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Interscript’s

Magazine est. 2017

Bringing you the latest news and debates driving the publishing world, told by students, academics and industry specialists.


Interscript 2021

2017

Nigel Ip

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Art Bloggers: a Blessing or a Curse?

Daniel Berze

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Power to the Academics, and Their Employers!

Lara Speicher

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Open Access Monographs: Current UK University Press Landscape

Alastair Horne

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The World is your Playground: Interactive Fiction, Place, and the Internet of Things

Daniel Boswell

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What We Write About When We Write About Publishing: Interscript, a Journal for Students of Publishing

Alec Robertson

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‘It Takes Two to Tango’ Is There a Need for New Practices in the Universities?

Chaz Lilly

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Publishing Art History Digitally: The Present and the Future

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Sabina Alam

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Publishing your research - Avoid Pitfalls and Delays by Understanding the Process

Simon Linacre

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Will Rankings Ever Change Higher Education? A Short History of a Long Shot

Stevie Marsden

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Positioning Publishing Studies in the Cultural Economy

2018

Claire Squires & Beth Driscoll

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The Sleaze-O-Meter: Sexual Harassment in the Publishing Industry

Chris Saynor

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Thema: the Subject Category Scheme for the Global Book Trade

Louise Newton

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From a Whisper to a Roar: How Publishers are Maximising the Potential of their Audio Publishing

Rebecca Fortuin

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The Realities of Publishing Without Experience or a London Postcode

Aimée Felone

Diversity and Inclusivity in Children’s Literature: The difference between publishing diverse authors and having diverse characters in children’s publishing

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2019

Alexandra Dane & Millicent Weber

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The Changing Landscape of Australian Writers Festivals

Robert Wilding

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A Visit to Open Book Publishers

2020

Charlotte Webster

Interview with Lara Speicher — Head of Publishing, UCL Press

Marta Magnolfi & Michele Spinicci

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Report on the IPG Sustainability Action Group

Michele Spinicci

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Interview with Will Forrester — Translation and International Manager, English PEN

Rebecca Stone

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Interview with Dr. Matthew Winning — Research Associate, The Bartlett School

2021

Abigail Joyce

Jenny Oliver: A Case Study on Digital Marketing and YA Fiction

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Art Bloggers: a Blessing or a Curse? Nigel Ip

13 March 2017 Key words: Art, Blog, Bloggers

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veryone’s a Critic – a film community website and experiment that gathered together critics, reviewers and film enthusiasts using a collaborative filtering algorithm to obtain recommendations from people sharing similar tastes in film. It is also a phrase mockingly referring to the proliferation of internet-based opinions from people who are not professional critics in the occupational sense. Blogs, websites, and social media platforms have become the new authority for critical inquiry, overriding the traditional medium of journals and news media. Here lies the question: where do we draw the line? How should we treat these popularist ideas circulating in the digital aether? As less credible criticism by the uninformed viewer or as equally valid considerations by a loving target audience with a discerning eye for good (and bad) taste? Furthermore, for something as diverse and subjective as the visual arts – whether it be Old Masters, modern or contemporary art – what role do the views of art bloggers have in the highbrow world of art criticism? The art world is a tricky maze of authority figures and conflicting opinions, each with the common aim of promoting the next big artist and shifting the artistic tastes of the decade. On the front lines are the galleries representing the best and brightest of the recruits. The victors are the ones shortlisted for the attention of experts, connoisseurs and critics. Mid twentieth-century America saw Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg arguing for the appreciation of Abstract Expressionism, whilst Roland Penrose was bringing the art of Pablo Picasso and the Surrealists to the attention of the British public. Post-war British art was also being promoted at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, around which time the art dealer Jeremy Maas was trying to revive interest in Victorian art, eventually selling Lord Frederic Leighton’s iconic ‘Flaming June’ to Puerto Rico for a mere £2,000. Nowadays, we are still living in Charles Saatchi’s legacy which told us that the Young British Artists were worth the attention in 1991, with Damien Hirst becoming the UK’s richest living artist and Tracey Emin pieces being as recognisable and numerous as Picassos. Popularity and fame dictates taste in art – remember Andy Warhol? – but so do those who write about them. From the critic’s and academic’s view, surely the opinions of our existing community of art world experts are all we need to decide what is fashionable in our time. Surely they would be enough to determine what is good and bad art. The reality may not be as simple.

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Art bloggers are carefree creatures. Being typically unpaid and self-motivated, they do not carry the burden of reputation associated with established journals and institutions, unlike traditional critics who make a living being our era’s all-powerful, allcredible judges of cultural taste. The former has the freedom to write and comment on any topic, exhibition, and artist he or she wishes without much consequence; the latter is restricted by the aims and values of their journal, often sticking to major galleries and movements. As a result, art bloggers have the upper hand regarding diversity of content and freedom of speech. However, blogs are only as good as their outreach. Site traffic for blogs are entirely reliant on keywords, search engines, and audiences looking for specific content. Journals are less affected by this due to their existing readership. A brief note concerning their respective demographics is important here: journals are largely aimed at academics whereas blogs appeal to the young, student market. Admittedly, a blog’s popularity is no guarantee for its quality of content nor its credibility of opinion. However, the large number of existing blogs that do feature similar content allows for a better understanding of the weight of opinion: this contribution to a consensus in critical scholarship is a defining characteristic of art bloggers and their content. The authority of critics is autocratic; for bloggers it is democratic. A better way to say this might be the following: bloggers are the popular vote. Representing a wider pool of cultural and educational backgrounds, what emerges from their content is art discourse unfettered by institutional bias. Though their writing styles may vary, they are often not afraid to say what is really on their mind. We can also take their opinions at face-value. This is valuable in itself and instantly makes it more accessible, maybe even relatable for the reader. Oftentimes, there are even gleaming interpretative insights of works of art that are unique and only accessible from the perspective of a specific individual or culture. The existing pool of academics might not be able to bridge this gap. Hidden among the honesty and directness of a blogger’s content might be found something even more valuable than mere verbal accessibility. Bloggers are more likely to voice their observations and experiences in their writing, creating content that is laced with an aesthetic interest personal to the blogger. A community of content emphasising this kind of interest can thus be representative of a sort of public eye (literally). That is not to say that academics do not rely on or voice their observations – in fact, many do – but being academically oriented they are only representative of a small group of observers with similar educational backgrounds and training. Therefore,

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the things they choose to write and publish may be hindered by the kind of content other people expect them to produce. Bloggers are free from this. They can voice their opinions and observations without heavy judgement, largely because the prevailing view of bloggers is that they are not critics, simply commentators. They can produce content based on what they see, not on what they know. Academics know too much already. Bloggers don’t, and thus they will rely heavily on their instincts. By resorting back to basic human instincts, they become surprising effective and relatable, contributing to their appeal as valid sources of criticism. Academics write criticism; bloggers make comments. Instead of viewing this statement negatively on the part of the blogger, perhaps we should recognise this as a redeeming and necessary feature within artistic publishing discourse. In their ideal form, bloggers represent a public set of opinions that are unbiased towards institutions and organisations. Their strength in numbers allows for a richness and variety that can not only fill certain gaps in interpreting culture-specific art but also provide a more direct and consensus-based view of cultural events. Poetically, bloggers are what academics used to be: passionate, naïve and desperate to have their say.

About the author “I divide my time as an Editorial Intern for Print Quarterly and Education Intern at The Arts Society. Occasionally, I review publications for Museum Bookstore and provide research for The Fusilier Museum London. You can follow me on Instagram too, where I regularly post mini-reviews and nuggets of art-historical knowledge!” Source: Flâneur of the Arts Image Reference: Unsplash

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Power to the Academics, and Their Employers! Daniel Berze

13 March 2017 Key words: Glasstree, Academic Publishing, Academics, Open Access, OA, Closed Access, Lulu, Daniel Berze

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cholarly publishing is at a crossroads. For far too long, publishers have made huge profits from the work of academics who see dwindling financial returns for their research, to the detriment of students and libraries who in turn face skyrocketing prices for textbooks and journals. Academics are fed up, and there is no shortage of evidence to affirm this; the “Academic Spring”, “The Cost of Knowledge” protest signed by over 16,000 academics, and most recently a study which found that four in five academics believe that academic publishing needs an overhaul. Extortionate pricing, slow speeds to bring research to market, shockingly unfair divisions of profits, and poor visibility and control over content are just some of the main themes at the heart of this debate which has been raging within the scholarly community for years.

What Academics And Their Employers Want In a previous role I worked as the Director of a learned society based in The Hague. We experienced constant battles with traditional publishers to try and obtain mutually beneficial and transparent publishing arrangements. I discovered, first-hand, the lack of transparency in the relationship between academics and traditional publishers and I also knew how restricted we were by traditional publishers as there were few alternative channels available for publishing our society’s work. Put simply, what academics want most of all is to be able to get their research out in the world to make an impact, to improve the quality of life, to expand our scientific knowledge of the world around us, and to make sufficient money to generate funds for their continued research. Given the development of technology in publishing, there is indeed an opportunity to break this traditional cycle of exploitation and profiteering, in order to empower academics and academic institutions to achieve these goals without traditional publishers.

Open Or Closed Access? In the last five years, technology has made the publishing process and the dissemination of research and information more democratic. One of the first steps in that chain was the emergence of Open Access (OA) models, which allow users to access content for free. For many academics who just want to get their research out to those communities who could best use the information, this is a perfect platform, allowing

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their research to be found and accessed with a simple search, whilst being free of charge to the user. In order to accommodate traditional OA models, traditional academic publishers had to pivot their revenue intake from users to academics and institutions who, in order to publish via OA channels, would have to pay for the privilege. This payment, which comes in the form of APCs (Article Processing Charges) or BPCs (Book Processing Charges), is far from inexpensive, with some publishers charging up to $24,000 to publish a single OA monograph.

Hijacked Disruption Open Access was supposed to be the knight in shining armour for academic publishing. It was supposed to make research more discoverable and widely available, and to create a content boom. But the OA movement is sadly not realising its massive potential and instead it has created a tiered, elitist system in academia whereby only certain researchers who achieve certain levels of funding can actually afford to publish. Open Access was the disruption everybody wanted in academic publishing. However, as traditional publishers still retain control of the main distribution channels and access to the audiences that academics wanted to reach, they were able to evolve their business models to profit from it. It is starting to become abundantly clear that real, disruptive change, which empowers the scholarly community simply cannot come from within the traditional publishing industry – this needs to be driven by an outside force.

Empowering Academics It is in this space that we developed Glasstree as a disruptive innovation, an alternative route to market which turns the tables and tips the balance back in favour of academics and their university employers. The concept is not only designed to make academic content more affordable to the end user and to provide academics and universities with greater financial rewards for their work (70 per cent of royalties), but it is also designed to rapidly speed up the publishing process and to give academics visibility and control over their research. It also provides a range of Gold Open Access options while offering highly competitive processing charges - up to four times more affordable than the industry average for monographs. The full-service Open Access option comprises manuscript assessment

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and copyediting, designated Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), Kudos tools such as bibliometric and citation tracking, and double-blind peer reviews by independent reviewers, and is available to authors from only $2,000. The goal is to help academics take control of their work, benefit from their research, and get it out into the world for others to use and derive value from. Five years have now passed since the Academic Spring and a large percentage of the academics who originally showed their disdain towards big traditional publishers have since continued to publish their research through them. They’ve continued to prop them up financially while earning just nine per cent of the royalties from their hard work, and while enduring long delays to publish and minimal creative input into how their work is published and who has access to it. Universites, who have subsidized the entire process, are finding it ever more difficult to purchase the publications that they have financially supported, receiving no remuneration for the institutional support that they provide to their academics. Academics deserve more. Universities deserve more. They deserve Glasstree.

About the author Daniel Berze is the VP Academic Publishing at Glasstree. He will be participating in the Is there a place for independent publishing in the academic world? panel debate at The London Book Fair’s The Faculty stage, 17:30, Wednesday 15th March 2017.

Image Reference: Unsplash - The V&A museum’s library, London.

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Open Access Monographs: Current UK University Press Landscape Lara Speicher 13 March 2017 Key words: Open Access Monographs, University Press, UCL Press, Ingenta, Knowledge Unlatched, HEFCE, Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press, OAPEN

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Introduction

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he Open Access monograph publishing landscape has changed enormously in the last decade, with many new publishing entrants and initiatives. Open Access awareness is an essential requirement for all academic publishers. Open Access has so far mainly been adopted by STM (scientific, technological and medical) journals. While Open Access monographs have had a much slower acceleration – for a variety of reasons which will be explored later in this article – there have been a number of encouraging developments. This article will review the progress of some of these advancements and the challenges that still face Open Access monographs.

Benefits and Challenges of Open Access Providing freely available online scholarly monographs means that anyone anywhere in the world can read them regardless of their ability to pay or their institutional affiliation. This model grants access to an untapped audience that would otherwise find it very difficult to purchase expensive print books, often sold in hardback and mainly to university libraries. Even if the physical copies were affordable they are not necessarily available in many parts of the world. Publishers such as Open Book Publishers, which launched in 2012, report that their Open Access books regularly have 400 readers per title every month. UCL Press reports downloads of just over 1,000 per title per month on average across 200 countries. In contrast, physical scholarly monographs often sell less than 500 copies in their entire lifetime. Many authors consider reaching a wide readership a priority and therefore opt for Open Access publication when they can. The benefits apply not only to authors but also to their institutions, with increased visibility and impact for both. However, charges for Open Access monograph publishing with a commercial scholarly publisher (the BPC, or Book Processing Charge, the monograph equivalent of the APC for journal articles) can be as high as £13,000 – prohibitive for many. Therefore, the majority of authors still prefer to publish in the traditional model with a long-established publisher, despite the high retail prices and relatively limited circulation. While the statistics for Open Access readership and dissemination are undeniably encouraging, the main challenge for Open Access monograph publishing is how to

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fund it sustainably in the long term. The key challenge for publishers is how to replace the print sales revenue they would otherwise receive, which in the Open Access model is potentially reduced or removed (although there is not enough evidence yet to prove this conclusively). Various funding models have emerged: funder pays, institution pays (either by paying a Book Processing Charge to another publisher, or setting up its own press), library subscription, grants, some print sales revenue or often a combination of all of the above. No single solution has yet been identified and stakeholders continue to explore all the options.

University Presses UCL Press launched in June 2015, and was the first fully Open Access university press to launch in the UK. Since then several other universities have also started new Open Access university presses or platforms: Westminster University Press, Cardiff University Press, White Rose University Press, and most recently, the Humanities Digital Library launched by the School of Advanced Study (University of London). Existing university presses have also been taking steps in Open Access. When OAPEN (the European Open Access monograph platform) first launched in 2008, Manchester University Press was among the first (and only UK university press) to put monographs on its platform. Liverpool University Press launched its Modern Languages Open online journal in 2015. Additionally, several university presses offer a Gold Open Access publishing option at a cost to the author, their funder or institution.

Academic-led Presses Other Open Access publishers launched from around 2010 onwards, several of them led by academics: Open Book Publishers (mainly monograph publishing), Open Humanities Press (also mainly monographs), Ubiquity Press (monographs, journals and publishing services to university presses) and Open Library of the Humanities (journals publishing based on a library subscription model). These are mission-based presses, run by “scholars who are committed to making high-quality research available to readers around the world” (Open Book Publishers).

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Other Initiatives Knowledge Unlatched, launched in 2013, has developed a crowd-funding model that connects libraries with publishers to make their books available as Open Access publications. Publishers are invited to submit titles for consideration to a library panel, and libraries are then invited to pledge a fee to support selected titles to be ‘unlatched’. Knowledge Unlatched has been growing every year since its pilot round and has increased the titles it supports from 28 books to over 350 in 2016. Knowledge Unlatched has subsequently launched a research arm and journals programme. Ingenta Connect, a searchable journal database, has launched a new Open Access platform. Ingenta Connect hosts over 13,000 publications and has over 1.4 million users. The journals it hosts are mainly subscription based but some are already Open Access, and Ingenta Open will provide its existing user base with an entirely Open Access area, featuring not only Open Access journals but also publisher pages and monographs. JSTOR launched a similar initiative at the end of 2016 for Open Access monographs, and such developments show that mainstream publishing platforms are aware of the need to develop Open Access services as demand grows and funders increase their Open Access requirements.

UK Policy Open Access policy also continues to gather momentum. In 2015 HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) announced that “to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ outputs must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection. The requirement applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings”. The next REF (Research Excellence Framework) – the assessment programme by which Higher Education Institutions are judged and the basis for funding allocation – is due to take place in 2021, and for now, monographs are not subject to this mandate.

Funder Policy Many research funders mandate Open Access contractual conditions for the projects they sponsor. This includes the European Research Council, AHRC, Cancer Research

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UK, Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. Many of these specify the use of part of their award towards Open Access publication, making central funding available to the research project or in block grants given to institutions.

Conclusion While Open Access monographs are developing more slowly than journals and are currently facing more challenges, they are undoubtedly gaining momentum. Models that a few years ago might have been considered impossible, such as library crowdsourced funding or institutions starting their own Open Access publishing ventures, have got off the ground with positive results. How Open Access can be funded sustainably on a large scale in the longer term remains to be seen, but many stakeholders are taking positive steps in the right direction. The most important evidence reported by Open Access publishers is the widespread usage of Open Access books. Many academics feel disillusioned with the low circulation and high retail prices of traditional scholarly books, and want to ensure their research reaches the widest readership possible. Open Access achieves this, and for many is therefore seen as the optimum method for disseminating scholarly research.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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The World is your Playground: Interactive Fiction, Place, and the Internet of Things Alastair Horne 13 March 2017 Key words: Publishing, Innovation, Transmedia, Interactive Fiction, Hypertext Fiction, Text Adventure, Internet of Things, Wearable Tech, Smartphone, Mobile, Ambient Literature.

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Photograph of the pdp-10 mainframe by Retro-Computing Society of Rhode Island - own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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ome of the most interesting developments in storytelling have come from coopting technologies that were never intended for creative use – twisting their functionality to serve more imaginative purposes. One of the very first interactive fictions, for instance, the 1976 text adventure game Adventure, was originally written for the PDP-10 mainframe computer whose full installation occupied an entire room. In addition to the vast amounts of electrical power this computer required to run, it needed heavy-duty air-conditioning to ensure that it didn’t overheat. Taking advantage of the fact that the PDP-10 was controlled by means of instructions entered on a keyboard, programmer Will Crowther wrote a story that required the reader (or player) to type in commands (‘enter building’ or ‘get keys’ for example) to move the narrative forward. Essentially a technology-enabled solo version of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game first published two years earlier, Adventure was the precursor to all the text adventure games which became so popular amongst

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a generation of ZX Spectrum users in the 1980s, from The Hobbit through to Hampstead (recently rereleased in an iPhone version) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; ultimately, it led to today’s generation of action role-playing games such as Horizon Zero Dawn and the Witcher series. The computing power of our smartphones and tablets now far exceeds that of the PDP-10 (though overheating can still be a problem) and storytelling has become one of their most popular usages. Smartphones are increasingly replacing dedicated e-readers as the preferred device for reading eBooks; moreover, audiobook sales have doubled in only five years as digital downloads replace heavy box-sets of CDs. Few of the fictions that readers enjoy on their smartphones, however, make much use of the myriad possibilities such devices offer for interactivity, multimedia and geolocation; the vast majority are simply digital re-renderings of stories written for print. Narratives such as Iain Pears’s Arcadia – which allows readers to choose strands of storyline to follow, reordering the tale according to their particular interest – and Faber’s Malcolm Tucker: The Missing Phone, in which the reader’s phone takes the place of the potty-mouthed political adviser’s, are very much the exception.

