Future of academic books debated at Futurebook

Future of academic books debated at Futurebook

The future of the academic book will be debated at the FutureBook Conference, with a panel led by Dr Samantha Rayner, director of the centre for publishing at UCL.

The discussion follows the Academic Book of the Future project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and supported by the British Library. The project’s aim is to facilitate conversations between the different communities connected to the production, dissemination, and consumption of academic books, so that practices and challenges can be shared and better understood. Part of this is Academic Book Week, which takes place between 9th to 16th November, supported by the Booksellers Association, the Publishers Association, and the ALPSP.

Panel speakers at FutureBook 2015 are Richard Fisher, former managing director of academic publishing at Cambridge University Press; ALPSP’s Suzanne Kavanagh; Lara Speicher, manager of the recently re-established UCL Press; and, Anthony Cond, managing director of Liverpool University Press.

Rayner said: “This panel of speakers at FutureBook has been chosen to highlight some of the fruitful collaborations that have been stimulated by the project to date, and which prove there is an exciting (if very complex) future for academic publishing ahead.” Rayner said topics under discussion would be, what does ‘Open Access’ mean, to general readers, to publishers, to booksellers, to librarians, to academics, and to policy makers; how can digital innovation help make academic research more accessible.

Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller and programme director for FutureBook 2015, said: “As Alastair Horne noted in his FutureBook Manifesto last month, trade publishers could learn much from what is happening in on the other side of the fence, and vice versa. At this year’s FutureBook there is track devoted to the ‘new publishing’ and the academic book of the future project will present another perspective on what thinking around the book needs to happen. FutureBook will bring more than 500 delegates together from across the publishing spectrum to connect and share ideas, and I’m delighted that with the keynote address from Springer Nature’s Annette Thomas there is such a strong academic and specialist publishing strand this year.”   

Early bird book for the event closes this Friday, to view the programme or book tickets, visit www.thebookseller.com/futurebook/2015.