A list of the 20 Academic Books that Changed the World and the production of a peer-reviewed monograph within a single month are among the activities planned to surround Academic Book Week (ABW) in November.
SAGE, Blackwell's, Palgrave Macmillan, Liverpool University Press, a number of universities and The British Library have all confirmed events for the first such week, which will take place between 9th-16th November.
Academic Book Week is to be a key event in the Academic Book of the Future project, a two-year research project exploring the future of the academic book. All academic publishers, booksellers, researchers, libraries and institutions are being urged to sign up to the week-long showcase of academic book excellence and host events that celebrate innovation in the field and its influence on broader society, or debate key issues.
A list of the 20 Academic Books that Changed the World will be announced in the autumn, chosen by a panel of booksellers, publishers and academics. Students and the reading public will be able to vote for the single most important Academic Book that Changed the World, to be announced in Academic Book Week.
Meanwhile "An Academic Book in a Month", a project in partnership with Palgrave Macmillan, will see a peer-reviewed monograph produced in the four weeks leading up to ABW. The book, titled The Academic Book of the Future, will include experts views from librarians, publishers and booksellers and academics.
Also confirmed is a debate on the place of academic books in modern society at Stationers' Hall on Monday (9th November), on the subject of "Where Will Academic Books Live in the Future?". Meanwhile SAGE will be teaming with the university of Sussex library to host a series of events across the week; Blackwell's bookshop in Edinburgh will be the venue for a seminar series held in conjunction with the Centre for the History of the Book, Edinburgh University, Napier University and Queen Margaret University; and Sprinting to the Open Future (SOFT) will be a week-long programme of activities from the University of Nottingham in collaboration with publishers, researchers and librarians. The British Library will host a showcase for the Academic Book of the Future project on Friday 13th November.
A "major" event is also planned for Blackwell's in Broad Street, Oxford, as well as retail and PR promotions around the country.
William Bowes, chair of the Publishers Association Academic, Professional and Learning Council, said: "Publishers are delighted to be supporting the very first Academic Book Week. UK academic publishers are world leaders, working closely with researchers and others in the academic community to produce high quality textbooks, monographs and journals to support learning across the academic disciplines. For publishers, academic bookshops play an absolutely vital role in showcasing the best of published academic material while advising students on suitable works."
Peter Lake, business development director at the John Smith Group, called ABW a "timely and welcome initiative." He said: "Students today are making huge commitments to furthering their skills and education and it is essential that lecturers, authors, publishers, platform providers and booksellers work together and enjoy the challenge of re-imaging how best to deliver content and better learning outcomes to those students. The key is for us all to ensure that students and institutions derive greater value, insight and benefit from the multiple ways content will be accessed, used, absorbed and shared in the future."
ABW is being co-ordinated by the Arts and Humanities Research Council/British Library Academic Book of the Future project team, alongside the Publishers Association, the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) and the Booksellers Association.