Screenshot of The Heart and Bottle app

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The apparent commercial failure of many of the early attempts to take advantage of the affordances of smartphones and tablets has seen some of the most interesting and innovative apps disappear from app stores as their publishers decide that the cost of updating them for new operating systems is not worth the expected poor return. The app versions of Oliver Jeffers’s The Heart and the Bottle and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, both published in 2011, for instance, have long since vanished from the Apple appstore, existing only in broken versions on buyers’ devices and on promotional websites long since abandoned by their publishers. This seems a wasted opportunity. And yet innovative forms of narrative have a habit of recovering from such apparent setbacks to find new audiences. Though the type of interactive fiction exemplified by the text adventures that followed Adventure has long since declined from the commercial peak it enjoyed during the 1980s, it has nevertheless evolved and still retains a devoted and participatory community that congregates around websites such as the IF Archive and the annual Interactive Fiction Competition. Free tools like Twine and inklewriter allow enthusiasts to create their own fictions without needing to be able to code and the form also still spawns the occasional commercial hit. Inkle’s 80 Days, one of the most acclaimed games of recent years, available across a range of platforms, is, after all, essentially a hypertext fiction in which readers click links to advance the story, a format pioneered by Michael Joyce’s afternoon, a story, back in 1987. Meanwhile, new opportunities are emerging to appropriate technologies never intended for creative use, allowing for the development of new kinds of stories. Wearable technology, in the form of Fitbit’s and Jawbone’s fitness trackers or smart watches like Apple’s, has become widely adopted over the past few years, as we become increasingly keen to know just how many steps we have taken, or calories we have expended, every day. Simultaneously, the idea of the smart home is moving closer to becoming an everyday reality as Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot devices gain in popularity. A world in which wearable technology is increasingly prevalent and many heating/ lighting devices are smartphone-controlled generates new opportunities for writers. Imagine listening to a ghost story on your phone one dark winter evening in your smart home, where that phone can not only flash your lights on and off, and drop the temperature at appropriate moments, but can also monitor the effect that this has on your pulse rate, and tailor the story accordingly. These might seem like gimmicks, but they’re just a few of the opening steps towards a new type of interactivity that goes far beyond that offered by conventional interactive fictions.

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Five years ago, I was one of the mentors on ReactHub’s Books and Print Sandbox projects, which explored interesting ways of bringing books and print together with newer technologies to create new kinds of reader experience. One of those projects, called Jekyll 2.0, sought to rework Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel into an interactive experience, bringing back to centre stage the body horror that is so much a part of the original story. I remember its creators describing a scenario in which the participant would be eavesdropping on a conversation, and how what happened next would depend on the volume of their breathing: breathe quietly enough and they would hear some vital information; but if they were too loud, then they’d be discovered and the narrative would take a different turn.

Jekyll 2.0

Smart devices make it much easier to create such fictions, where readers’ own bodies and environments become part of the story. I’m fascinated by the work currently being done by the Ambient Literature project, including several alumni from the Books and Print Sandbox, which explores “what it means when the place where you’re reading becomes the stage for the story”. (The first of their three experimental fictions is expected later this year.) My own doctoral research – exploring how mobile devices

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are changing the relationship between author, text, and reader – includes a creative component designed to be experienced on a walk through Brompton Cemetery, which allows participants to engage with fictionalised versions of the cemetery’s permanent residents. Such location-based, technology-enabled stories are perhaps unlikely to replace traditional fictions in the public’s affections, but they offer fertile ground for experimentation that may yet yield results.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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What We Write About When We Write About Publishing: Interscript, a Journal for Students of Publishing Daniel Boswell 13 March 2017 Key words: Publishing, Publishing Studies, Creative Industry Research, Publishing Research, Publishing In Higher Education, Interscript, Daniel Boswell, UCL Centre For Publishing

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ublishing as a field of study is a difficult, often ill-defined premise. A common and, I’m sure, familiar anecdote for anyone involved in the delivery of Publishing as a course of study involves a night out, or a dinner with friends, inevitably including a couple of new acquaintances. As introductions are made and the discussion turns to backgrounds and occupations you quietly respond, to the question of your own employment, that you “work at a university”, are an “academic” or a “lecturer”. Somehow you make the assumption that this is a sufficient descriptor, yet, without fail, it entices the follow up, “Oh, and what do you teach?” Now there’s no escaping it, you calmly, if somewhat hurriedly, reply “Publishing” (nothing to see here, moving on…). But you can’t rush over that – it’s a trisyllabic hydra, it languishes in the air, catching attention and catching fire. The choruses follow: “Publishing, as in books?”, “I didn’t know that was a thing”, “How exactly do you teach that then?”, or the more scathing, “Is that one of those new subject areas?” (By which they mean inauthentic/ unnecessary/illegitimate), or, “A bit like English Literature?”. Full disclosure, I may simply be recounting the most awkward of my own experiences over the past few years. However, these are points worthy of discussion. These comments shine a light on the challenges inherent to the field, its practitioners, and its students. These are questions which all too often seem to be avoided, skirted, rather than clarified and, as necessary, contested. Publishing is, undoubtedly, a new(er) field of study within the grand auspices of academia. Subject areas which find themselves in this position need a foundation, definitions and criteria which offer a framework onto which practitioners can fasten themselves. There’s no dearth of opinion when it comes to creating frameworks around the concept of publishing as an industry, and this is, as a starting point, precisely what we teach. However, when it comes to the purpose and boundaries of the pedagogical and theoretical side of the field, these definitions are harder to come by, and that is understandable. I, for one, am not equipped to offer a consummate definition and would likely be wary of similar attempts by others. So practitioners find themselves in their very own catch-22. To some extent, the field requires definition in order to establish, sustain and defend its corner of the knowledge and research spectrum, and at the same time anyone who is sufficiently familiar with the field to lend such a voice of authority is doubly wary of what such a classification and mapping of the field might achieve and imply in delimiting its scope. I have attended conferences focusing on approximate disciplines, such as Book History and Bibliography, where aspects of publishing seem to naturally converge, and have heard the comments from established academics and critics in these fields and their own questioning of boundaries, such as, “What relevance does business theory have to the field of

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book history?”, and, “What role do producers play in the study of bibliography?”. Neither question elicits a straightforward answer, while both provoke many conflicting opinions. What I feel confident in arguing, given my own experience with these issues of jurisdiction, is that Publishing or Publishing Studies, however you prefer to label it, can offer a unifying palette upon which to paste many of these concerns and observe their interplay. I acknowledge that this statement remains vague in clarifying a coherent purpose for the field, but it certainly alludes to the creative application of interdisciplinary concerns to an established field of creative enterprise. Publishing as an academic discipline may seem new; as an industry it is ancient. And this offers a huge scope for interpretation of our intractable quest for understanding within the realm of human communication. In this sense, Publishing is a quintessential field of enquiry. At an intellectual level it encompasses the human endeavour to codify and share experience in a common format. Paring down this grand ambition to core concerns and contributions is also a challenge. So let me first address a key point, the proverbial elephant in the room; literature. Publishing inherently entreats its students to interact with literature. And yet Publishing is not the study of literature insofar as it circumnavigates the field of critical literary investigation. It is not the study and interpretation of literary narrative and content in its nominative linguistic and geographic varieties. And yet there are aspects that would seem to befit that more established, more critically bedded of the two disciplines, that are also neatly and effectively complemented by their examination within the field of publishing studies; readership and audience studies, authorship, sociological interpretation of the text, material culture (particularly as applicable to new historicist interpretations) among many others. Literature and Publishing may not overlap, but intertwining seems to be not only inevitable; they are apparently compatible companions within the same space. Of course, this makes complete sense. How can we expect to separate cargo and container entirely? But where are the lines for literature then, or should publishing studies be applied as a subset of this? Far from it, the crucial value of publishing as a research framework lies in its inter-disciplinarity. If Publishing is considered new, then it represents scholarship which can be theoretically fresh and free from epistemological legacy. Thus Publishing concerns writing, but it also concerns history, and bibliography, and economics, and business studies, and technology, and sociology, and cultural studies, and linguistics, and semiotics, and art, design and aesthetic theory (to list a few). However, if we only consider the act of publishing, with all its implied industrial connections, to be about the commercial transaction of textual products, then

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we might argue for a focused disciplinary base which primarily values either the economic or historical interpretation of the product, producer and consumer. But, as already mentioned, publishing is a creative industry. That remains a vague way to apply a caveat. What is it about creative industry that distinguishes it from other commercial production? A producer of culture perhaps hopes to achieve capital the same as any other producer. However, most producers’ reward expectations are monetary in nature. Do producers of culture demand cultural capital as recompense instead? Technically no; their primary transaction is the same as all other business: they provide books and the market exchanges these for money. “But creative industries are different.” That is the common response to this element. Books are different, as publishers frequently tell us. So the study of creative industries and, particularly, books must be different, and must account for this difference. Thus a nuanced understanding and appreciation of what it is that we are teaching when we teach publishing, and of what it is that we write about when we write about publishing (thank you Raymond Carver), is necessary in order to clarify our position. Whenever I see commentaries on the nature and value of publishing degrees (which are appearing in the media at an increasing rate), criticisms seem to be levelled at a very singular interpretation of what Publishing, as a course of study, entails. A recent article on The Scholarly Kitchen website’s ‘Ask the Chefs’ section, for instance, asked “What is the value of a Master’s in publishing?”. This article approaches publishing education from another vantage point, that of employability. What I found most interesting is that the focus of the article (configured as a response to a question from a reader) suggests a very narrow definition and understanding of publishing as a field of education. This seems to be an unavoidable and almost implicit interpretation of courses which are ostensibly vocational. The underlying tone of this piece (initiated by the reader’s question about whether having a Master’s in Publishing would make them more attractive to a potential publishing employer) advocates that the purpose of a postgraduate degree in Publishing, in theory, is a general qualification to enter the industry.

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Whilst that is certainly an element we do prepare our students for, it is not the only purpose, and nor should it be seen as a simple training guarantee. Reviewing these employers’ responses to the potential of the degree, they do not paint a complete picture of the degree experience. Whilst some of the respondents do allude to the opportunity for publishing education to enhance understanding and development of the industry, most ignore the research element, at most applying it as a portfolio opportunity for a career. To some extent, this seems to imply that publishing education is, and can only be, of interest to those wishing to work within the industry. It would be curious to conduct a similar survey of Film Studies and consider the comparable expectations for that course of study. I don’t deny the importance of industry linkages in highlighting these concerns. It is true that a large number of our students, many times the majority, do wish to enter the industry, and do embark upon these degrees in order to gain appropriate qualifications that might reflect their interests and make them a more noticeable and knowledgeable applicant in the rat race. However, only meditating on the value of a field of study in relation to its capacity as a trade school is actually to devalue the purpose of higher education. In fact the greatest value of these courses to students, and to the industry, lies in the complex relationship and interplay between research and professional pathologies.

Venn diagram demonstrating the overlap and outcomes of a balanced programme in publishing education

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This also runs the risk of disregarding and devaluing the excellent research that our postgraduate students undertake during the year of their Master’s degree, and the attention and critical thought required of them to produce quality coursework deserving of a degree at this level. Many companies and individuals within the publishing sector are hugely supportive of our UK postgraduate courses, precisely because they recognise this potential. We are fortunate at UCL’s Centre for Publishing to count on the support of honorary fellows who have worked at the highest echelons of the industry and who help us to create a rounded course of study with the aim of connecting these concerns. But we believe we can do more to capitalise on this opportunity, and to create an interface between the ‘studies’ our students undertake and the visible development publishers perceive when they employ our students. That is precisely the purpose of this new journal, Interscript, and its accompanying Online Magazine. This has been conceived and developed by postgraduate students at UCL, but it is intended to provide an open platform for all HEI publishing programmes (those affiliated with the Association for Publishing Education, and beyond) to increase the visibility and engagement of their research. My hope is that, in time, it will come to act as a locus for connections and provide a communication space to counter misapprehensions about publishing education. For students who have produced high quality research outputs during their course, it offers a publication space which is distanced from the challenges of discoverability and competition inherent to senior professionalised academic journals; for researchers and educators it offers an archive and repository to build on the alumni networks and outputs year on year; and for the publishing industry it offers a lens, a look under the hood into the role that research can play in developing and enhancing practice.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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‘It Takes Two to Tango’ Is There a Need for New Practices in the Universities? Alec Robertson 11 April 2017 Key words: University Research, Design Education, Scholarship, Professional Practice, Professional Bodies.

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ESTA and UCL held a joint symposium entitled ‘Responsible Innovation and the Role of Universities’ on 16th March 2017. It challenged many traditional practices and suggested that some are indeed ‘broken’. It reminded me of a provocative presentation of mine summed up by the tongue-in-cheek story below. A fashion designer and a research scientist go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night, and go to sleep. Sometime later the fashion designer wakes up and nudges her faithful research scientist friend, “Scientist, look up and tell me what you see?” “I see millions and millions of stars, fashion designer” exclaims the research scientist. “And what do you deduce from that?” The research scientist ponders for a minute. “Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe”. “What does it tell you, fashion designer friend?” The fashion designer answered: “Research scientist friend, it means that someone has stolen our tent!!” This story indicates the general different viewpoints of the researcher in academia and the professional practitioner. It questions whether the relationship between the two cultures is as productive as it could be, and this mirrors the perceived situation within ‘Creative Industries’. Questions worth asking today: Do many creative practitioners still have the attitude, ‘Why would creative artists and designers want to be interested in, let alone do, such tedious, mind-numbing, number crunching, data doodling activity anyway as research, normally going nowhere truly original, and very slowly?’ Are university research posts and funding grants still reserved for rationalist minds? Does the requirement to write

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and publish journal articles still dominate academia, disadvantaging the oftendyslexic creative practitioners with enquiring mentalities? The requirement that design students have to pass a trans-disciplinary module in ‘critical writing’ to get an Honours Degree still persists at large (a condition brought in many decades ago to perhaps placate contemptuous sections of the university establishment with the view that if a student is not using words they are not thinking critically). That designing involves high levels of critical thinking, both tacitly and cognitively, was not then considered enough. Today I tend to support the transdisciplinary idea that education should be well rounded for all, and ‘Art & Design’ topics should be taught to other disciplines. For example, I advocate that such students as those of English Literature should be required to demonstrate proficiency in articulating ideas within literature visually by passing an Illustration Module before being allowed to get their Honours Degree. In fact traditional Chinese culture maintains that to be a true scholar above all else one has to be proficient in siyi (四), comprising the four arts of qin (琴 qin), qi (棋 qi), shu (書 calligraphy) and hua (畫 painting); perhaps this should be resurrected and adopted today across the universities. Just joking (well… half joking!). The evolution of attitudes to scholarship and research in universities has been interesting and ever-evolving. The ‘impact’ of university culture on the relatively new academic field of Art & Design has been substantial, some might say. However, others might add that the impact of Art & Design culture on traditional research practices within universities is only recently having some influence.

New Scholarship It is encouraging that contemporary scholarship and research practices in universities are now being challenged from outside the Art & Design sector, many of which seem to be slowly evolving towards those used within Art & Design; for instance, the use of more project work, visualisation of ideas and data, and a more trans-disciplinary attitude. On the central pivot of the traditional research culture – the usefulness of the journal article has been challenged by Professor Andrew Pettigrew, University of Oxford, who highlighted something of anecdotal interest at a symposium - 90% of academic journal articles are never cited, 50% of journal articles are never read beyond the authors, referees and journal editors, and only one article in a journal is cited repeatedly on average. It is becoming clear that the prime purpose of this

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publishing practice is as an increasingly self-serving commodity market, where authors can gain ‘cred’ for university research assessment exercises and publishers’ profiteer, rather than it serving ‘communicability’. Similarly, the effectiveness of academic conference papers has been questioned, and radical alternatives proposed. The actual paper presented is often in a bound copy of the final proceedings which excludes a record of the actual ‘conferencing’ that went on in the typical five minute question and answer session - a mere token gesture to audience interactivity. Conference papers are often used as a side line income stream for journals, and this seems to be yet another commodity market. However, the most important limitation of journals and conferences concerns the issue of ‘tacit knowledge’ – knowing through experience of new things: seeing, hearing, feeling and using them. Enquiry, especially within fashion and textiles, develops new tacit knowledge insights through experiencing new designs. To stress the point, let’s consider the buying of shoes. You can read all about the shoes in fashion magazines, but this is not usually enough – you need to try them on. The journal article and conference paper format excludes communication of new insights in tacit knowledge. Like the early days of the Royal Society – when scientists demonstrated their experiments ‘live’ to a hall of peers – many current day designers present their work at ‘exhibitions’ – the illustrative medium within industry trade shows. Fashion uses the ‘fashion catwalks’ too. These have real-time physical engagement and interaction with communication attributes of ‘ease of accessibility’ to full scale objects demonstrating the dynamics in a new design’s use, in addition to full colour information. It is therefore reasonable to infer that research work within design, and beyond, could also use these publication methods more as prime media for sharing new insights gained and as a prime research publication in its own right. This could be particularly useful for making academic research outcomes more ‘communicable’, especially to the professional design community, and for helping to make more impact outside academia generally.

‘It Takes Two to Tango’ Today there is an increasing concern to improve impact of university research outcomes, not only to justify public expenditure, but to mend ‘broken’ practices. For example, in the social sciences Professor Van de Ven, author of the book Engaged Scholarship (2007), highlighted at a recent symposium that impact involves two main

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issues – the use of language and the nature of engagement. Van de Ven raised the need for increased participation of different communities with ‘interaction expertise’ to facilitate engagement, stressing that researchers must ‘practice’ within their field in order to gain the required insights of language. Van de Ven also suggests impact is not just an outcome but the process of creating relationships during research. He advocates that it is more important to research WITH practitioners than FOR practitioners and there needs to be a ‘will to do’ for impact and engagement to happen. One response to this is that universities could engage more with ‘professional bodies’ outside the academic community when assessing the value of research outcomes, especially when concerned with: 1. The general processes involved in the professional practice. 2. The outcomes of professional practice in terms of new products, systems, services and performances. Excellence of research impact would be evidenced by: a. Doing research WITH professionals and their professional bodies through ‘engaged scholarship’. b. The quality of a research outcome as judged by the professional community. c. The use of research findings by one or more members of a professional community for improving the quality of people’s lives, and other benefits. The notion of ‘engaged scholarship’, along with some issues about the dissemination of research outcomes, are ways of improving the current situation in universities no matter how good or bad it is perceived to be. Nonetheless, collaboration between people with different attitudes and backgrounds is not a simple matter and has to be carefully managed.

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In Conclusion The way designers think and work has a valuable contribution to make in expanding the nature of enquiry within universities. Some in the ‘science of complex systems’ community are, for example, embracing design and acknowledging that designers understand ‘complexity’ in the dynamics of the socio-technical world well, within the design process. A design approach can help where traditional reductionist scientific methods of enquiry have limitations. The design community as a whole could be pioneering some new practices within universities, particularly within ‘research’ activity, not only on its own terms for itself, but for all. In the meantime, I suggest that there is a need for a new research funding body with more empathy for the creative industries that will help it stay ahead of the international game of global economics - perhaps a Creative Economy Research Council (CERC).

Image Reference: Unsplash

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Publishing Art History Digitally: The Present and the Future Chaz Lilly

24 May 2017 Key words: Art History, Digital Publishing, NYU, Institute Of Fine Arts, OA, Open Access, Peer Review, Multimodality, Digital Art History, Triple Canopy, British Art Studies, Art Journal, Grey Literature.

