of bankruptcy”, Director Harvard UP, 1947

3 US University Press Facts  Sales of university press hardcovers decline 2.8% from January 2003 to January 2004  Print runs decline dramatically from 3,000 copies per monograph in the 1960s to less than 700 by 2000  Global figures for a social science and humanities monograph estimated at 350 copies. But how many are remaindered and do authors care?

4 Tragedy of the Commons  Cornell comment that the model of scholarly publishing can be reduced in economic terms to a tragedy of the commons  Individual interests of publishers, libraries and scholars are in conflict with what is in the best interest of the public good  Creative Commons – Lessig’s new book available free on the Net. Free books on the Net sell more copies!

5 Need to Define Scholarly Publishing  Need to make distinction between research monographs and teaching and learning text books/ electronic one stop shops  In research need to define publication as research repositories cover much non-textual material, eg databases, data archives ranging from astronomy to cross cultural studies  Multi media web publishing provides new opportunities

6 Professor Edward Ayers

7 New Forms Of Historical Dialogue?

8 Crisis in Monograph Publishing  Nonetheless the monograph is still the key indicator for promotion and tenure but difficulty for young scholars in getting first book published  Professor Blaise Cronin “Mickey Mouse and Milton” Learned Publishing April 2004 – analysis of major US universities tenure committees and the importance of the monograph

9 American Council of Learned Societies  Closure or decline of many traditional university presses  Perceived preference by publishers for inter- disciplinary books or “hot topics” – gay, cultural studies  Publishing by university press of general books, eg cookbooks  New models however are emerging

10 New Monograph Trends  Books will essentially be deconstructed in the digital age  Books and chapters indexed and abstracted and full text searchable  Aggregated monograph subscription packages  Implications for textual continuity and walk in scholar

11 Oxford Scholarship Online

12 OUP 2  Subject home pages – religion, philosophy, political science, economics and finance  700 complete and fully searchable texts  200 titles added each year  Most works have key word metadata and chapter abstracts – available to be perused freely but only subscribers view full text  User issues, subscription issues and permanence

13 Darnton  Professor Robert Darnton in 1999 as AHA President suggested “a program for reviving monographs” in order to overcome the crisis in production of scholarly monographs  Books undergo a rigorous academic review process and already have won major awards  Different business plan to ACLS e-Book project

14 Gutenberg-e Columbia UP

15 ACLS History E-Book

16 ACLS 2  Initiative of eight learned societies and select university presses  800 titles on the list, 250 books added annually  Available through subscribing libraries  Advisory Board, half eminent scholars, half head librarians  Already winning major prizes for history books, eg zoom images and links to external websites

17 Regier 2002  “Universities may find that a more honest way to track the cost of publications would be to fund them up front, publish them electronically and publish them free”  W G Regier, Director University of Illinois Press, 10 September 2002  Library input/output analogies of scholarly materaial

18 California eScholarship

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20  Scholar uploads paper to eScholarship repository in MS Word – automatically posted in pdf for downloading as required globally  400 titles available globally free of charge  12,500 downloads per week  Paper either remains working paper or peer review process undergone  If passes is published individually or in collected volume. Economic decision on print.

21 Cornell Internet-First University Press

22 ANU E-Prints

23 ANU E-Prints 2003  2000 documents lodged without sustained campaign of advocacy  219,306 pdf downloads: science, Asian studies and law predominate. Top article in science downloads  Top countries without spiders Oz/USA 62%. Top countries with spiders 80% USA/Oz  Better mechanisms for ANU Guild Publishing distribution

24 Types of Asian Content  See ANU E-Prints under “Asian” and also “Asian Studies”  2004 entries include “Post-crisis export performance in Thailand”; “Cultivated landscapes of the south west Pacific”; and “HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea”  MA Thesis on Iran in top 10 for 2003

25 QUT E-Prints

26 ANU E Press  Funded by Professor Chubb in January 2003, over three year period with primary aim to distribute research output in social sciences and humanities  Return to original ? concept of University Press – promoting only output of ANU researchers  To publish original electronic monograph publications by scholars, particularly younger ones.  Still relatively low profile and therefore need for increased visibility on campus

27 ANU E Press

28 ANU E Press 2  Funded by Vice Chancellor over three year period with primary aim to distribute research output in social sciences and humanities especially monographs  Return to original ? concept of University Press – promoting only output of ANU (younger) researchers  Library ‘inputs’ research material to the university for institutional “ public good “  Press / IR’s ‘output’ research material for the university in similar pattern and have ‘Library business model’.

29 Monash University E Press

30 Monash University E-Press 2  Goals: advancement of scholarly communication by reducing costs of and barriers to access  Providing a more direct link between readers and writers of scholarly material  Promotion of Monash University’s research, teaching and intellectual capital  Concentration on serials initially

31 Sydney University Press Electronic Initiatives

32 Melbourne University Publishing: Electronic Initiatives

33 UTS E Press 2004

34 Australian Digital Theses Extension

35 Paradise Imagined, Lost or Regained?  New models of scholarly communication and publication  Publication costs at front end not back end  Scholars retain distribution rights and provide to university infrastructure services  Research grant proposals allocate funds to disseminate research/ARC  Global open access debate

36 Conclusion: Umberto Eco  “We live for books, a sweet mission in this world dominated in this world by disorder and decay”, Umberto Eco Name of the Rose


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