Future of academic publishing explored in new AHRC/BL project

Future of academic publishing explored in new AHRC/BL project

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Library are launching a two-year research project that will explore the future of the academic books in the context of open access publishing and continuing digital change.

Dr Samantha Rayner, director of the Centre for Publishing at University College London (UCL) will lead the project "Communities of Practice: The Academic Book of the Future."

The £450,000 project hopes to impact a wide range of stakeholders including the publishing community. It aims to generate new evidence and dialogue that will inform policy and national  approaches.

Rayner told The Bookseller: “The research is the first cohesive attempt at creating definitions for digital publishing, open access and e-books.

“The research team want the industry to be part of the conversation about the future of books and publishing. We have put together an initial community coalition made up of a distinguished and diverse team of collaborators. These include: Oxford University Press, SAGE, Bloomsbury, Penguin, and Wiley.”

She stressed the importance of industry collaboration with the project from trade and academic publishers. Nick Canty also forms part of the multidisciplinary team with his connections to industry ranging from Pearson plc to Thomson Reuters.

The Research Information Network will provide the consultancy for the large-scale surveying work of global future trends under the leadership of Dr Michael Jubb. A community coalition of partners will work with the core research team to manage mini-projects.

Rayner said: “We deliberately left parameters of the research open so we can enable discussion from industry stakeholders. Our research looks further than the existing models that will determine the emergence of new trends that will affect the industry and our wider society.”