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Overview of Symposium

T

he symposium ‘Publishing Art History Digitally: The Present and the Future,’ hosted by NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts on October 14th, 2016, brought together art historians and publishing experts to share their views on the future of publishing digital art history.

The program included the keynote lecture ‘Breaking Almost Everything: The Current Practice and Future Potential of Digital Publishing,’ by Greg Albers, Digital Publications Manager for Getty Publications. Also included were two round table discussions; participants for each discussion, along with a full program and bios for the participants are available online, as well as video recording of the full symposium.

Theoretical Framework: ‘Digital Art History,’ Publishing and the Academy The phrase – ‘digital art history’ – should be understood as the practice and study of art history through the means of digital technology. Examples of recent digital art history scholarship presented at the symposium included the project, ‘Local/Global: Mapping Nineteenth-Century London’s Art Market’, published online by Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture. This project, co-authored by Anne Helmreich, the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Texas Christian University, uses network analysis and visualisation to map the rise and spread of the commercial gallery in London from 1850 to 1914. Helmreich’s project showcases how rich multimedia experiences are now becoming more common in art history research and scholarship. According to Helmreich, art history is only beginning to explore how digital technologies can transform scholarship. She argued in this article that art history lacks robust examples of “scholarly interpretation predicated on new modes of analysis made possible by the innovations of the digital age.” This digital project, she said, aims not only to harness the capacities of the digital environment for innovative research, but also to expand the framework of the discipline. For a more expansive conversation on the nature of digital art history, NYU’s IFA hosted a conference in 2012 on digital art history titled ‘Mellon Research Initiative at the IFA: Digital Art History.’

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Moving back to the recent symposium: in his opening remarks, Jonathan Hay, the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Professor of Fine Arts at NYU, agreed with Helmreich’s assessment of how digital technologies can transform the study of art history. “We are in a special moment,” he said, “as digital art history has come into existence but has yet to be defined.” This conjecture should be viewed positively – digital art history can become whatever its practitioners make it. Digital publishing, which has not been fully defined either, should then be viewed as the vehicle from where art history takes shape. Radical experimentation and invention must come from universities and institutions. Often, however, established modes of assessment (tenure/promotion review criteria) do not favour digital scholarship and young academics take less risks. Digital art history and digital publishing might suffer if restricted by traditional assessment criteria, which favours print publishing. Hay closed by making a plea to institutional representatives and senior researchers: “Hold off for now on rules and protocols. Keep the space of experimentation open for the next several years and give the experimenters the benefit of the doubt when you come to assess them because they are doing the entire field a favour.” In summary, digital publishing not only has the ability to shape how the field of digital art history is defined, but can also change the nature of the academy itself. This broad claim may seem idealistic, but with the backing of established institutions and support of senior faculty, young researchers – PhD students who are writing digitally-born dissertations (like myself) – will certainly change the nature of scholarly communication in the future, making research more open, accessible and collaborative.

Overall Themes from the Symposium: How Digital Publishing Enables New Modes of Scholarly Communication Open Access Digital publishing has the unique ability to make research materials freely available to the public. In an OA environment, information becomes transmutable as readers share, re-mix, re-evaluate and extend research without facing copyright or legal ramifications. Conversations become enriched and, ultimately, knowledge is gained more easily.

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Peer Review Traditional systems of peer review do not conform to the immediate and crowdsourced nature of digital communication. Digital publishers should consider using a ‘publish then edit’ methodology. There are a number of platforms emerging that enable postpublication peer-review, like PubPub, a project out of the MIT Media Lab that allows conversations to occur in the margins of online research. MIT Press has launched The Journal of Design Science using PubPub to illustrate how post-publication review might look. Multimodality Some online publishing trends tend to only mimic static, text-based objects (like PDF publishing). Multimodality requires new forms of discourse, to think beyond librocentricism. Digital art history lends itself to more varied forms of discourse given its relationship to the visual. With embedded media, video, visualizations, and sound, the digital medium allows textual arguments to become augmented in more robust forms. Grey Literature Conventionally, researchers have preferred utilizing only research that has passed through the traditional academic publishing process, like peer-reviewed academic journals or monographs, but recently the impact and speed of information outside that sphere has grown. These materials, called ‘grey literature,’ lack an organized means of collection and distribution and may include conference papers, exhibition catalogues, newsletters, lecture recordings, blog postings, curator notes and artists’ letters or podcasts, for example.

Exemplars in Digital Art History Publishing 1. From the Getty, The Roman Mosaics catalogue is easily navigable: users/readers can either choose pieces from the catalogue by geographic region using an interactive map, or through the hyperlinked table of contents. The quality of the images and the research behind each piece makes this collection a wonderful example of how researchers benefit from an open-access publication. Surely anyone working in this area of Roman mosaics would not have immediate access to such an offering if it were not collected in a centralized, digital space. This publication is a part of the

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Getty’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), which aims to “create models for online catalogues that will dramatically increase access to museum collections; make available new, interdisciplinary, up-to-date research; and revolutionize how this research is conducted, presented, and utilized.” The Getty released a report in 2012 that detailed progress, challenges and future directions of this effort. In the report, the Getty discusses the benefits of digital publishing. 2. Also from the Getty, an “avant-garde musical compositions prototype” that Greg Albers presented is an online publication (it takes the form of a mobile/desktop app) currently in development. Titled, ‘The Score: Avant-Garde Composition in the Visual and Performing Arts,’ the publication shows musical compositions on the screen, and, while the piece is played in an audio file, a red annotation mark follows the score so the user may listen, read and watch the progression of the piece simultaneously. This project is an exemplar of multimodal publishing as the scholarship relies on a conversation between different media types. According to the Getty, the project also enables collaboration between digital publishing technologists at the Getty and a team of art historians, musicologists and literary scholars. 3. Journal18 is an online, open access, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the art and culture of the eighteenth century. I chose this publication as an exemplar because of its hyperlinked, networked approach to scholarship. Each issue of the journal is clearly marked and the reader/user is able to navigate the publication without confusion – often, digital publications, in my opinion, lack organizational structures, which creates a sense of displacement. Each article in an issue includes texts and images. Footnotes are hyperlinked and take you directly to the source material. Throughout articles, readers are often directed to museum collections or other resources, in part because publishers could not secure the rights to images and instead pointed to the source. In turn this creates a networked ecology of resources for researchers. This publication also curates grey literature in its ‘Notes and Queries’ section, which offers a forum for intellectual exchange, a space for short notes, reviews, archival discoveries or scholarly musings. 4. British Art Studies is a collaborative publication between The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Yale Center for British Art. The publication is open access and peer-reviewed. The editors encourage submissions that “make the most of the journal’s online format and propose visually stimulating ways of presenting art historical research.” Each article has its own citation generator and provides DOIs, or Digital Object Identifiers, to make referencing the research more stable.

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5. CAA’s Art Journal Open is an online space that “takes advantage of the unique qualities of the web” to present artists’ projects, scholarly essays, conversations and interviews, notes from the field, artifacts of materials and news items. The site embraces the evolving nature of multimedia formats and techniques, seeking to serve as a provisional, suggestive and projective archive for contemporary art. The Art Journal Open website publishes content on a rolling basis; it exists as a supplement to the printed Art Journal. The CAA adopts a hybrid approach to publishing, where the print piece is complimented by an open-access repository of digital grey literature. The digital component of the publication features artists’ projects adapted specifically for the immediate, online platform, including: peer-reviewed documents and supplementary multimedia,, integrated visual documentation, interviews/conversations, and news and notes regarding events, screenings, exhibits, etc. 6. Triple Canopy aims to become more than a publication. It exists to create conversations that live beyond the page or screen. This organization is about community building – something that some publications overlook when primarily concentrating on content and form. They are also focused on driving membership, hosting events, offering education and transparency.

Closing Digital publishing has opened the door to many innovations, and the field of digital art history, given its multimodal nature, has, in some cases, taken charge in incorporating those new functionalities. With the backing of senior faculty and established publishers alike, digital publishing projects can transform the nature of scholarly communication, which will open the door to a more comprehensive system of reading, writing and researching. The exemplars provided here illustrate how incorporating digital functionalities, no matter how marginal or simple, extends the scope of the respective publication at hand.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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Publishing your research - Avoid Pitfalls and Delays by Understanding the Process Sabina Alam 26 May 2017 Key words: Publishing, Research, Impact Factor, Authorship, F1000, Wellcome Open Research, Ethics, Publication Policies, Plagiarism, Sata Availability, Ethical Approval, Ethical, Consent, Registration, BioMed Central Journals, Peer Review, PROSPERO.

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W

hen I was a researcher, my main concern was getting interesting and reliable results from my experiments (and changing the world of course!). However, nine years ago, after making the move into scientific publishing, I realised that I also would have benefited from knowing more about the publishing process as a PhD student and postdoc. Most of all, how decisions are made on what gets sent to peer reviewers, how the peer review process works and how editors decide on what gets published. I have pulled together some of the main things that I know now, but wish I knew then about what goes on behind the scenes. Hopefully this basic advice can save you budding research author’s from unnecessary delays after submission.

What’s the Story? The first paper I published was primarily based on serendipitous findings acquired during the last year of my PhD. When writing it up, my supervisor guided me to focus the paper on its most interesting and useful aspects so that a clear rationale and narrative could be presented. It was only after I moved into publishing that I realised how important this is. Journals and publishing platforms like F1000Research, receive many submissions and editorial staff work hard to provide responses to authors as soon as possible. All manuscript editors are looking to answer some key questions: • • • •

Why was this done (rationale)? How was this done (methods and reporting)? What did the authors find (results/analysis)? What does this mean (discussion and conclusions)?

Clarity and Standards of Reporting Over the years, I have come across many clearly presented submissions, but every now and again there have been some where key aspects, such as the rationale, methods and analysis, have been very ambiguous. In these circumstances, editors need to raise queries with authors, and often revisions are

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required until the manuscript is clear enough to be sent out to peer reviewers. This can add significant delays, and can be easily avoided by providing all the necessary information the journal or publishing platform requires (be sure to check the instructions for authors and submission guidelines). Also, following the appropriate reporting guidelines for your study (CONSORT for randomised controlled trials, for instance) ensures that you will provide all the necessary information required. Full lists of reporting guidelines for specific study designs can be found at the EQUATOR network.

Choose the Right Fit – Don’t be Dazzled by the Impact Factor Sometimes authors make their choice on where to submit to, primarily based on the impact factor. Again, this can lead to unnecessary delays. Journals and publishing platforms select submissions based on how well it fits in with their aims and readership. If your work meets the requirement for threshold and scope, then it is likely to be considered. Otherwise the editors have no choice but to reject the manuscript. Prior to submission you can make as many queries to as many journals or publishing platforms as you like. If unsure send a query to the journal editor or editorial office; editorial staff are always happy to answer your questions and it can save you a lot of time by making sure your manuscript is the right fit for that publishing venue. Be aware though, once you have submitted you cannot submit elsewhere until you have received a decision. Submitting to more than one journal or publishing platform at the same time is a breach of publication ethics and can result in rejection of the submission. Many researchers already have a list of journals they want to submit to, but if you are considering a journal or publishing platform you are unfamiliar with, it is a good idea to read through their editorial policies so you’re aware of any mandatory information that needs to be included (for example, will you be expected to share the raw data?).

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If you are considering an Open Access journal you are unfamiliar with, then it is important to go through the checklist on Think Check Submit, so that you can ensure it is reputable.

Authorship – Consensus is Key Occasionally after submission an authorship dispute erupts. If this happens prior to publication then the editors will usually halt the process and ask the authors and their institutions to come to a resolution before any further progress can be taken. As such, it is important that all authors agree on the order of authorship and that they all fulfil the criteria for authorship. During the review and revision process it is possible that there will be changes in the author list (including the addition or removal of authors). If this happens it is also important to inform the editors, so that they can follow any verification processes they have. For example, at F1000Research we require all authors (including any removed) to confirm that they agree to the new author list.

Who will be the Point of Contact? Throughout the submission and review process, it is essential to have a designated submitting author who agrees to take responsibility to be the point of contact with the journal or publishing platform. This does not necessarily need to be the same person who will be corresponding author on the published paper. The role of the submitting author is to correspond with the editorial team, to answer queries on behalf of their co-authors and to relay any information back to their co-authors as necessary. This process ensures a clear communication channel and helps to avoid breaches in publication ethics, such as, multiple submissions to more than one journal or platform.

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Publication Ethics and Policies As part of the assessment process, editors also check that any submitted manuscripts have adhered to their editorial and publication policies. This includes, but is not limited to:

Plagiarism Many journals and platforms will run all submissions through a plagiarism checker, such as iThenticate. If significant parts of the text are found to match with published articles, then the editorial team will query this with the authors. In some cases, this can lead to rejection of the manuscript, so it is important to ensure your manuscript is original in content.

Data Availability It is becoming more common for journals and publishing platforms to ask for availability of data underlying the results of study. For instance, at PLOS journals, F1000Research and Wellcome Open Research platforms this is mandatory, while some others may request this only for particular study types.

Ethical Approval and Consent

All studies involving humans, animals and even plants need to be conducted ethically, and where applicable formal ethical approval is required from an appropriate ethics committee prior to conducting the study. Therefore, one of

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the most consistent editorial policies across journals and publishing platforms, is the requirement to include a statement to outline where approval was obtained from. In addition, details about participants informed consent to be part of the study, and also consent to have any identifiable information published, also needs to be included. Typically, articles will not be published without this mandatory information.

Registration If you are conducting a clinical trial, it should be registered in a publicly accessible registry before the trial has started. This is recommended by the ICMJE and many journals (for example, The BMJ ) will not publish trials that have been registered after participants have been recruited. Others may consider publication but with some conditions to ensure transparency. For instance, the date the study was registered must be included to make it clear what stage the trial was at when it was registered (e.g. BioMed Central journals, F1000Research and Wellcome Open Research). Increasingly, journals and publishing platforms are also asking authors to prospectively register systematic reviews in the PROSPERO registry (or similar).

Useful resources: For understanding peer review – If you have not experienced the peer review process before, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with what reviewers are asked to look for. Most journals and publishing platforms will include information about their peer review process on their homepages, which will give you insight into what reviewers are asked to look for. Learn how to become a peer reviewer – There are now some useful resources available to help inexperienced reviewers gain insight and experience. Publons has launched a training course via the Publons Academy, which can be particularly useful. In addition, there are some ‘how to peer review’ tutorials available in this BMC Medicine collection, which breaks down the role of the peer reviewer in more detail. General tips on peer review are also available in this guide from F1000Research. Sense about Science often run workshops for early career researches to introduce them to peer review.

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The peer review system

Understanding Open Peer Review – There are various types of Open Peer Review, and some journals offer this as an option for authors (for example Nature Communications) or reviewers (for example PLOS journals). For some journals open peer review is mandatory, and they publish the prepublication history with signed reviewer reports alongside the article (for example BMC Medicine), or will also include the editorial decision letter (for example The BMJ). Post-publication peer review publishing platforms such as F1000Research and Wellcome Open Research publish all content associated with an article – for instance, the submitted version including data, signed reviewer reports, author responses and revised articles.

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F1000Research publication process

General tips and writing tools – There are numerous resources available online, but a particularly comprehensive overview is available from Elsevier here. Various writing and collaboration tools are also available, such as F1000Workspace, Mendeley and Overleaf.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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Will Rankings Ever Change Higher Education? A Short History of a Long Shot Simon Linacre

9 June 2017 Key words: Emerald Publishing, Impact, Inside Higher Education, Ranking, MBA, Roger Martin, Journals, Academic Publishing, Higher Education.

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A

recent article published in Inside Higher Education (IHE) has reported on a ‘call for change’ in business schools by 21 academics, arguing that organisations within higher education should not be ranked in simple number order, and that the rankings themselves are biased in favour of traditional postgraduate course delivery. The piece is interesting as it argues not for an alternative ranking, but for a number of tools and resources that would enable better decision-making. This includes the release and sharing of data that would promote a more democratic approach and support prospective students in making more informed choices about their business schools. This is not the first such protest, and it certainly won’t be the last. I have worked in publishing in various forms for nearly 20 years, and for the last 14 years I have worked for Emerald Publishing, which covers areas such as business, management, education, engineering and other social sciences. Business schools like no other sector in higher education seem to be obsessed by rankings, and this latest call to action is one of a long line for fair, accurate and poignant proposals to change the way they operate. It is likely it will be as unsuccessful as all of its predecessors. The daddy of them all was the book Managers not

MBAs by management guru Henry Mintzberg, which called out almost all major business schools for not teaching managers the right skills for their actual job. Rather, Mintzberg argued, they filled their head with theories and rhetoric and left them wholly unprepared for disasters such as the Global Financial Crisis. As such, business school rankings were useless. In the same year, Harvard Business Review published another take down of the business school establishment in a now legendary article entitled How Business Schools Lost their Way by Warren Bennis and James O’Toole. This paper called for a greater emphasis on business ethics in the curriculum and a move away from traditional MBA subjects. Like Mintzberg, it met with many nods of approval, with barely a single change made by the top business schools desperate to maintain ‘quality metrics’, and their bottom line. And while business schools stayed true to the traditional MBA rubric, bums kept their places on seats at ever higher annual fees, with the $100k MBA soon to be a reality. In 2013, another eminence grise of North American business schools, Clay Christensen of Harvard, decided to weigh into the debate with a book on disruption

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in higher education and a bold prediction in an interview with Wired magazine. I quote, “And then I think higher education is just on the edge of the crevasse. Generally, universities are doing very well financially, so they don’t feel from the data that their world is going to collapse. But I think even five years from now these enterprises are going to be in real trouble.” So, in just 12 months it is all going to come crashing down, is it? Hmm. My favourite ‘we’re all going to hell in a handcart’ article about business schools and rankings is by Roger Martin, a former dean of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto. Published in 2012, he doesn’t quite say everyone is doomed, but looks at the narrow research published in that most elite ranking list, the FT 45 (now expanded to a dizzying 50 journals). He reckons – and it really is back of a cigarette packet stuff – that the annual cost of ‘unactionable research’ in those journals (for instance, research that does not actually benefit anyone in business from knowing) is a whopping $600m. In other words, if those academics had turned their attention to researching something useful for business and were rewarded for it, rather than not quite proving the 17 hypotheses in their theoretical paper, then the world as a whole might be better off. However, while he was criticised for his maths, Martin did more than most to put his finger on the problem, which was that despite this colossal potential waste of money every year, the structures in place in the business school world and higher education in general mean that change is very difficult to implement. Universities are tied to funding that depends on traditional forms of quality metrics, and publishers try and publish as much of the research deemed as good quality so that universities will pay for access. Arguments, therefore, for new metrics and new tools to identify quality and relevance, will almost inevitably founder as there are few incentives in place to encourage systemic change. Emerald Publishing is celebrating 50 years in existence in 2017, and it was founded all those years ago by academics at the Bradford School of Management who wanted to ensure journals and articles were published in business and management that were not overly theoretical, and had a grounding in the way business was really done. This year we have started to invest in how to progress the ‘impact agenda’, bringing organisations and academia much closer together by identifying how and why research can be more integrated in their approaches. Hopefully this will support some real change in higher education, however small, and move the debate on from whatever the latest ranking says. Image Reference: Unsplash

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Positioning Publishing Studies in the Cultural Economy Stevie Marsden

13 July 2017 Key words: Cultural Economy, Publishing, Publishing Studies, CAMEo, Christian Hjorth-Anderson, Innovation, Simone Murray, David Hesmondhalgh, Sarah Brouillette.

