University presses join forces for equality framework

University presses join forces for equality framework

The UK and Ireland’s major university presses have launched a new framework for collaboration, EvenUP, committed to inclusive practices.   

In all, there are 17 university publishers involved including Bristol, Cambridge, Cork, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, Harvard's international office along with Liverpool, University of London, Manchester and MIT's UK office. Oxford will also join alongside Princeton's European office, University College Dublin, University College London, the University of Wales Press, Westminster and Yale's London office.

“EvenUP demonstrates the commitment of UK and Irish university presses to equity, diversity, inclusivity and belonging in our workplaces, in who we work with and in what we publish,” organisers said. “Recognising that different presses and parent institutions have their own EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) initiatives but eager to collaborate in order to amplify them.” 

The network will share best practice for EDI across presses and commit to using either the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) survey tool to collect demographic data, or surveys of comparable quality, to assess and understand areas in which the publishers can improve, benchmarking across presses where appropriate. 

It will also create and share an ongoing programme of training and events, ensure transparency and equal opportunity in recruitment and career progression processes in university presses such as paid internships, listing salaries/salary bands on all entry level roles and on all recruitment advertising, subject to commercial or confidentiality requirements and developing inter-press career mentorship for colleagues from underrepresented groups. 

The presses will work together to raise awareness of career opportunities with groups that are currently underrepresented in scholarly publishing and have a designated lead for EDI. 

Peter Berkery, executive director of the AUPresses, said: “The Association of University Presses applauds the creation of the EvenUP initiative by 17 university presses in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion in scholarly publishing is of paramount importance because it is essential to the continued increase and advancement of knowledge. AUPresses members worldwide stand ready to support and learn from this dedicated group of publishers as we all proceed in this much-needed work.

“As mission-driven publishers it behoves all university presses to strive for greater equity in the scholarly and publishing ecosystems. Individually we can all play our part but by working together we can amplify our efforts and hasten change.” 

Mandy Hill, m.d. of Cambridge University Press, said: “As university presses we are committed to supporting greater equity across academia through more diverse and inclusive academic publishing. These principles are a starting point for each of us to make tangible and positive changes that welcome diversity of thought, perspective and approach to our publishing as well as creating an inclusive environment for our own teams. This need not be an area where we compete: instead, we can achieve greater progress through open collaboration.”  

For more information, visit the website.