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nyone who is conducting research into the intricacies of the contemporary literary economy and publishing industry has likely questioned exactly where their research ‘belongs’. Simone Murray’s seminal 2007 essay Publishing Studies: Critically Mapping Research in Search of a Discipline adeptly highlighted the near constant push and pull that can be felt by the contemporary publishing studies scholar. More recently, Daniel Boswell wrote an excellent piece for this site entitled What We Write About When We Write About Publishing which once again interrogated the difficulties of defining Publishing Studies as a field, calling it an ‘often ill-defined premise’ and noting that ‘when it comes to clarifying the purpose and boundaries of the pedagogical and theoretical side of the field […] definitions are harder to come by’. The largely interdisciplinary and multi-method approaches taken by those of us conducting research which falls under the umbrella of ‘Publishing Studies’ broadens the opportunities open to us for collaboration with both academic and industry partners, and expands the potential impact our research can make (both in terms of cultural/industry policy change and further development of critical discourse of the field). But while such scope makes our research exciting and innovative, it can make defining our research difficult.

University of Leicester © Matt Neale

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In May 2017 I attended a Cultural Economy research workshop at CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, University of Leicester, where I am currently working as a Research Associate. The purpose of the afternoon was to bring together researchers based in the East Midlands whose research interests are largely focused within the cultural industries. It was a select group, whose expertise ranged from cultural policy, art activism, music and geography, to infrapolitics, business and employment, as well as my own research of the literary economy. It was a brilliant afternoon of critical discourse, friendly and encouraging feedback, and shared research with colleagues from all over the region. I would be lying, however, if I didn’t say there were a few moments when I questioned where my work ‘fit’ amongst the other research that was being shared and discussed. I was presenting some of my own current research into online celebrity book clubs, particularly those of the YouTube star Zoella (which is a collaborative project with Maxine Branagh-Miscampbell, a colleague from the University of Stirling) and the social media mogul Kim Kardashian-West, and while I knew my audience were engaged and interested in my research, the tiny devil on my shoulder whispered, ‘It doesn’t belong here’. That said, even though there were moments when it felt like my research didn’t quite fit alongside that of my co-presenters at the research workshop, there were also moments of remarkable (and, to me, surprising) synchronicity. In nearly all of the research discussed at the workshop I recognised critical theory (Bourdieu, Foucault), methodologies (both quantitative and qualitative ranging from statistical data analyses to semi-structured interviews and examinations of social media) and questions (Who holds power in the Cultural Economy? How do people engage with culture? How is value articulated and circulated in the Cultural Economy?) that related directly to my own work on the literary economy. One paper in particular, about the independent music industry in the Northwest of England, struck a chord with me since the analysis paralleled so precisely developments in regional independent book publishing, particularly in relation to deliberate disassociations with London, which is traditionally (and erroneously) considered to be the centre of cultural production (publishing included) in the UK. What I found so intriguing about this paper was the fact that it came from Dr Allan Watson, a lecturer in Human Geography, who is based at the Department of Geography at Loughborough University. I would likely never have come across this research by Watson, and therefore would never have noticed the equivalences between the independent publishing and music industries, if it wasn’t for the Cultural Economy research workshop we were invited to speak at arranged by the Director and Deputy Director of CAMEo, Professor Mark Banks and Dr. Doris Eikhof.

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Outside shot of Pilkington library, Loughborough University © Rich Grundy

Being brought together with scholars from fields that are not commonly associated with Publishing Studies, or the literary economy, encouraged me to reconsider where I position my research and, indeed, where Publishing Studies is positioned in relation to wider critical and sociological discourses surrounding the Cultural (and Creative) Economies. Of course, this isn’t the first time the publishing industry has been recognised as being part of the Cultural Industries and I can provide a few examples. In David Hesmondhalgh’s leading textbook on the subject, The Cultural Industries , he is explicit in his inclusion of ‘print and electronic publishing: including books, online databases, information services, magazines and newspapers’ as one of the seven ‘core cultural industries’. Some Publishing Studies scholars may wince at the oversimplification of the categorisation of what Hesmondhalgh counts as publishing products, but the fact remains that publishing is at the centre of the cultural industries since their primary function is ‘the industrial production and circulation of texts’. Similarly, in her 2014 book Literature and the Creative Economy, Sarah Brouillette reiterates ‘how literature has reflexively exemplified, internalised, and critiqued vocabularies and phenomena that are integral to our unfolding creative-economy era’. Finally, there is a chapter dedicated to Publishing by Christian Hjorth-Anderson in A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition , edited by Ruth Towse, alongside chapters discussing Cinema, Broadcasting, Museums, Performing Arts, Opera and Ballet. What is problematic, however, is that Hjorth-Anderson argues that:

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“The knowledge about publishing is very scattered and comes almost entirely from outside the academic world, with Caves (2000) as an exception. The material relating to publishing is enormous, including official reports from various countries, memoirs, biographies and a large amount of anecdotal evidence, but solid knowledge based on research published in academic journals is scarce.” This, of course, simply isn’t true. But is it surprising there is such disconnect between Cultural Industries and Publishing Studies scholarship when there is little explicit interaction between the two? Indeed, despite Hesmondhalgh and Brouillette’s eloquent illustrations of the publishing industry’s position within the Cultural Economy, academic contributions to Publishing Studies are rarely described as being part of the wider critical discourse concerning the Cultural Economies. It is rarer still to see Publishing Studies research sitting alongside its counterparts in the Cultural Economy in journals, conference papers and round table panels. While each scholarly field may have its own set of experts, journals and favoured publishers, many of the themes discussed in relation to the various facets of the Cultural Economy, such as markets, production, value, audiences and economics are the very themes Publishing Studies scholars consider in their research. What I would argue, therefore, is that the publishing industry should be considered a key feature of the Cultural Economy and defined in such terms regularly and persuasively. The publishing industry’s role within the Cultural Economy is obvious, but it needs to be clearly articulated, both in academic, trade and cultural policy discourses. As I have indicated, examinations of the Cultural Economy are, at times, doing this, but it feels like Publishing Studies scholarship hasn’t quite made this connection and it isn’t utilising the relationship. Building upon these already existing foundations could make it easier for Publishing Studies scholars to position their work alongside peers who are conducting research into other aspects of the Cultural Economy (such as Theatre, Video Games, Music, Film & Television, Radio) and, in the long term, such associations may lead to productive developments within these respective fields as scholars could share methodologies, practices and critical frameworks within the same spaces, such as journals, conferences and institutional departments.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License Image Reference: Unsplash

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The Sleaze-O-Meter: Sexual Harassment in the Publishing Industry Claire Squires & Beth Driscoll

8 March 2018 Key words: Publishing, Publishing Studies, Sexual Harassment, Issues.

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s research collaborators, our ethos is to investigate literary culture using playful, arts-informed methods. We’ve developed a collection of quirky objects and ideas, including a set of board and card games based on book festivals; a deliberately confusing event feedback form; and numerous Twitter personae and bots. The indirectness of play has liberated us to articulate some fairly sharp critiques, including through satirical means.

Satire is a strategy that undermines entrenched centres of power, a tradition that stretches from William Hogarth’s political cartoons, to Orwell’s Animal Farm , to the feminist “creative complainers” of the art world, The Guerilla Girls. Digital technologies bring rapidity and amplification to 21st century satire. @ manwhohasitall’s pointed tweets, for example, reverse the stereotyping, selfhelp discourse of media texts aimed at women. These tweets have included a series about sexual harassment: “My handsome younger brother had his penis grabbed by his boss, the powerful & famous Claire, CEO. He’s not sure what to do. Suggestions?”. Creative responses—whether satirical, artistic, or just offbeat—can be critical interventions in social issues. In the immediate aftermath of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, the two of us attended the Frankfurt Book Fair. Frankfurt is the largest global rights fair in the world, where publishers, literary agents and others connected to the book trade gather to do business, network, and socialise. It’s an intense manifestation of book commerce: not only are hundreds of thousands of new titles on display, but companies and people “market” themselves, creating businessto-business connections. As academic observers with well-developed publishing industry networks, we noted physical and interpersonal aspects of the fair, and wondered what the Frankfurt School would make of it all. We attended several alcohol-fuelled stand parties, where we noticed lots of young women in colourful dresses and older men in suits. We were invited into the Business Club, a space that has a small stage with fringed curtains and an aura of power. In Hall 6, one of us was bailed up and asked by an elderly American publisher if she had dated him in the past; the other was invited by an exhibitor to admire the size of his stand. We observed multiple moments of sleaze across the halls as men looked women up and down, and took advantage of their captive positions on stands to talk at them for extended periods; a casual appropriation of women’s bodies and attention.

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At the Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club

The Frankfurt Book Fair

As part of the outpouring of stories of sexual harassment and abuse in the wake of Weinstein, there have been several reports, interviews and surveys of workers in the global publishing industries. These reveal a constant low level of sleaze, and some appalling stories of abuse. Like many other media industries, the publishing industry is largely staffed by women. However, women mostly occupy entry and middle-management posts, with senior positions held by men. An Australian editor commented upon the power differential this creates: “This is an industry with older, established men in the corner offices and young women working themselves to the ground in the cubicles, trying to earn themselves a break; that is, an industry where sexual harassment based on power differentials is bound to flourish”. A French illustrator tweeted “‘On a quelqu’un d’autre pour le boulot sauf si tu viens chez moi’. Editeur parisien, j’allais illustrer un livre de M. Butor #balancetonporc” (translation: “‘We have someone else for the job unless you come to mine’. French publisher, I was going to illustrate a book by M. Butor”. #balancetonporc is the French equivalent of the #MeToo hashtag). Public accusations of predatory behaviour have now been made against several powerful literary men, including Lorin Stein, editor of the Paris Review, and Jean-Claude Arnault, who has close connections to the Swedish Academy which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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This patriarchal structure is part of a broader picture of disadvantage for women in the literary field, which affects women’s chances of winning or being shortlisted for literary prizes, being reviewed, pay, and advancement. Feminist collective La Barbe satirises the repeated pattern of French literary prizes privileging men, with all the major prizes won by male writers in 2017; VIDA: Women in Literary Arts conducts an annual count of the gender of literary reviewers and reviewees, shaming those with statistics skewed against women (including the London Review of Books and the Paris Review). Jobs in publishing are scarce and attractive, a common feature of creative industries which correlates with exploitative work practices including unpaid internships. This makes it risky for people to report sexual harassment and abuse, for fear they may lose their job and not get another, as reports from several different countries makes evident. “I just wanted it to go away,” one US professional said, “I should have just left the job. I tried—I applied to dozens of [other] jobs”. Even for those who are able to leave, the close networks of publishing mean that perpetrators will probably be encountered again, re-traumatising survivors. “I was directly propositioned by older male colleagues, groped, and asked if I would be interested in having an affair [...] I’ve since worked with many of those men again at different companies”, said a British publisher. Svensk Bokhandel commented that “standing up and talking about harassment and abuse is not an easy matter”, leading to a culture of silence within a “small and fairly closed industry”. The reports revealed that those working within sales, marketing and publicity are most at risk, with high-status male authors and senior men in positions of power most likely to be among the perpetrators. In the UK, 66% of publicists responding to The Bookseller’s survey reported they had been subjected to harassment or abuse; in Australia 75% of respondents in sales and 74% in marketing and publicity reported harassment. A respondent wrote, “One of our company’s focuses is ‘author care’, which for a publicist means make the authors happy no matter what the cost. Publicists are essentially pimped out and if you dare complain about it, the big impressive campaigns will be taken off you.” Reading these accounts, we were reminded of Lynn Coady’s A Dog in Clothes, a short story that produces a jolt of discomfort about structural gender disadvantage in the publishing industry (from Hellgoing, 2013). In this story, a young female publicist spends her day accompanying a famous male author who is on tour in Toronto, and grates under continual harassment, including from editors, radio and television hosts. Speaking about her story, Coady has said that publicists “tend to be young women who are basically run off their feet. There’s something caste-y about that. It’s a certain kind

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of young woman: educated, and on her way up the ladder, but in the meantime we’re going to use her as a dog’s body”. The publishing industry’s events-based culture, involving substantial work after normal working hours, and often with alcohol, increases risk. “Male colleagues exploit the fact that ours is a ‘relaxed’ industry,’” said a British publisher. In the US, one editor discussed the historical foundations of the link between publishing’s social nature and abusive behaviour, stemming from the “industry’s reputation as a place where anything goes, which adds to the glamour of the business.’” As she reflected in Publishers Weekly:

“The publishing industry [of the 1980s] had quite a reputation of heavy partying, everyone sleeping with each other...I have heard all kinds of stories—mostly from men—about how awesome this time was. I have never heard from women that it was a particularly sexually progressive time. I think the men felt that they had a free pass and that it was better because it was less politically correct.” The conviviality of the publishing industry is tied to its abusive behaviours. Literary festivals and other book-based events away from the office are often constructed as an attractive aspect of the job, but for one correspondent, “event settings are where harassment is most likely to occur [...] Book publishing, as a social industry with lots of launches and public readings lends itself to these kinds of abuse with little accountability.” The publishing industry has its own set of available responses to the wave of #MeToo revelations, many of which are being implemented: surveys and reports, sackings, the provision of guidelines, mentoring and training for staff. But what role can academics play? As we noted micro-moment after micro-moment of sleaze at the Frankfurt Book Fair, we saw our contacts on social media sharing #MeToo accounts. Things clicked into place. We were struck by the same phenomenon that one survey respondent called the “white noise of daily harassment”, a wearying and damaging experience. We wondered how to represent or even play with this participant observation. Could we arm women at the Fair with old-fashioned tally counters, the sort used to count passengers on public transport or numbers in a crowd, for them to click each time they encountered sleaze? A low-tech SleazeO-Meter? How would it feel to click after each mansplain or leer? Would there be a tiny satisfaction in the material act of punching the button, somewhat akin to an eye-roll? How might this private, low-tech act of resistance complement the digitally-enabled sharing of #MeToo? How many times would the Sleaze-O-Meters

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be clicked in the course of an hour, a day, the whole Book Fair? What would, or could, we do with the data? How would we transform our thinking into scholarly direct action? The Sleaze-O-Meter is a non-actualised project, a think-piece. But we’ve acquired the first six hand-held, mechanical tally counters. A creative, playful intervention is forthcoming.

Sleaze-O-Meter

Acknowledgments: We thank Michelle Goldsmith for research assistance, and Emilie Lassus, Pamela Nybacka and Zandra Thuvesson for help with finding material from the publishing industries in France and Sweden. (Thuvesson is currently compiling accounts of harassment and abuse in Sweden for an article.) Research at Frankfurt Book Fair was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP160101308. For more on our methods, see Beth Driscoll and Claire Squires, Serious Fun: Gaming the Book Festival, Memoires du Livre/Studies in Book Culture, forthcoming Spring 2018. Further details of our work can be found at https://ullapoolism.wordpress. com/.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License Image Reference: Unsplash

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Thema: the Subject Category Scheme for the Global Book Trade Chris Saynor

24 April 2018 Key words: Thema, Category Scheme, Global Book Trade.

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I

n the book trade one important aspect of the marketing of books to potential clients is giving accurate information about the subject or genre of the book in question. This has been done by publishers, librarians and booksellers over the years. Publishers will create catalogues or marketing material showing the subject. Librarians will follow clear and precise cataloguing rules to attribute subject codes to the titles in their collections. Booksellers will place titles in subject sections to help clients find the titles. With the growth of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) various book trade schemes were developed to provide standard subject headings and codes, to allow for easy identification of subjects and tracking of sales statistics.

© Tom Gauld www.tomgauld.com

These schemes were usually created by national bodies, such as the BIC subject scheme launched in 1997 in the UK or the BISAC codes created for the US market in 1995. There are equivalents to these schemes in many countries. Since then there has been an explosion in online resellers and digital versions of content. There is more and more content available to a greater number of consumers in an increasingly global market. The growth of this global market has been the background to creation of the standard message format to transmit book metadata in the global book supply chain, ONIX. This standard allows publishers to communicate the same information

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to any trade partner anywhere in the world. However, a publisher trading in multiple markets and with retail clients who also trade in many countries would have to send various codes from various book trade subject schemes. The BIC code for the UK, BISAC for the US, CLIL for France, NUR for the Netherlands, WGS for Germany and so on. The relevant code list in ONIX (list 27) of recognised subject schemes is one of the longest. This is a lot of work for publishers, data aggregators or retailers. Often, they create mappings from the schemes to their own scheme or to a principle one. This however means a lot of mapping and potential for loss of detail or confusion. The need to reduce the duplication of work where more than one scheme is in use and the elimination of the costly and imprecise mapping process was the background for the idea that the international book trade needed a standard scheme to simplify the communication of the subject codes around the globe. The initial idea was an attempt to ‘internationalise’ BIC, which is very British and orientated towards the UK book trade. Modified versions of BIC were being used in Spain, Italy and other countries and during 2011 and early 2012, a proposal for a more internationally-balanced version of the BIC scheme named IBIC emerged. IBIC itself was never released but it led to the formation of a much larger group of stakeholders, including the BISG from the USA and BookNet Canada, who were willing to work on a global scheme that ultimately became Thema. The goal was to create a scheme that was multi-cultural and multi-lingual, applicable to all parts of the book supply chain and flexible enough to allow each market to retain its unique cultural voice, while remaining a unified and simple-toadopt scheme. It was, and still is, suitable to be used alongside existing national schemes. Thema has a governance structure where it is managed and maintained by EDItEUR, who also manage the ONIX standard. There are a number of national or regional interest groups who represent the interests of their markets and who send representatives to the Thema International Steering Committee who make suggestions and decisions about the development of Thema ensuring it remains global and relevant. Thema has a hierarchy of subjects. There are 20 top level categories, each subdivide into many sub-categories. Each of these has an alphanumeric code and an associated heading. In some cases, they may also have an associated note. There are about 3000 of these subject headings. The hierarchy implies that books should be classified to the most detailed appropriate level (not necessarily the most detailed possible level), and a book classified as – for

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example – AGA (History of art) is also automatically and more generally associated with the AG (Fine arts: treatments & subjects) and A (The arts) categories. The headings have been translated into about 20 languages so far. The codes can be transmitted to any partner without the meaning of the category changing. In addition to the headings, there are post-coordinated ‘qualifiers’ that can be used to refine the meaning of the main subject categories. There are 6 of these qualifier types:

1.

Places - where the book is about or takes place.

2.

Language - the language the book is about and not the language the book is in.

The time period the book is about, or the action takes place in.

3.

4.

Educational level qualifier - the grade, exam, type of education etc.

5. Interest qualifier gives an idea of a group that may be interested by this title, e.g. 15 years old and up, African-Americans, Buddhists, Lesbians etc.

6.

Style qualifiers - which are used with the arts subjects mainly.

Finally, there are ‘national extensions’ within the qualifiers. These are a very important part of Thema and allow for a local feel to a global scheme. The extension codes are arranged so that national extensions can be truncated to leave a meaningful ‘global level’ qualifier if the national extension is too specific. The way that Thema works allows meaning to be built up by using one or more subject codes plus qualifiers and this ensemble carries the ‘subject’ of the book. Subject classification provides the core context within which other search strategies can be used. It may not be visible to the end user, but it underpins the search and retrieval logic. The basic function of any subject scheme is to provide a key access point for research and discovery for consumers, to enrich product information between trading partners, to inform purchasing decisions, to enable a common language for sales reporting, to identify trends and so on. Thema provides these things on a global level. For more information about Thema click here and to see the Thema subject codes click here. Image Reference: Unsplash

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From a Whisper to a Roar: How Publishers are Maximising the Potential of their Audio Publishing Louise Newton

10 May 2018 Key words: Audiobooks, Podcasts, Publishing.

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udio has the advantage to reach beyond the scope of traditional publishing and to attract new audiences. With smart speakers on the rise as well as virtual reality, publishers are continuing to explore the potential of audio and to push the boundaries of traditional publishing.

The exponential growth of audio in recent years can be attributed to many factors, the largest of which being technological advancement. However, while it’s never been easier to download and listen to an audiobook, discoverability has been one of the biggest problems publishers have faced. Back in 2016, Louisa Livingstone, group insight and innovation development director at Hachette, discussed market research from Hachette that revealed that many wanted to see more advertising for audiobooks, with 23% of potential listeners and 40% of current listeners saying that they would like to see more advertising around audiobooks. Today, while the physical trade CD market is virtually non-existent, resulting in limited presence in bookshops, audio publishing’s digital reach has increased. Podcasts have attributed to the audiobook fanbase on both sides of the Atlantic. At this year’s Quantum Conference, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) found that US podcast listeners listened to twice the number of audiobooks last year as those who just listened to audiobooks. While 44% of American adults have listened to one complete audiobook, 68% of all podcast listeners have listened to a complete audiobook. Digital radio, in many ways, has been a ‘gateway’ into spoken narrative. With audiobooks becoming more digitally accessible, so has the freedom to develop new ways of reading. Amazon technology such as Whispersync allows the habitual ebook consumer to listen to audiobooks at their leisure without signing up to a subscription service. The ease in which audiobooks can be consumed on the go has been a major component in audio retailer’s marketing strategies and is still of huge importance to consumers. However, one of the most striking statistics around the expansion of audio publishing in recent years came from Lawrence Howell of Audible UK. In 2016 Howell reported that a staggering 39% of UK audiobook listeners had increased the amount of titles they read in print and ebook for mats. It has therefore been increasingly imperative that the publishing industry acknowledges the financial and creative profitability audio presents.

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Publishers in the UK have been making great waves in increasing the awareness around audiobooks as an accessible alternative to physical and e-publications. Last year UK publishers combined their efforts for the first time with the Love Audio campaign, which generated an estimated 16 million impressions on social media. The campaign, designed to celebrate audiobooks and audio publishing received engagement from UK publishers Hachette, Penguin Random House and Harper Collins among others; and went to great lengths to reach consumers via the hashtag #loveaudio. The campaign proved so successful that it’s due to run again in June 2018. This year’s London Book Fair also proved no exception when it came to shouting about audio. Audio was featured for the first time at the CAMEO awards of London Book and Screen Week at an event sponsored by Audible, and the firstever Audiobook Publisher Award was awarded at the International Excellence Awards; with a shortlist including audio publishers from the USA, China and Brazil. The winning campaign from Penguin Random House Audio USA for the audiobook recording of Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders was nothing short of outstanding. With 166 assembled voices, including members of their publicity team, it’s by far the largest of any audiobook cast and included a virtual-reality excerpt in The Times.

Furthermore, an entire afternoon was dedicated to audio at the Quantum Conference 2018. As David Shelley, Hachette CEO highlighted in his keynote speech: there are a “dizzying array of demographics listening” to audiobooks and in five years’ time audio will surely prove to be an absolutely central part of publishing. With mainstream news outlets such as The BBC, The Guardian and The Times featuring audio increasingly in their reporting, sustaining the co n v e r sa t ion a rou n d au dio publ i shi ng conti nues t o be proven to be k e y t o g ro w t h .

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However perhaps most importantly of all, this awareness extends to our authors. Involving an author in the production of their audiobook is hugely important, not only when it comes to marketing their book (e.g. having the author share a clip from their audiobook on social media) but also as an aspect of author care. Having an author share photos and videos of themselves recording their audiobook on social media continues to drive awareness around the book, while blogging about their casting experiences as in the case of Clare Mackintosh with the recording of Let Me Lie (read by Game of Thrones actor Gemma Whelan) helps to bring their existing fanbase to a new reading medium. In short, when considering the impact of audiobooks and the potential still to achieve, audio isn’t simply a small, growing area of publishing but rather holds the answer to overall publishing growth; bringing with it a new market of listening readers.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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The Realities of Publishing Without Experience or a London Postcode Rebecca Fortuin

31 May 2018 Key words: Publishing, Inclusivity, Realities, London, Experience.

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round a year ago I was working part-time in retail, spending all m y free time working towards an online degree in English with T h e Open University. Little did I know that the job application I had sent off on a whim was about to land me a job in one of the UK’s top publishing houses. In December 2016 I was hired for my current position as Editorial Assistant for Penguin Random House Audio UK through an experimental blind hiring process. Before then I had never considered publishing as anything more than a dream. I thought that the only way to access the industry was to complete work experience, often unpaid. This wasn’t an option; I was from the Midlands and taking on unpaid work in London would be costly. When I saw the job post on Facebook I felt it was written for me. Rather than an overwhelming list of requirements, it focused instead on two elements: a love of audio and an organised mindset. Though I had both those traits, what convinced me to apply was that it explicitly stated a degree was not needed. To apply for the role, I had to submit a CV. Yet instead of a cover letter I was given five questions to answer. The first few asked to me to explain why I liked audio and the remaining two were scenario tasks to demonstrate my organisational skills. I had so much fun answering these questions and I later found out that my answers were all my manager saw at the first stage. She scored these with no other indication of who I was, not even my name. She didn’t even see my CV until I had already been selected for the in-person interviews. Before the face-to-face interviews I had to record time-limited answers to s e l e c t e d q u e s t i o n s . Talking to a camera rather than a person felt strange, but it did allow me to focus on my answers as I could record them in the comfort of my own room. The in-person interviews were the most t r a d i t i o n a l p a r t o f t h e p r o c e s s and the most nerve-wracking. Suddenly I had to look employable from head to toe. I’d never worked in an office before which meant buying a whole new outfit. The interview was at 9am so I had to stay the night in London. Thankfully, my sister was a student in the city so I had a place to sleep and was able to get a bus directly to the office. When I got there, the interviewers were welcoming and the questions were similar for jobs I’d had in the past. I left feeling confident. The second interview was scheduled at short notice: the week of Christmas, otherwise known as the biggest week for retail. I had

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to beg my co-worker to switch shifts with me so I could make the interview. I had no time or money to buy yet another interview outfit so I had to borrow a dress from my mum that didn’t quite fit. My now manager escorted me to the second interview and we clicked instantly, but as we entered the room I saw my CV on the table and started to panic. Embarrassingly the formatting on it had gone haywire and it looked a mess. The other interviewer then asked me questions about it. All I could think of was my zero-publishing experience, erratic job history and the fact that I had not completed my online degree. I left feeling like they had finally realised I didn’t belong. Little did I know that out of 350 applicants, many of whom had more education and experience than me, I had just secured the role. Publishing is often presented as an exclusive community that is only accessible to a select few. If that image doesn’t change many people, like myself, will never see it as a viable career possibility. On an incredibly simply level, companies need to look at the language they use in job adverts, particularly at entry level, and understand where they are alienating possible applicants. Existing mind-sets should also be challenged in what is expected from entry-level workers. Office skills can be taught and any role should factor in on-the-job training. A greater focus needs to be on how applicants can challenge a company rather than how well they can fit it. Progress a lso n eeds to b e made t o show t hat publ i shi ng exi st s out s i de L o n d o n . Ma n y smaller pu blishers are based i n af f ordabl e ci ti es and fre e la nc e w or k ca n b e done remotely. These different paths into publishing should be celebrated and shared to highlight that the university and work experience route is not the only option. On a larger scale, careers in the arts should be framed as any other career would. There are areas with limited roles yet there are skil l s that you can l ear n w i t h hard w ork and p r a c t ic e . I t is an open field to anyone who can put in the work. This is why I’m personally so passionate about hiring in publishing becoming more inclusive. I wouldn’t have been hired on my CV alone, but I’ve brought a fresh perspective to our team exactly because I didn’t come from the traditional publishing route. There are hundreds of others like me not considering publishing because it feels like it’s an industry that’s not for them. We’re getting the same ideas, the same books, the same audiences because the same people are being hired. If publishing wants to survive in an increasing technological and more diverse world it needs original

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mind-sets brought to the table. What’s shocking is how slow many are to realise that many companies, including the ‘Big Five’, still don’t pay for their work experience. Penguin is definitely making these changes, but there are still issues with interviewees not being able to afford to get there, stay the night before or afford appropriate clothes. There is a whole range of voices out there that are still unheard. Something has to change and fast.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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Diversity and Inclusivity in Children’s Literature: The difference between publishing diverse authors and having diverse characters in children’s publishing Aimée Felone

23 June 2018

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T

ake a search on The Bookseller’s website for anything referring to “inclusivity” or “diversity” and you’ll find pages upon pages of articles, interviews, and opinion pieces about what seems to be the current hot topic for the Industry. It’s no secret that publishing does indeed have a diversity and inclusivity problem; its workforce is predominately dominated by the educated white middle class and when looking at children’s publishing its authors are very much from the same background. This problem is due, in part, to publishing claiming to be “a place for everyone” yet doing nothing to cultivate such an environment. There is an increasing and almost overwhelming amount of noise and energy given to panels and conferences on diversity and inclusivity solutions, yet the workforce and those who are given permanent access to roles continues to be dominated by a homogeneous group of individuals. Issues around access to publishing have resulted in a London-centric Industry that focuses more on talking about its problems rather than taking steps to make effective lasting change. Not discrediting or disregarding the hard work that has been put in place by the few, The Good Lit Agency, Stripes Publishing and Penguin’s Write Now programme to name a few recent ventures and longstanding schemes whose primary aim is opening up the industry, there is a move towards sidestepping the gatekeeper to allow different voices and people in. However, the facts are that the numbers just don’t compare. Children’s publishing equates for 40% of the entire Industry, why then when considering the number of UK based Young Adult books by People of Colour were there only nine published in 2017 and nine planned for this year? Who writes whose story and what characters are being featured in children’s books has been the centre of the OWN voices and sensitivity reader debate. OWN voices refers to the Twitter hashtag created by Corinne Duyvis, YA author of Otherbound and was created to highlight stories about people from marginalised and minority communities, written by members from within these communities themselves. Without being reduced to stereotypes or caricatures, it is the accurate depiction of a person from a minority group that is at the centre of the promotion of OWN voice authors. In this way celebrating and highlighting diverse authors in Children’s publishing gives often time debut authors the push they need and gives children the representation they deserve. On the other hand, authors from non-minority backgrounds are writing stories that feature diverse characters and ensuring their authenticity by making use of sensitivity readers. Sensitivity readers are enlisted to “sense check” as it were that the characters written are authentic and representative of their communities and

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that the voice adopted by the author is a genuine depiction of what their life would be like. It is our aim at Knights Of to make room for both diverse characters and diverse authors whilst simultaneously opening the doors to the Industry for people who want to work within it. In publishing inclusively, we are making room for every voice to be heard and are focusing on a diversity that spans not only race but also gender, ability and accessibility. The team that works on a book are just as important as the characters that feature within the story and the author themselves. We’re committing to improving the landscape of each department first and foremost, by hiring people from as diverse a background as possible to ensure that their voice is heard when decisions are made. We’re committing to providing an open space for authors of every background to find a publishing home with us by removing as many barriers to entry as possible. In not requiring our authors to be agented, we’re doing away with the expectation that you have to know the traditional way of doing things and are trying to be as open as possible to as many people as possible. With the topic of diversity and inclusivity growing some may argue that in giving so much attention to what the industry is lacking, we’re failing to see what it’s doing well. This is a valid point and the achievements of the few shouldn’t be overlooked by the failures of the many. However, and until the achievements outweigh the disproportionate number of instances whereby we’ve failed to give minority children equal representation, we have to focus on actual ways to break down the invisible barriers that prevent people from entering the workforce and getting their work published.

Image Reference: Unsplash and thebookseller.com

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The Changing Landscape of Australian Writers Festivals Alexandra Dane & Millicent Weber 10 May 2019 Key words Writers Festivals, Australia, Australian Writers Festivals, Australian Writers, Literary Field, Melbourne, Brisbane, Bourdieu, Writers, Literature, Australian Literature, Diversity

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W

hat is a writers festival if not a celebration, an interrogation, an exploration of writing? Cicero’s rhetorical triad contained three components: docere, delectare, movere; or teach, entertain, move. These are traditionally considered the three goals of writing, but the instructional and rational have, throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first century, been increasingly foregrounded and taken seriously; the entertaining and physically affective devalued. This trend is closely related to the cultural hierarchy between literary and popular writing; what literary scholar Karin Littau, in Theories of Reading: Books, Bodies Bibliomania refers to as the “mentalist bias which not only draws stringent lines of demarcation between high and popular literature. But seeks to exclude that which addresses itself to our bodies, in this case, the inner workings of the heart”. In terms like “penny dreadful” and “cheap thrills”, affordability and accessibility combine with the affective qualities of popular genre writing to become doubly pejorative references to such writing’s worthlessness. This preference for the intellectual and the serious over the physically affective, moving, and entertaining, exerted by the entrenched powers-that-be, if not by the general public, reflects a systemic preference for a supposedly masculine rationality, as well as for highbrow, difficult, and expensive books. Subconscious ideologies that reflect socially-constructed class and gender biases become entangled with questions of cultural taste. Julieanne Lamond similarly observes an essentialism to the Australian literary field where deep-rooted ideas around gender, importance and literary value underpin institutions of consecration and recognition and, therefore, reinforce the preference a particular kind of writing.

When we ask, then, “What is a writers festival?”, or “What, and who, is a writers festival for?”—questions that, during festival season, periodically reverberate throughout journalistic and social media—we invoke a long and loaded discussion about the purpose and the value of writing itself. One prevailing justification for writers festivals is that they operate as public fora for the discussion of serious and important ideas. They are rationalised through their ability to “speak truth to power”, and criticised for censorship or bias according to the same value system of truth and openness. Most of these readings of writers festival as public discussants connect them to an idealistic Habermasian public sphere, a space of rationality and polite conversation, the goals of which are, in Graeme Turner’s words, as a “social experience … [to] regulate, administer, mediate or ultimately resolve the division between public and private discourse”. While writers festivals do directly enter into this in-between space as mediators,

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the “private” and the “public” are complicated by both the inscrutability of the complex literary field and the public-facing nature of contemporary “private” citizens’ debate, much of which takes place on social media. Casting is neither desirable—it plays into cultural prejudices around intellectualisation, and privileges certain modes of discourse—nor an accurate representation of how these festivals function. As we’ve written elsewhere, writers festivals are better understood as “space[s] in which creators, contributors, intermediaries, and consumers come together to enact their engagement with literature, and ... in which these individuals accrue and mobilise symbolic and economic capital”. The broadening of literary festival programmes, the on-site festival bookshop and the competition for prestigious international keynotes— the struggle between the commercial and the literary identity of the event—are not symptoms of the decay of literature as an art form. They are small-scale expressions of the literary ecosystem at work. Ideas around power, literary worth, seriousness and rigour have long been perceived to exist within a polarised structure. Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of the field of cultural production describes a space where the avant-garde and prestigious producers occupy one end of the field; the commercial, popular and affective, the other. The politics of taste, together with the gendered and classist assumptions that surround high and low cultural designations, follow a similar pattern. The binary nature of this structure has been the subject of extensive criticism, particularly when Bourdieu’s framework is applied to contemporary Anglophone literary fields. Beth Driscoll, in The New Literary Middlebrow:

Tastemakers and Reading in the Twenty-First Century observes that the Australian literary field has a more complex structure where economic, cultural and symbolic capital work in concert to establish reputation and, ultimately, power in the field. Writers festivals simultaneously challenge the structure of the field of cultural production that Bourdieu articulated and allow us to watch interactions between all the players in the field: authors, readers, writers, booksellers, publishers, agents, publicists, literary critics, academics, and cultural commentators. And just like the literary field writ large, writers festivals are spaces where the struggle for power— the power to define what is culturally valuable—plays out again and again. Conceived in this manner, writers festivals operate in several ways in relation to the broader literary field. They take configuring stances, through their programming,

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that directly engage with the different debates taking place in this broader ecosystem. By operating as small-scale expressions, and by doing so in a very public and media-facing way, they also represent literary communities to themselves, as well as to an interested public. Through this, the tensions of the field, like those between commercial and aesthetic concerns and the power structures and struggles that frequently underlie such tensions, are made visible. Understanding festivals as field-revealing in this manner emphasises how important it is to take seriously and analyse carefully the conversations that emerge from writers festivals. Controversy-driven media commentary is not only a mechanism of publicity, but is also key to these processes of revelation and communication. We sit, once again, on the cusp of Australia’s festival season—the first major event of which for 2019 is the Adelaide Writers’ Week in March. And interrogating commentary on Australian writers festivals in 2018, primarily published in The Age, The Australian and The Guardian, communicates a level of disquiet that reveals the advent of a shift in the profile of power in the Australian literary field.

Writers festivals and the contemporary Australian literary field The overwhelming majority of the commentary surrounding two writers festivals, the Brisbane Writers Festival and the Melbourne Writers Festival, published in Australia’s most prominent newspapers, was written by, and cites heavily, individuals who hold significant power in the field. Prize-winning authors, publishing industry giants, veteran journalists, literary editors. Their respective contributions to this debate, even when supportive, convey a discomfort with the shifting balance of power that is evident in the programming decisions at the Brisbane and Melbourne writers festivals. Following the news that Germaine Greer and Bob Carr would not be included in the 2018 Brisbane Writers Festival programme, Richard Flanagan declared in The Guardian that “the courage to listen to different ideas is vanishing”. Citing the exclusion of Greer and Carr, along with Lionel Shriver’s 2016 opening night address and the subsequent conversations around cultural appropriation that it inspired, Flanagan contended that writers festivals are no longer a space for challenging ideas, and rather are events that “run with dogma, with orthodoxy, with the mob”.

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This op-ed communicates more than a desire to return to a time where ideas were “challenging”. There is a fear that permeates Flanagan’s writing. He describes the Australian writers festival as, “a foreign country occupied by a strange regime, hostile to what writing stands for”, and contends that festivals have “in recent years become less and less about books and more and more about using their considerable institutional power to enforce the new orthodoxies”. Flanagan appears to yearn for a time where festivals celebrated “writing that mattered”, the epistemological values of Franz Kafka and Miguel de Cervantes, and a particular profile of “serious” writer: white, male, middle-class. Speaking with Gay Alcorn in The Guardian, Louise Adler—who recently stepped down as publisher at Melbourne University Press over a change in the publisher’s direction— noted that “The common thread from publishers seems to be that this is not a writers’ festival”. The equivalence that prominent figures in the Australian literary landscape drew between these writers festivals and a turning away from “writing that matters” speaks to a desire to rearticulate literary worth, suggesting that the structure of power that defined Australia’s literary field throughout the twentieth century is shifting. Referring to the 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival programme, Tim Winton spoke of the notion that writers festivals are “being dumbed down”, and have become a “form of public entertainment”. This brings into sharp relief the kinds of values that Winton, among others, look for in Australian literary culture. For Winton, a real author will teach, but they will not entertain or move. And it is not just the critics of the festival programmes that echo Flanagan’s, Adler’s and Winton’s angst. Writing in The Age , Jason Steger expressed his support for the 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival programme, reassuring festival goers that Bob Carr, Barry Jones, Tim Winton and JM Coetzee were all appearing throughout the 10-day programme. In The Field of Cultural Production , Bourdieu describes the ways that powerful agents in a field maintain their power: “Those in dominant positions operate essentially defensive strategies, designed to perpetuate the status quo by maintaining themselves and the principles upon which their dominance is based”. Viewed through this lens, the elevated media attention paid to writers festival programming decisions can be seen as a defensive strategy. Winton’s desire to define what an “author” is is particularly interesting in this light. As the structure of the field and therefore the writers festival begins to shift, those who have traditionally occupied dominant positions perform defensive strategies in an effort to retain power. These defensive strategies can be seen in the ad

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hominem attacks on the Brisbane and Melbourne writers festival programmes, attacks that speak to a deep resistance to change.

Shifting power structures in Australian literature Reading the Brisbane and Melbourne writers festivals as small-scale expressions of the broader Australian literary field, it is easy to see why authors and publishers who have long occupied the dominant positions in the field may be feeling anxious. Excluding Germaine Greer from the programme does not represent a decline in rigorous debate: the endless hand-wringing comes from a group of writers and thinkers who, for the first time, have been told “no”. Writers who are, all of a sudden, required to make way for a new generation of programmers, authors, writers, performers and thinkers. The 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival programme reflected this shift. Artistic Director Marieke Hardy and Program Manager Gene Smith put together a diverse and inclusive programme; diverse in authors, writers, genres, and form. 27% of the programmed speakers were white men; 35% white women; 12% men of colour; 24% women of colour; 7% of the programmed speakers were First Nations authors; and 2% non-binary or genderqueer. Importantly, the authors of colour who were invited to speak at the festival were not just invited to speak about their “otherness”. Our research—particularly Alexandra Dane’s Gender and the Accumulation of Prestige in

Australian Book Publishing—shows that, historically, women have been programmed to speak at writers festivals about being women, and First Nations authors to speak only about being a First Nations author. Writer Michelle Law published two tweets on 30 August that speak to the heart of the 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival programme, the shifting structure of the literary field, and the associated anxieties by the likes of Flanagan, Winton and Adler: This furore over @MelbWritersFest signals the status quo shifting, new and underrepresented voices breaking through, and numerous forms of writing being respected and shared. That’s very exciting. This @MelbWritersFest is also the first writers festival where I haven’t been on a panel about “diversity” and could just talk about my writing, my collaborative work and the writers I love – all the good stuff and not just how I present. That’s thanks to @mariekehardy.

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The Melbourne Writers Festival audience appeared to welcome this shift. The festival reported that more tickets were sold, more quickly, than ever before. And sales data from the on-site Readings bookstore shows that the highest selling authors were Ta Nehisi Coates, Michelle De Kretser, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Behrouz Boochani and Clementine Ford. Finally, the programme of events dispelled the notion that Hardy and her team of programmers avoided a rigorous engagement with challenging ideas. Ta Nehisi Coates spoke of race in the US; the relationship between women’s bodies, feminism and literature was explored in the nude; Michael Mohammed Ahmad spoke about the experience of Lebanese-Australian students; First Nations women Nayuka Gorri and Nakkia Lui discussed television and comedy; and Nic Holas discussed HIV and the depoliticising of our sex lives. Programmes like this one take an all-encompassing definition of writer. They engage with reason and thought but also validate and promote the passion and feeling of writing and reading, highlighting and valuing aspects of literary culture that are often downplayed or overlooked. 2018 saw lots of important challenges to political and social structures that inform the assumed cultural superiority of intellectualism. Thus these festivals’ culturally broad-minded programming is intrinsically linked with their diversity. And the success of both is telling. Richard Flanagan’s concern about the evaporation of rigorous debate, and the retreat from “challenging ideas”; Tim Winton’s fear that festival-goers will actually be entertained; and Louise Adler’s anxiety over whether or not the 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival is actually a writers festival, could be seen as the death rattle of the status quo that has underpinned the Australian literary field, and the programming of Australian writers festivals, for the last 30 years. We may be witnessing a changing of the guard.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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A Visit to Open Book Publishers Robert Wilding

19 December 2019

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F

or four weeks, over February and March this year, I went and gained some work experience at Open Book Publishers (OBP).

Based in King’s College, Cambridge, OBP is a not-for-profit Social Enterprise that publishes academic books in paperback, hardback, ebook editions, and— most notably—open access format. Founded in 2008, OBP is already the biggest independent open access academic publisher of monographs in the UK. You can find out more about it here. I’ve highlighted ‘open access’ (OA) but what is it? In short, OA is when a work is available to access for free online in PDF, HTML, and XML formats that can be read via a website, downloaded, reused, and embedded everywhere. OBP defines OA as the following: ‘A work is considered to be Open Access when it is available to read and reuse for free in its entirety, without any restriction on who can access it’. 1 You can read more about OA, its benefits and how it works within the model of OBP here: •

https://www.openbookpublishers.com/section/25/1

https://blogs.openbookpublishers.com/open-access-information-for-academics/

OA, a fruit of digitisation, is still a germinating piece. OBP is one of many seeds at its centre, shaping its growth in the UK. Two important harvesters tending to it are co-founder and managing director, Alessandra Tosi, and editor, Lucy Barnes. On 7th November 2019, I went to visit them to ripen my own understanding of OA, its current position, and what the potential crop may look like going forward.

What are OBP’s main objectives for 2020? With the new year on the horizon, and the uncertainty that the prospect of Brexit brings to the academic publishing field, it seemed fitting to consider the future forthwith. I, too, am interested in the potential of OA going forward: it is an area of publishing where I could see a career developing. 1

‘What is Open Access?’, FAQs, <https://www.openbookpublishers.com/section/25/1> [accessed

17 November 2019]

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‘Development’ was a word that was frequently used as Alessandra, Lucy, and I sat down for dinner in King’s College. Indeed, according to ScholarLed—a consortium of five scholar-led, not-for-profit, OA book publishers including OBP— OA ‘stands at a crucial crossroads’. One road leads to the domination of OA publishing by commercial channels, which has been witnessed with the takeovers of SSRN, ResearchGate, and be.press. The other inaugurates a more community-owned, scholar-led, and nonprofitmaking publishing network. This could be crucial for nourishment of more ‘creative modes and forms of scholarship and their open dissemination and preservation as public knowledge’ and protection from the privatisation and homogenisation of knowledge. 2 Alessandra and Lucy discussed with enthusiasm the objective of creating a vehicle that could drive OA down this road: the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project. 3 Funded by a £2.2 million grant from Research England, COPIM aims to ‘address the key technological, structural, and organisational hurdles— around funding, production, dissemination, discovery, reuse, and archiving— which are standing in the way of the wider adoption and impact of Open Access (OA) books’. 4 These hurdles include: •

Integrated capacity-building amongst presses

Mutually supportive governance models

Integration into library, repository, and digital learning environments

The re-use of and experimentation with OA books

The effective and robust archiving of OA content 5

2

https://scholarled.org/#overview [accessed 17 November 2019]

3

https://blogs.openbookpublishers.com/obp-copim-announcement/ [accessed 17 November 2019]

4

‘An Invitation’, <https://scholarled.org> [accessed 17 November 2019]

5

https://scholarled.org/#overview [accessed 17 November 2019]

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The solutions suggested: • Removing hurdles preventing new OA book initiatives to emerge and existing ones to adopt OA workflows •

Develop consortial, institutional, and other funding systems

Showcase alternative business models

Support the creation of, interaction with, and reuse of OA books

Knowledge transfer to stakeholders through various pilots 6

OBP, as a member of ScholarLed, will play an integral part in COPIM. While I was chatting to Alessandra and Lucy in Cambridge, Rupert Gatti, co-founder and director of OBP, was across the pond in Charleston, South Carolina, discussing the very topic in question. Speaking at the Charleston Conference 2019, an informal annual gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials, Rupert spoke about ‘Open Infrastructure: The Way Forward for Open Access Monographs’. 7 Ros Pyne, Director of Open Access Books at Springer Nature noted on Twitter Rupert’s focus on building a more community-based infrastructure for OA:

Ros Pyne, @rospyne, Twitter, 6 November 2019, <https://twitter.com/rospyne/status/1192184332439474176> [Accessed 17 November 2019]

6

https://scholarled.org/#objectives [accessed 17 November 2019]

7

https://2019charlestonlibraryconference.sched.com/speaker/rupertgatti [accessed 17 November 2019]

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Back in Cambridge, Lucy also talked about OBP’s particular involvement in COPIM and the construction of an open, community-managed dissemination s y st e m ( W P 5 ) 8 a n d th e dev el opment of archi vi ng f or compl ex d i gi t al p u b lic a t io n s (WP7). 9 Both Lucy and Alessandra were especially positive about COPIM’s engagement with OPERAS-P, an EU-funded project and two-year initiative to develop infrastructure to enable OA bodies across Europe to collaborate going forward. 10 As Alessandra noted, it seems futile to create mutually exclusive systems and replicate each others’ work when the aims and objectives are actually shared. It is important that a platform for better communication is developed. OBP are striving to form this relationship and start building platforms for connectivity; they are currently in the process of recruiting a European Co-ordinator to liaise between the two projects. Alessandra mentioned other projects that OBP are working on going into 2020. Two aim to create a book from the content of a website at a particular point in time. It is not so much about managing the website—which continues on as its creators wish after the book is published, and which OBP do not influence at all—but enabling content to be engaged in different forms: •

The continuing annual publication of What Works in Conservation , which is created with conservation data drawn entirely from a database developed for a website.

A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law : a printed manifestation of this • website, extracting the content directly from the online database As Lucy commented, ‘this might be more conducive to long-term access and archiving than the maintenance of an operating website or database’.

8

https://scholarled.org/#wp5 [accessed 17 November 2019]

9

https://scholarled.org/#wp7 [accessed 17 November 2019]

10

https://operas.hypotheses.org/2774 [accessed 18 November 2019]

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So, what is the picture beyond 2020? OBP and OA is certainly looking at the long-term, too. One initiative is ‘Plan S’: ‘Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms’. 11 Lucy, while positive about the industry’s desire to move forwards, remains vigilant: ‘Plan S is focused on journal articles at the moment and has only spoken vaguely about books, but it is clear that books are intended to be included at some point. There is plenty of debate about Plan S. Our own position is that funder mandates can be helpful in driving engagement with open access, but it will not be helpful if it just ends up funnelling a lot of money into the exorbitant article processing charges (APCs) or book processing charges (BPCs) charged by some of the ‘legacy’ publishers that don’t want to change the way they work’. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2027 is a similar enterprise in the form of a funder mandate. Research England and the other bodies that steer the REF are signalling that any monographs or book chapters submitted for the 2027 REF (which effectively means anything written after 2020 that the author wants to submit to the REF) will have to be published OA. This has not been set in stone yet, but there is a clear drive towards making this a mandate. Since the REF assessment determines how much public money each university department will receive for the next funding cycle it has similar advantages and disadvantages for OA as Plan S. Lucy, however, thinks REF 2027 could be more significant to UK academics: ‘Since the REF outcome is very important to university departments, it is very significant in hiring, funding and (indirectly) promotion decisions in the UK. So, I think the REF 2027 mandate, if it is made, has the potential to have a big impact on OA books’. 11

https://www.coalition-s.org/ [accessed 17 November 2019]

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What are the biggest challenges facing OBP and OA? The big challenge, according to Lucy, is related to the objectives for 2020: ‘to continue to make the argument about what we believe open access should be, and why it should be adopted widely—that is, books that are freely available to read and reuse, without charging authors, and available on platforms that are community-governed (rather than owned by private companies)’. This last point is, she highlights, important and not widely understood: the infrastructure that hosts open content also needs to be open. OBP have talked a bit about that here. Another big, but good, challenge is the ongoing migration of OBP’s online activities from older platforms and systems to more suitable—preferably open source— alternatives. OBP, says Alessandra, have begun such process this year, with the migration of the blog from WordPress to Ghost, and the use of Mattermost rather than Slack for internal communications. Next year, they hope to be overhauling the website and also building some new open source software, such as an image uploader, to improve workflow on the editorial and production sides.

Which segment of the publishing communication circuit is the most challenging to manage? On the mention of ‘workflow’, ‘editorial’, and ‘production’, I was drawn to the concept of the communications circuit, first coined by Robert Darnton in 1982, 12 further developed by Adriaan van der Weel, 13 and later revised by Padmini Ray Murray and Claire Squires as the following:

12

Robert Darnton, ‘What is the history of books?’, Daedalus, 111 (1982), 65-83 (p. 68)

13

Adriaan van der Weel, ‘The Communications Circuit Revisited’, Jaarboek voor Nederlandse

boekgeschiedenis, 8 (2001), 13-26

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Padmini Ray Murray and Claire Squires, ‘The Digital Publishing Communications Circuit’, Book 2.0, 3 (2013), 3–23, (p. 5)

I therefore asked Lucy and Alessandra to consider which parts of this circuit they considered the most challenging to manage. While they acknowledged some tricky issues with distribution, they also mentioned the relationship with the author. ‘Dealing with authors, amazing as they are, is often complicated,’ Alessandra sighed. ‘The process of writing a book is so difficult and lengthy that when an author has finished their manuscript, it’s easy for them to feel as though their work is done. But as publishers we need certain things from them that aren’t directly related to the writing itself—such as images—which authors don’t always want to think about at the end of a long writing process.’ This, she insists, is mainly a systematic issue and not down to the authors themselves. Authors are often unaware of, or fail to abide by, the formatting guides that the publisher sets, particularly when it comes to obtaining permissions to use images or picture quality requirements. This delays the progress of the work’s production, as a constant to-and-fro of emails and voicemails follows to correct any issues. Alessandra thus bemoans the lack of an automated software that ensures all authors upload permissions, captions, and images to a prerequisite standard. The investment in an image uploader that makes the management of authorship easier, therefore, is imperative to improving workflow.

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How does OBP manage the tricky task of measuring, analysing, and evaluating the metrics of reader uses of your OA articles? Previous analogies to fruit, while proving useful for explanation, were not without inspiration and explicit reason. When I was chatting to Lucy, I asked her about the metrics of OA publishing, and how OBP measure reader usage of their titles. It turns out she was writing a blog post on just that matter. In this lucid post, Lucy brilliantly encapsulates the hitches of accurately analysing user views and downloads of online OA publications, comparing its anatomy to a fruit salad. The varying ways platforms interpret reader views is certainly an issue in determining true user interaction with the published work. Some count repeated views from the same user as one view but differ on the time taken in such viewing session (e.g. Google Analytics classes one view as lasting until there is thirty minutes of inactivity). Other stages, oft used by libraries, have a much shorter-time frame, which therefore register ‘more’ views. There is even those who count a single visit from a user as one view, then the subsequent visits as a new session. Downloads, which are also used to include in the number of ‘views’, also present problems. The disparity between different sites allowing chapter-only (JSTOR) versus whole book (OAPEN) downloads risks distorting accuracy. Multiple downloads from JSTOR and one download from OAPEN constitute the same content but present different ‘view’ statistics, massively inflated for JSTOR. ‘So’, Lucy argues, ‘aggregating this data into a single figure for ‘views’ isn’t only comparing apples with oranges¬—it’s mixing apples, oranges, grapes, kiwi fruit, and pears. It’s a fruit salad’. Still, Lucy suggests that such data remains ‘extremely useful’ when it is disaggregated. When you know you are looking only at apples, or only at oranges, you can start to draw some conclusions. With the ability to track the commitment of readers to different platforms, it is possible to test the popularity of different formats: PDF, HTML, XML; engagement with a platform over time; and the geographic scope. OBP are refreshingly open with the way they collect their data, which can be examined here. Still, Lucy insists that it is dangerous for academic publishers employ metrics as a

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measure of quality: ‘If a book has been read a much smaller number of times, that says nothing about its quality or usefulness in comparison to the more widely accessed book; it simply means that it has a more niche audience.’ OBP are about quality over quantity. Utilising OA’s unique ability to easily access any-sized readership, they are not concerned with number of views but with the value of the content. Alessandra echoes Lucy: ‘Publishing work that is highly valued by a small number of people is as important as disseminating a book that has been accessed hundreds of thousands of times’. Metrics, Lucy insists, should not be a proxy for excellence. If it used as such, it risks further manipulation: •

Redefining the length of a session to count more ‘views’

Discouraging the sharing of books on sites that don’t collect usage data

Not wiping the activity of ‘bots’, which would artificially inflate numbers

Creating bots to augment artificial inflation

Lucy therefore accepts the limitations of metrics. OBP’s titles can be downloaded from external sites like ResearchGate where no usage reports are provided. Moreover, geographical data is limited by diverse rules on data collection around the world, and, perhaps most notably, once a title is downloaded it is impossible to track how this file is used and shared (as with any print book is, too). Lucy therefore highlights OBP’s transparency in data usage, which is perhaps a welcome break from the manipulative marketing of commercial publishing: ‘As long as the data we share is presented and recognised for what it is—an incomplete picture that gives us some idea of the many ways our books are being used—it is worth having. This is why we are transparent about what we measure, and why we have chosen not to display a total figure for the number of ‘views’ a book has received’.

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How can universities bolster the growth of OA? By the time I asked this question, I realised that we had been chatting for quite a period of time. The lunch hall - full when we had arrived, was almost empty - and we were being met with the stares of impatient cleaners. Having experienced being at different universities¬¬—previously University of Birmingham and now University College London (UCL)—it occurred to me that one of the privileges of paying to be part of such institutions is access to fruitful academic works. However, in contemplating this, I remembered the frustration of restricted access to such publications outside of university membership. The concept of OA could alter this situation going forward, allowing public access to works hidden behind paywalls. Is OA therefore a threat to universities? The advent of OA could render the dispensation of exclusive access to educational material redundant. Is this why universities are not spearheading OA? Lucy suggests universities could be doing more but the shortage of activity is perhaps not for this reason. Academics, certainly, are not averse to OA—a career in academia is rarely financially prolific, as the recent strikes attest to. Academics are mainly driven by a passion for a subject, widening awareness of this interest, and educating others so that such inspiration is survived. Lucy mentioned something I had not considered: the university as a ‘closed institution’. The people creating the content, she proposes, are usually members of an institution—they already have access and are therefore blind to the frustration experienced by non-members dedicated to learning. This is why OA is so important: it opens up education, academia, and the dissemination of information to everyone. Higher education, perhaps, has to start embracing OA to truly make the university a universal centre of study. As I walked back to Cambridge train station, I found myself with more questions than when I had arrived. This was not due to a dearth of answers. Actually, I had gained so much from the discussion with Alessandra and Lucy that my interest in OA had been augmented further. I hope I can develop my understanding of OA further as I continue to cultivate my knowledge of publishing at UCL.

Many thanks to Alessandra Tosi and Lucy Barnes for their guidance, wisdom, enthusiasm, and willingness in helping me on my continuing journey into the publishing industry. Image Reference: Unsplash

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Interview with Lara Speicher — Head of Publishing, UCL Press Charlotte Webster

13 January 2020

Lara Speicher is Head of Publishing at UCL Press, the UK’s first fully Open Access (OA) university press. In this interview, she discusses the structure of UCL Press, the Press’ history, and the future of Open Access.

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What is your role at UCL Press? My role is Head of Publishing, which means I have overall responsibility for delivering the agreed strategy for the Press and managing the team and the budget. One other area that falls to me is general advocacy for the Press. I do a lot of presentations at conferences and to other institutions who are interested in setting up a press. I’m also on advisory boards for other university presses and other policy-making groups.

What kind of content does the Press publish? We are a scholarly press, so everything we publish is the result of scholarly research. We publish monographs, mainly in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). We do publish some science as well, which is quite unusual for a small university press. That is an interesting aspect to our list, but the main books are in HSS. We publish edited volumes, monographs, short monographs and textbooks, and we also publish journals.

What is the structure of the rest of the team? We have members of the team covering different publishing functions. In production, we have a Production Manager and a Managing Editor. In commissioning, we have one full-time Commissioning Editor and one Editor specialising in education. We have a Journals Manager, a Marketing Manager, a Sales Manager, and a Sales and Marketing Coordinator. Then we have a Publishing Assistant, who mainly works with the editorial and production team.

The Press re-launched in 2015. Why was the decision made to re-launch the Press at that time, and particularly as completely OA? The original UCL Press launched in the 1990s. It was based at UCL and was run in the traditional model. It grew to publishing around a hundred books a year and was quite successful. Then a decision was taken to license the imprint and move the publishing operation to a commercial publisher. During the years since the original UCL Press was launched, UCL itself also changed considerably: UCL has grown and has also risen in the global rankings - it’s now ranked seventh in the world. The majority of other universities in the top ten or twenty have a university press, but UCL Press was

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an imprint licensed to a commercial publisher that wasn’t really making any use of it. Senior management decided this was a missed opportunity, given UCL’s standing. They decided they wanted the Press back in the university where they could take full advantage of the imprint, and they felt there was a huge amount of potential for it. In that time, OA had also developed and become a growing movement. Paul Ayris (Pro-Vice-Provost, UCL Library Services) has advanced OA practices at the institution and it was his idea to start a new OA press at UCL. He particularly wanted to challenge the situation with monograph publishing, which in the traditional model sees scholarly monographs typically selling two hundred to three hundred copies in their lifetime around the world at a very high price, mainly to institutional libraries. Ayris, and many others in senior management, felt this was unacceptable, and decided to set up an OA press to support this area in particular. Whereas STEM subjects receive a significant amount of funding for APCs to publish OA journal articles, there is currently no equivalent for monographs which was another reason for UCL wanting to support monograph publishing in particular.

How does the Press fund its publishing? UCL Press receives a significant subsidy from the University to support its activities. We also sell print versions of our books, which brings in some money to cover print costs, for example. We also get a few books a year published by non-UCL authors who pay a Book Processing Charge (BPC), but the majority of the funding comes from UCL.

How can researchers outside UCL fund BPCs, especially as HSS disciplines are often under-funded? It’s very difficult, because there’s so little funding available. OA for books is not mandated, so there’s no formal funding for payment of BPCs in the way that there is for articles. When non-UCL authors have published with us and have found the BPC, it’s come from a wide range of sources, including funds from the author’s institution, philanthropy, or charitable trusts. For some edited volumes, if there are ten authors for example, each one has been able to secure the payment for their chapter from their respective institutions. We also have a waiver scheme where we support up to five authors each year from outside UCL to publish with us without paying the BPC. We want to encourage a range of authors to publish with us.

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What do you see as the greatest challenge for publishing completely OA? Dissemination is often mentioned as a challenge in OA publishing, but our experience shows that OA books are accessed in significant numbers around the world. There are many OA platforms now, so publishers can distribute their books easily to different regions and audiences. The key challenge is how to pay for it. The basic model, like with almost any basic product, is that it costs a certain amount to produce and you sell it in order to cover the costs of production. If you’re not able to sell enough to cover the production costs then other forms of funding are required. Quality scholarly publishing costs money to ensure the commissioning, peer review, editorial, dissemination, and marketing processes are undertaken to high standards at scale.

Do you find that academics themselves are resistant to the model? Some of them are. That is part of the challenge, but I think that’s tied up with the fact that OA book publishing is still a minority activity. I think the resistance is partly because there are so few options for OA book publishing and there is so little money for it. Also, authors often have other priorities apart from OA. For many of them, when they’re choosing their publisher, they are seeking a quality brand and imprint above all. If OA was a standard option that was widely available from most publishers, I think the resistance would go away. We are lucky in the Press to work with many authors who are strong advocates for OA and who are frustrated with the current model – they are thrilled to see their books being downloaded in the thousands around the world. The wide dissemination of their research is their main motivation.

Can you explain what Plan S is? Considering the Plan S requirements, what do you think the future of OA publishing looks like? Plan S is a group of funders who have created a group called cOAlition S, and any outputs of research that they fund will have to be published OA under a very specific set of requirements. It starts from 2021, and it applies to journal articles at the moment. Plan S haven’t yet issued their policy for books, but that is expected. The publishing industry is grappling with the implications of Plan S.

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If funder mandates continue, inevitably more and more scholarly research outputs will be made available OA, and many societies and organisations are working together to find solutions that will work at scale. I don’t think it will happen overnight, because there continues to be a huge degree of complexity and uncertainty.

Do you think that is a concern, that everything is published through different channels or in different ways? Do you think it will make research more confusing? I think there is potential for that scenario. If it’s not Gold OA, readers are not necessarily going to know where to find the OA version, or understand what different versions and different platforms signify. The best resource for any early career academic to understand the policy and the publishing options would be their own institution’s OA or scholarly communications department, which often sit within the institutional library.

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Report on the IPG Sustainability Action Group Marta Magnolfi & Michele Spinicci

14 February 2020

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O

n 27th January Faber & Faber hosted the Independent Publishing Guild Sustainability Action Group in its Bloomsbury headquarters with professionals from different sectors of the industry attending the meeting. As the publishing industry’s impact on the environment is among the main concerns of this year’s team, Marta and Michele attended the event on behalf of Interscript Journal. The event addressed the topic of sustainability in publishing from multiple perspectives, featuring professionals from different divisions: Edward Milford (IPG Development Director), Kate McFarlan (Publishing Operations Director at Profile Books), Amanda Ridout (Founder of Boldwood Books), and Andrew Copley (Sales Development Director at Clays). The issues raised by the speakers’ discussions can be summarised into five main themes: 1.

Book production: Suppliers and materials

2. Packaging 3.

“Book travels”: Production and distribution

4.

“Business travels”: Sales and publicity

5.

Digital versus Physical

Book Production: Suppliers and Materials Several speeches highlighted that a publisher aiming for sustainability needs to thoroughly check its suppliers, verifying the environmental impact of their materials and production procedures. As underlined by McFarlan, when speaking about sustainability in book production, it is necessary to take into account two main issues: • Economic issue: Book production has been refined in order to meet the requirements of the contemporary economy: maximum speed at minimum costs. The production techniques could certainly be revised in order to be made more sustainable, but it could result in expensive and slower processes, which would not be profitable for publishers.

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• Aesthetic issue: Printed books have survived the “Digital Revolution” because of their physical value: readers still cherish the feeling of holding and owning books, because they are beautiful objects, and their aesthetic features have improved in recent years. This aspect of books has improved due to developments in the production process that have permitted fanciful finishes. However, whilst these additional finishes enhance the physical books, they also made it less sustainable than ever. McFarlan highlighted that, for the same aesthetic reasons, the introduction of recyclable paper has received an unenthusiastic reaction from the consumers, who have demonstrated an unwillingness to purchase books with grey thin pages. Andrew Copley provided the suppliers’ point of view on the issue and reported examples of Clays’ approaches towards sustainability. The printing company—which supported the organisation of the meeting—has obtained the FSC Chain of Custody certification, an environmental statement whose implementation is checked twice a year. As Copley stated, they are coping with the environmental issue by checking on the chemicals used by their suppliers and by consuming energy that comes entirely from renewable resources. They are also using recyclable plastic and the aim for the future is to only employ biodegradable materials.

Packaging The speakers agreed on the fact that, in order to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment, it is fundamental to reduce waste that comes from packaging. This topic prompts similar issues to the ones relating to production, such as: • Reducing and replacing the current packaging components would require new materials that will probably be longer and more difficult to produce. A longer production process—even if aimed at providing a more sustainable product—could end up having a higher environmental impact. • The reduction of packaging, or the implementation of a more sustainable, but less effective, packaging material, could end up preventing the a c h iev emen t of th e m ai n obj ect i ve: prot ecti ng the book. A damaged book will then be considered unsellable and it will result in more waste, both for the publisher and for the environment.

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Copley stated that Clays has tried to react to this issue by introducing new packaging techniques and increasing the use of cartons and paper tape, instead of the highly-impacting plastic wraps.

“Book Travels”: Production and Distribution Book transports during the production process and in the delivery of books to retailers represent another major concern for publishing’s sustainability. Regarding the environmental impact of the transportation of books, the industry’s emissions are still very high, as a large part of the books published in the UK are printed in China. While this decision prolongs the time for production, it also allows a significant reduction in costs. As stated by McFarlan, this has almost become a necessity for illustrated books, as colour printing is not performed in the UK anymore, because the business was not economically sustainable. Another factor that has a considerable impact on the industry’s emissions is the Sale and Return basis that defines the commercial relationships with retailers. As booksellers can return the copies that they have not sold without paying for them, this procedure often results in the stock travelling back and forth from warehouses, increasing the carbon footprint of the industry. Even though this is still a relevant issue, McFarlan stated that the situation has largely improved compared to ten years ago, as the main retailers—namely Waterstones, WHSmith, and Amazon—have large central hubs where they receive all the books, that are then redistributed to the individual bookshops. The development of more efficient managing strategies and the introduction of Print on Demand (POD) allowed a reduction in needless stock and, consequently, a partial reduction of waste.

“Business Travels”: Sales and Publicity In the publishing industry, it is not only the books that are constantly travelling, but also the people. Sales and publicity teams need to personally attend events, conferences, book fairs, and festivals, as they are crucial to the promotion of books.

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In addition to the publishers’ staff, the main issue to arise during the meeting concerned authors: meeting authors in person, and getting a book signed, is one of the main reasons why the public attend book fairs and festivals. Nonetheless, some publicists observed that authors are often asked to fly to remote destinations only for a one-hour conference. This issue could be overcome by a more sustainable agreement with event organisers, which may involve the employment of digital resources or the coordination of multiple events requiring the authors’ presence. On its blog, IPG suggests this free e-book as a guide for more sustainable business travels.

Digital versus Physical Edward Milford highlighted that there is a misconception concerning the environmental impact of digital products, which comes from the erroneous idea that what is intangible does not have an environmental footprint. To challenge this assumption, publishing can be compared to the music business: Milton reported that music streaming has now a much wider impact than CDs have ever had. In the same way, not only the manufacturing of digital devices, but also the production of e-files does have an environmental impact, which may be even higher than the one of physical books. According to research, an e-book reader only used for ten books results is indeed less sustainable than the production of ten physical books, which additionally do not need any electricity to be read. Milford ended his intervention with a hopeful consideration: publishing has been considered at risk for being a slow industry, but while drawing the lines of a sustainable world, sustainable for the people, and for the environment, we can only think of a slow world.

Conclusions The discussion that followed the guests’ contributions addressed the possible actions that the Independent Publishers Guild should take in order to enhance its sustainability. The debate led to the proposition of an IPG green manifesto: a set of guidelines for its members to adhere to in order to receive an IPG certification.

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The IPG Sustainability Action Group Meeting comes during a time of increasing concern for the publishing industry regarding environmental issues. The growing willingness of the industry to confront climate change is witnessed by other initiatives, like the launch of the Booksellers Association Green Manifesto, and by the increase of titles related to the issue. The meeting highlighted numerous steps accomplished by the industry to reduce its environmental impact, as well as the will of its professionals to implement new ones. However, it seems that more radical sustainable strategies will still be needed in order to overcome certain obstacles, such as the limits of current technologies and the reduced financial capacity of the industry.

Image Reference: Unsplash

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Interview with Will Forrester — Translation and International Manager, English PEN Michele Spinicci

03 March 2020

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Will Forrester is Translation and International Manager at English PEN, a worldwide writers’ association, which aims to defend freedom of expression and human rights. In this interview he speaks about the PEN Translates Award, the degree of “bibliodiversity” in English literature, and the ideological value of translation.

Can you briefly describe English PEN’s main activities and its mission? English PEN sits at the intersection of human rights and literature. We exist to champion literature in all its forms, defend freedom of expression, and support equity of opportunity for all readers and writers. Our work is guided by the PEN Charter, which states that “literature knows no frontiers, and should remain a common currency between nations and peoples in spite of political or international upheavals”, calls for “good understanding and mutual respect between nations and people”, and opposes “suppression of freedom of expression” and “mendacious publication”. We foster these beliefs by campaigning for writers at risk in the UK and internationally, supporting international and translated literature, and celebrating diverse voices through prizes and public events. We are a membership organisation, and the backbone of our work are the community of over 1,000 readers and writers who support us. Next year, we celebrate our centenary, and our mission still feels as vital as it was in 1921.

What does your role at English PEN involve? I manage English PEN’s international and translated literature work, of which there are three main areas: the PEN Translates grants programme; PEN Transmissions, our online magazine for international and translated voices; and our public events, including International Translation Day, the largest coming-together for the UK translation community. With PEN Translates, we support publishers who are bringing international work to UK readers. With PEN Transmissions, we platform emerging and established writers alongside one another, transmitting international voices to new readerships. With our events, we promote and showcase translators and writers to diverse audiences— with a particular focus on under-represented and marginalised voices.

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Can you talk to us about the PEN Translates award? What are its aims and how does it work? PEN Translates is our Arts Council England-funded award to publishers of translated literature. Its aim is to increase the amount of outstanding and original literature in translation in the UK. In doing so, it helps publishers meet the costs of translating titles and encourages them to acquire more books, whilst also ensuring that translators are acknowledged and paid properly for their work. We take submissions from publishers twice a year, and the award is unique in accepting titles for which rights haven’t yet been acquired, right through to books for which translation is well underway. The submissions can be for any book-length form of writing, of any genre, from any country and any language. They are assessed by literary translators and language specialists, before a selection panel—comprising writers, translators, agents, publishers and booksellers—determine the final awards. We’ve now supported over 250 books from 54 languages and awarded more than £1,000,000 of funding through the programme. The awarded titles include those shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, best-sellers, children’s literature and YA, poetry collections, memoirs, and graphic novels—all of which are equally vital. PEN Translates has become a significant part of the sector, continuing to develop as it is shaped by the landscape in which it works, and continuing to work in tandem with other initiatives that are making that landscape international and diverse.

One of the assessment criteria of the award is “Contribution to UK bibliodiversity”. On the English PEN website, you define it as: “the variety and diversity of literature available in a region or country”. How “bibliodiverse” is the UK in your opinion? Diversity in the landscape is increasing, which is important for writers and readers alike: for writers, that they and their narratives have equal opportunity to be represented in the cultural environment; for readers, that they have access to a wide variety of literature—be it in terms of form, subject, voice, or identity. But we are far from being able meaningfully to call the landscape diverse. Progress is being made—not only when it comes to translation and the representation of international voices, but also in visibility, opportunity, and recognition for under-represented writing and writers. But change is incremental, and significantly more is needed.

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Meaningful change requires reform at every level; diversifying the UK literary landscape is not simply about what publishers commission and publish, it’s about the diversity of agents and scouts, about how variegated the topography of publishing houses and forms of publishing are, about how work is marketed to reach new audiences, about who makes decisions and how, who reviews and how, the diversity of bookselling decision-makers, the inclusivity of literary events, and the vitality of libraries. There are vital initiatives intervening in each of these parts of the sector, and they are contributing—just as readily as the works supported by PEN Translates—to the bibliodiversity of the UK. In order to come near to calling the landscape meaningfully diverse, though, we must make wholesale change. That is how we can achieve access to diverse literature for diverse readers and audiences.

On the website you also affirm that one way to enhance “bibliodiversity” is to: “Address themes that are underrepresented in UK publishing”. Can you give us some examples of under-represented themes and tell us why do you think authors—and publishers—tend to avoid them? The ways in which themes or subjects are under-represented is nuanced, particularly in the context of international literature. It might be that a subject is elided atlarge—that contexts or voices are wholesale excluded from the literary landscape— but it is often that a particular perspective on a context or theme has not been written and read or been conveyed outside its immediate context. I think there are a couple of things at play here. One relates to broader power dynamics—of who gets to say what—and their manifestation in literature. The other relates to market—to what readers are presumed to want to read. But, again, there are broader influences at play. It’s why I talk about bookselling and reviewing above; reading cultures are informed by other structures, and when the parties that compel a reader to read champion “under-represented” themes, and thereby confirm a market for them, publishers (par ticularly larger, more risk- averse publishers) are encouraged that such work is viable.

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UK sales of translated fiction have grown steadily in the last years (+5.5% in 2018). However, translations from European languages count for about 90% of the sales volume and the vast majority of translated fiction bestsellers in 2018 are from European and Japanese authors. What can be done to better represent nonEuropean literatures in the UK market? What are the main challenges? Translated fiction continues to grow. The relative prevalence of literature translated from European languages (and countries) has several causes—some understandable and some problematic; some fundamental and some changeable. There’s the UK’s proximity to continental Europe, and the longstanding support for European language teaching; there’s the legacy of colonialism and its linguistic impositions, and the dominance of languages where state structures support translation. This is the context from which efforts to increase non-European literatures emerge. PEN Translates accepts work translated from any language and region—and particularly welcomes submissions from those without substantial support from state bodies—in order to support these efforts. Publishers like Tilted Axis—whose mission is to “publish the books that might not otherwise make it into English”, particularly those by women writers and those from Asian languages—are effecting meaningful change. And again, it’s about effort by every part of the sector. One thing worth mentioning is that, where publishing houses don’t have multilingual commissioning editors, translators play a vital role in these efforts by acting, informally or formally, as scouts for as-yet-untranslated work, and as ambassadors for writers and their books after publication. Engaging translators of under-represented languages as advisors on acquisition is a powerful thing. When one such translator champions a title that becomes a success, a market and readership for future work from those languages is established.

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Is the UK publishing industry doing enough to provide a heterogeneous literary offer? Where should it improve? As I’ve said, intervention must happen at every juncture. Publication doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it is informed by the infrastructure for writers and how they are engaged, and by the state of the market into which work emerges. To make publishing houses create a heterogenous offering, we must ensure heterogeneity in the parts of a sector that come before and after them. There are a few initiatives that are doing excellent things—like the Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics Scheme, that is redressing the lack of diversity of critical cultures by supporting critics of colour to review poets of colour. Who reviews, and what they are empowered to review, has a trickle-down effect on what readers are compelled to buy from bookshops. When sales of diverse literatures increase, publishers are mandated to publish diverse literatures—and doing so makes sense financially. So too the Good Literary Agency, which is reforming the engagement between underrepresented writers and publishers, the press, and the events world. They are examples of best practice, which must also be incorporated into larger outfits.

In a political moment where nationalist movements are increasingly strengthening, is there an ideological value in the role of the literary translator? Translators are activists; to bring words across linguistic barriers is a feat of activism. And, yes, at a moment where parochialism and the putting up of barriers abound, translation can play a vital role. A part of the rise in the sales of translated literature can be chalked up as a response to this very global move towards isolationism. Translated literature in its essence acts as a corrective to such ideologies, and the demand for and interest in such work should be harnessed. The PEN Charter stresses that “literature should remain a common currency between nations and peoples, in spite of national or political upheaval”. We are in a moment of major upheaval of this kind, and as such our support for translators and translated literature has never felt so vital.

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Interview with Dr. Matthew Winning — Research Associate, The Bartlett School

Rebecca Stone

10 March 2020

Dr. Matthew Winning is a research associate at the Bartlett School, where his main research focus is macroeconomic impacts of environmental policies.

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What is your role here at UCL? My job is as a researcher in environmental economics, and I do lots of stuff around climate change and the circular economy. We do a lot with policy analysis and analysis of trying to solve these issues, and what are the impacts of making changes, on different groups of people and different industries in the economy, as well as the knock-on effects. What does that mean for the jobs in that industry, and the jobs elsewhere that feed into that industry?

As a researcher, what is your research focus? It changes a lot but, usually, the main thing is the climate change policy. I had a paper out last year about the Paris Agreement1 and what the impacts of that will be from an economic perspective, and also the global emissions trajectory required.

Why are you concerned with the economics of climate change? It’s about solutions and understanding the solutions in enough detail. I think the topic is incredibly important, but the topic isn’t just climate change in terms of the signs, the why and what. It’s about being part of the solution which is what I work on. It’s fine to know about everything, but you need to actually look at it to find out what to do about it. I think it’s great that people are working across all different spectrums, but I kind of like to tell people that people who work on climate change are concerned about why it’s changed, whereas I’m focused on from this moment till the end of the century— what is going to happen and how do we change what happens. It’s about forward planning and understanding how the decisions we make now will change different aspects in the future. It’s not quite as simple as clicking your fingers and saying, “we’re going to solve this problem!” It’s hugely complicated and so it’s trying to understand those complications and giving yourself enough detail. 1 Winning, M., Price, J., Ekins, P., Pye, S., Glynn, J., Watson, J. and McGlade, C. (2019). Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement and the costs of delayed action. [online] Available at: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075360/

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Do you think the book/publishing industry has a positive or negative impact on the environment? I don’t know enough about the publishing industry to give a good critical analysis of it. I imagine it has both positive and negative effects. It’s clearly very positive as it’s still our main way of consuming information and consuming more complicated information rather than other forms. It clearly has a great role to play in understanding of the [climate change] issue and in solutions, because so much of it is going to be knowledge and people knowing what to do, feeling empowered and communicating with each other. But then, like everything else, it has a physical impact in terms of climate change but everything does, it’s not like it’s unique in that sense and so, how it minimises its physical impact is something that each industry in the world needs to start to thinking about and understanding what its impact is and where the largest intervention points can be. I don’t know if that’s through more recycling, through understanding how online publications are powered, or whether it’s not overproducing things.

Do you think publishers have a duty to inform people about the climate crisis and to be transparent about their impact on the planet and different populations? If they’re going to be part of the solution, then they probably need to think a bit more radically than just increasing recycling. In the next twenty to thirty years, you need to be sourcing all your resources sustainably, and are they investing money in treeplanting in places they’re going to grow, and are they understanding their supply chains enough? How can they invest to make those supply chains more sustainable? The point I keep coming back to is that no one else is going to do this for you, and a lot of industries think that no one is telling them take action, but it’s going to take people in the industry to lead on this to make the industry change. So if you ’ re in p ublish in g an d y ou are i nt erest ed i n envi ronmental i ssues , one of t h e m o s t important things you could do right now is push for change within your own industry and be a leader in the industry by trying to understand things yourself in more detail and tell people about it.

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Are e-books or tablets a more sustainable way of consuming books, instead of physical copies being printed and shipped around the world? You have to understand in enough detail what is the life cycle of that tablet, where is it coming from and how long will it last as well, because a lot of things are built for obsolescence, which is detrimental to us maintaining sustainability. Also, if these books are all stored on Clouds somewhere, you have to comprehend that the impact of the Internet is enormous, and I think companies understand that and are beginning to put steps in place. You as an individual, it’s really difficult, because you want more information on this stuff and it’s not obvious where to get it. There might be some studies out there on the publishing industry specifically. It’s probably the role of the publishing industry to try and understand itself. People can’t be expected to consider the impact of buying a book, it’s the role of the industry to provide the information to the individuals to be able to make those choices.

How might climate change affect publishing if we continue on the path we are currently on? I’d imagine that the price of paper will go up because you’re competing and your ability to have control over those trees that are at risk from climate change will go down. The resources aspect of it are likely going to become more unstable over the next thirty years, but obviously this won’t be the case for every single resource and every area. The bigger impact I see is the political impact and uncertainty, so this global stability is put more at risk due to climate change. The uncertainty about supply chains, the uncertainty about demand for things and what people want, political uncertainty if things go really bad in countries do those countries fall into some kind of autocratic state. The potential for things going badly is going to increase because of temperature increases and extreme weather events, and again that increases the cost of things. I don’t think a lot of companies are internalising long-term strategies; it’s not the norm to think, “how is climate change going to affect my business over the next thirty years?” A lot of companies only think five years ahead and are just unaware. Everybody plans everything assuming the current normal conditions are going to continue, and that’s not the case.

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Do you think that publishers and others in the book industry should consider their environmental impact more seriously? Should companies be monitoring their carbon footprints? It’s about understanding the numbers in enough depth to make meaningful decisions about it. The interesting thing about publishing is that trees are a carbon sink; the more trees we have, the better. The process of turning a tree into paper is quite energy intensive, there’s almost like a tradeoff. Without looking at it in more detail, I can’t say it off the top of my head what the overall net effect is, but I’d imagine those are big things in terms of the actual industrial practices. Someone should be looking into it and the publishing industry should commission an independent study of its practices.

You are a stand-up comedian as well, having done shows about climate change at the Edinburgh Fringe and being featured in media like the BBC and Channel 4 as well as a TEDTalk. Why do you think comedy is a good way to talk about the climate change issue? One aspect is that as a messenger, you come across a lot more relatable. Second is that people take information more when they’re enjoying themselves and it’s much more memorable to them. Another aspect is that we need to find other ways of talking about this because it’s quite a heavy subject and finding a lighter way to talk about it is a good way of getting everyone together. There’s an aspect of engaging both new audiences and people already know about the subject in a release about quite an emotional subject. I sort of stumbled into it, I’d already been doing comedy for about seven years and then decided to try to about climate change using comedy and realized it’s a really good way of communicating. It is quite impactful. I think you can reach much wider audiences and you can reach people who otherwise might not necessarily engage with these issues.

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ABIGAIL JOYCE

JENNY OLIVER: A Case Study on Digital Marketing and YA Fiction 30 June 2021

KEYWORDS Jenny Oliver, Case Study, Digital Marketing, YA, YA Fiction, Chelsea High, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

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1 Introduction In a market such as YA fiction, where there is an abundance of novels for the consumer to sift through, a good marketing plan is one of the most important tools a publisher has. It is widely believed that marketing is the driving force behind today’s publishing industry, with concerns about whether or not material will sell heavily influencing a publisher’s decision about what to publish. Publishers adopt a range of techniques and strategies to market books, which fall into two categories: traditional and digital marketing. The former refers to marketing performed through non-digital mediums, such as print, radio and mail.1 The latter, on the other hand, refers to marketing performed through the internet and other forms of digital communication to ‘create relationships with customers and promote sales’.2 It could be argued that the most effective form of digital marketing for YA fiction is social media, through which publishers and authors can promote and sell books to an incredibly vast audience. It also allows readers to review and discuss books as part of a large community. In an interview with award-winning blogger Beth from BooksNest3, she expressed that the current YA readership is a very ‘tech-heavy’ audience who avidly post online about the books they read, which reinforces the efficacy of a digital marketing plan for YA fiction. In January 2020, there were 45 million active social media users in the UK alone.4 By January 2021, this number had increased to 53 million and continues to grow,5 particularly since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the book world turn to social media to stay truly connected through such unprecedented times. The following case study will explore how author Jenny Oliver used social media and other digital marketing techniques to promote her first YA novel, Chelsea High, published during the pandemic in August 2020, and will discuss why social media is perhaps the best form of digital marketing for YA fiction.

1

Carmicheal, Kayla. ‘Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Why Not Both?’. HubSpot, 2019.

2

Baverstock, Alison. How to Market Books. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.

3

BooksNest is a UKYA award-winning blog, reviewing both YA and adult novels.

4

Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK). Statista, 2020.

5

Kemp, Simon. ‘Digital 2021: The United Kingdom’. Datareportal, 2021.

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2 Jenny Oliver Case Study Chelsea High was Jenny Oliver’s first YA novel, following her success with over ten adult novels. She is signed with HarperCollins and Egmont Publishing, both of which have accounts on all of the dominant social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, allowing them to reach a larger audience and market their books to as many people as possible. In the marketing of Chelsea High, Oliver and her team actively promoted the book on social media, posting regularly throughout the book’s pre-publication months, thereby both increasing publicity for the book and enhancing her author brand.

2.1 Twitter Twitter is a key platform for YA publishers, with 33% of its users in 2018 aged between 15 and 24.6 Useful marketing tools can be purchased from Twitter, such as ‘featured posts’, which allow the publisher to target their posts and advertisements at a specific demographic. This digital reach and the ability to specifically target younger readers can be highly effective and is arguably essential in the marketing of YA novels. In the weeks before publication, Chelsea High received its strongest promotion from Electric Monkey. This included, as shown in Figure 1, using relatable language and key words to excite a YA readership and which portray some of the main stereotypes found throughout the book, and YA fiction in general, as well as using photo props that are interesting and relatable to YA readers and young adults in school.

Figure 1

6

Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK). Statista, 2020.

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2.2 Facebook Facebook is the UK’s most active social media platform. However, with only 4.5% of users aged between 13 and 17, it is not the most effective platform for reaching the YA target audience of 12 to 18 year olds.7 Nevertheless, it is one of the most popular platforms for publishers to use due to its availability, reach and price, which are key factors that correlate with having a successful marketing plan. Some of the techniques Oliver used to promote Chelsea High on Facebook included changing her profile pictures to reflect the book’s colour scheme and changing the banner image of her profile to a graphic of the title and cover of the book. Another technique, displayed in Figure 2, was to post links to her blog containing longer posts and explanations about the book, which is arguably less suitable for the faster-paced platforms of Twitter and Instagram.

Figure 2

2.3 Instagram The photo-sharing social media platform Instagram is another essential marketing avenue for YA publishers, with 7.5% of its users aged between 13 and 17 and 23.4% aged between 18 and 24.8 It is home to a large and incredibly active community called ‘Bookstagram’, a sector of the platform where users publicise, review and

7

Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK). Statista, 2020.

8

Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK). Statista, 2020.

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express their love of books. By 2019, the ‘Bookstagram’ hashtag had been used over 35 million times, making it a prime area for publishers to target.9 Figure 3 exhibits a post by Electric Monkey on Chelsea High’s publication day. The image has been effectively stylised to portray the book’s school theme by using a school tie, phone, pen and pencil as photo props. Furthermore, adapting to the fastpaced browsing experience of the platform, bright and saturated colours have been used to capture readers’ attention and ensure they stop scrolling to read the post. Another useful marketing tool utilised by Electric Monkey is the ‘highlights’ function, displayed in Figure 4, which allows ‘stories’ to remain visible rather than disappear after 24 hours.

Figure 3

Figure 4

2.4 YouTube YouTube can also be an effective marketing tool by facilitating digital marketing strategies such as author interviews or book trailers. In the marketing of Chelsea High, Electric Monkey released a YouTube video entitled ‘Welcome to the world of Chelsea High - A reading from author Jenny Oliver’.10 This five-minute-long video features a personal introduction to the book and a short reading from Oliver, an intimate marketing technique which both promotes the book and enhances the author brand.

9

Pope, Shelby. ‘Why Instagram’s biggest book accounts aren’t your usual influencers’. The

Guardian, 2019. 10

Electric Monkey. ‘Welcome to the world of Chelsea High - A reading from author Jenny Oliver.’

YouTube, 2020.

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3 Conclusion After the implementation of worldwide lockdowns, many of us turned to social media to stay connected with friends, family and the outside world. Similarly, without book events such as festivals and tours, social media was the only outlet through which publishers, authors and booksellers could remain connected with their readers and followers. The adaptation to these unprecedented marketing conditions was evident in Jenny Oliver’s and Electric Monkey’s active social media presence in the promotion of Chelsea High, which displayed a range of creative digital marketing techniques, creating excitement for Oliver’s book and allowing her to stay in touch with fans without face-to-face contact or the use of traditional marketing methods. This was only possible through social media, which, due to its vast young adult usership, is perhaps the most effective means of marketing for YA fiction. I believe that as this usership continues to grow, so will the creativity of publishers in their use of social media and digital marketing, especially once the lockdown has left the world for good.

Author Biography Abigail Joyce is an MA Publishing graduate from the University of Plymouth and an Editorial Assistant at the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She enjoys following the trends of the publishing industry, particularly within the areas of YA fiction and open access research, and has a bookstagram account where she reviews and posts about the books she reads. ­ —@ajwantstoread

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Bibliography Bartholomew, Beth. BooksNest, 2020. <https://booksnest.co.uk/> [Accessed 4 June 2021] Baverstock, Alison. How to Market Books. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014. Carmicheal, Kayla. ‘Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Why Not Both?’. HubSpot, 24 September 2019. <https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/traditionalmarketing-vs-digital-marketing#:~:text=Traditional%20marketing%20refers%20to%20 any,and%20outdoor%20advertising%20like%20billboards.&text=Traditional%20 marketing%20plays%20an%20important,%2C%20if%20they’re%20physical> [Accessed 10 May 2021] Kemp, Simon. ‘Digital 2021: The United Kingdom’. Datareportal, 10 February 2021. <https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-united-kingdom#:~:text=There%20 were%2053.00%20million%20social,total%20population%20in%20January%202021> [Accessed 4 June 2021] Oliver, Jenny. ‘Welcome to the world of Chelsea High - A reading from author Jenny Oliver’. YouTube, 30 July 2020. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raj0ra9AZfc> [Accessed 20 February 2021] Pope, Shelby. ‘Why Instagram’s biggest book accounts aren’t your usual influencers’. The Guardian, 27 September 2019. <https://www.theguardian.com/ lifeandstyle/2019/sep/26/bookstagram-books-instagram-influencers-reading> [Accessed 10 April 2021] —. Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK). Statista, 2020.

List of Figures Figure 1 – Pre-publication announcement for Chelsea High, Electric Monkey’s Twitter Figure 2 – Promotion of blog post about Chelsea High, Jenny Oliver’s Facebook Figure 3 – Chelsea High publication day announcement, Electric Monkey’s Instagram Figure 4 – ‘Highlights’ function, Electric Monkey’s Instagram

Image Reference Unsplash

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Appendices Interview with Jenny Oliver, author of Chelsea High How do you define the YA category? For me, it’s books written for teenagers about teenagers but with a cross-over appeal for anyone who has ever been a teenager. As a successful adult author, what made you choose to write a YA novel? I had always wanted to write Chelsea High. I had the outline in my head before my adult books were published. It so happened that the first adult book got bought and that was what I focused on. When I had some spare time, I picked CH back up, completely reworked it and finally wrote it. What aspects do you think make YA novels unique? (Format, design, subject matter etc.) In my writing, it’s the emotional intensity and the really tightly contained world. There are less outward demands on life at that age so the emotional is at the forefront. In terms of cover, I think there’s more freedom to experiment because the genres are less rigidly defined than in adult fiction, but publishers may disagree with that. Do you feel that the market for YA stretches further than that of just the intended age range? Absolutely. In fact, I think the broad appeal is what makes it popular. I can only speak about the more commercial aspect of the genre, but I think adult readers seek it out because it provides an escapism from adult life. How did your approach for writing YA differ from that of writing adult novels? It’s written in the first person. I wanted it to be very much the central character Norah’s journey. The approach doesn’t differ wildly from writing the adult books, just the setting and the age of the characters. I’ll always start with the key emotional conflicts and that’s the same whatever you’re writing.

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Would you say that online marketing is more important for YA novels than for adult fiction? If so, why? It’s been very similar for me in both adult and YA. The main difference is the in-person events especially at schools and festivals. There’s more scope for this in YA for authors who are emerging into the market (pre-Coronavirus). As an author, have you seen much difference between the marketing plan for your newly released YA novel as opposed to the marketing of your adult novels? In some ways. There’s probably more scope to be fresher and more avenues to explore. Do you agree with the idea of the “author brand” and that authors have a responsibility to help promote their titles online? Do you believe that this is more or less important for YA authors? Yes, definitely important to have an author brand. And yes re responsibility to help promote titles, but to what extent must be up to the author. Think it’s vital in both sectors of the market as majority of readers (and purchasers) are online (if on different platforms). Do you take a different approach when communicating with readers of your YA novel compared to those who are readers of your adult novels? I haven’t yet. The book has only recently come out and it’s in the midst of a pandemic so school visits etc have been postponed. But I think authenticity is always key whoever your market. Recently I have been reading the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. It is a series consisting of 8 books, however, on the final three books a warning appears on the back cover reading: ‘Contains mature content. Not suitable for younger readers.’ Do you think there are a different set of obligations when presenting/marketing titles in the YA category? Yes. In the same way you have film classification. Warnings can be contentious, but there’s always going to be extra responsibility needed when marketing to anyone under a certain age, especially when parents are the ones buying the books.

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Interview with Beth Bartholomew of BooksNest, award-winning UKYA book blogger and content and social media executive How do you define YA? Would you agree that the YA category is hard to define? For me YA relates to the age the content is written for, rather than the genre. You can stereotypically say a YA vampire novel and someone will know what you mean. But generally, YA relates to the books that aren’t for middle-grade audiences, but not quite up to the ‘adult level’ of language and style. This by no means restricts the audiences for these books, as I myself in my mid-20’s read YA still and know people older and younger than me that do also. But as far as a target audience is concerned, this is what YA relates to. So, in that sense, I suppose it is hard to define, because this is just a guideline for audience. How do you choose the books you review on your platform? Do you ever disregard books that you think are not relevant to your platform? I recently had the revelation that I don’t have to review every book I write, which was honestly I really nice feeling. So now I tend to review books for one of two reasons: either the book had such poignant themes I wanted to discuss, or I have been sent the book by a publisher/author to review. If it is the later than I make sure to only accept books I know I really want to read. Do you think there is anything special about YA that makes it suitable for online communities? I think the target audience for YA is a very tech heavy audience, I know I’ve mentioned that teens are the target, but let’s pretend that extends into adulthood too, because we all know adults read YA as well. So generally, we are the generation that will post about the books we read online, so I think that makes YA a heavily talked about group of books. Can you name any marketing campaigns for YA novels that caught your eye or that you thought were particularly spectacular? I liked the campaign for the launch of A Heart So Fierce and Broken, it was a big ARC campaign that people were sent out, there was also an exciting launch event that created hype both in person and also online from the attendees. It was clever because by inviting bloggers to take part, the book really did market itself through others online.

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Personally, do you analyse the marketing techniques put in place by the publisher when choosing a book to purchase? For example, the design of the front cover, the blurb, marketing campaigns you see elsewhere, such as posters, book trailers etc. I wouldn’t say it’s something I do to be honest - I work in marketing in my day job so maybe I just like to keep it separate. For me though I’m mainly here for the story… okay and the pretty covers! When it comes to receiving ARC’s, do you reach out to the publisher for a review copy or do they contact you? When they send you an ARC, do they include any extra promotional content? It’s a bit of both for me, I’ll often reach out for books I’m mega excited about, but I’ll also have publishers or authors reach out to me directly. I often receive promo packages that include extra items which is also a nice touch. When you discuss YA books, do you review them with a particular audience in mind (e.g. young people, older people, all age ranges)? I review for the book for my fellow readers in general, so anyone who may like the book. I don’t really think about the age group to be honest, or gender etc. I review it in my own voice and style that is consistent across my BooksNest brand. What would you say is your favourite thing about being a content creator for the online book community? I love the feeling I get when I know people love what I put out and that I know I’ve made a difference/helped someone in some way. That is honestly such a good feeling and also makes me feel even more involved in the bookish community. Generally, this whole online world is a big community that I feel happy to be a part of, it’s a special place to be!

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