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October 2010

News and Features from OUP for the Academic Library and Information Community

Oxford English Dictionary relaunch An enormous treasure trove of language

inside: Oxford Open so far Interview: President of the ALA The future of scholarly publishing: Business as usual for libraries?

illuminea | EDITORIAL


3 Oxford Open so far: Looking at OUP’s open access initiative

Rhodri Jackson, Publisher, OUP

4&5 Oxford English Dictionary: An enormous treasure trove of language

John Simpson, Chief Editor, OED

6 News 7 Interview: Roberta Stevens, President of the American Library Association ‘I wanted the process of looking up a word in the OED Online to be the start of a journey, not the end’ says the Oxford English Dictionary’s Chief Editor, in OED: An enormous treasure trove of language n this issue, Illuminea takes a look back at some of publishing’s achievements and initiatives so far – both at OUP and further afield – and also looks forward in an attempt to answer the question, what’s next? In his reflection on five years of OUP’s open access initiative Oxford Open, Rhodri Jackson, Publisher of Law Journals, OUP, considers open access (OA) at OUP as well as the industry’s preoccupation with OA in general. And Illuminea’s feature piece focuses on the long-awaited relaunch of the Oxford English Dictionary Online. The challenges of reproducing this much-loved text online whilst incorporating all the new functionality are discussed by the OED’s Chief Editor, John Simpson. Gazing into the distance in this issue’s interview, Roberta Stevens, President of the American Library Association (ALA), talks about where she sees libraries heading, as well as the efforts the ALA is making to assist in that future. Meanwhile, in his article, Rick Anderson, Marriott Library, University of Utah, questions the place of libraries in future scholarly publishing, and elicits two very different responses from the publisher Kent Anderson and the librarian Tony Ferguson. Finally, Martin Maw, Archivist at OUP, draws past and present together in a contemplation of printing and publishing through ages and cultures in his consideration of digital publishing.



8&9 The future of scholarly publishing: Business as usual for libraries?

Rick Anderson, Kent Anderson, and Tony Ferguson

10&11 Directory

Conferences and contacts

12 Beyond books: Digital future and parallel processes

Dr Martin Maw, Archivist, OUP

Editor: Lizzie Shannon-Little Editorial Team: Damian Bird, Alison Bowker, Claire Dowbekin, Richard Gedye, Amanda Hirko, Patricia Hudson, Margaret Love, Colin Meddings, Cath Mundell, and Aviva Weinstein. Design: Sequel Group Ltd ( We value your feedback and would like to know what you think of Illuminea. If you have any suggestions for future issues, or would like to contribute, please email Front cover image and Editorial image by permission of the Secretary to the Delegates of Oxford University Press.

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Oxford Open so far: Looking at OUP’s open access INITIATIVE Rhodri Jackson, Publisher, Law Journals, OUP


uly 2010 marked five years since OUP launched Oxford Open, designed to offer authors the option of publishing their papers open access (OA). Since 2005 Oxford Open has expanded massively to include six fully OA titles, and over 90 more ‘hybrid’ titles. All of this is what has become labelled ‘gold’ OA, whereby the author pays a charge in order to make their article freely available at the point of use. ‘Green’ OA, broadly defined, is the act of authors depositing their articles in freely available archives. OUP supports a shade of green OA by allowing authors to deposit their ‘accepted’ manuscripts in repositories after a specified time period. Other aspects of green OA could potentially affect the viability of the existing journals publishing business model, so, whilst we’re keen to accommodate all publishing models, our responsibilities to our society partners have meant that green OA has been treated cautiously. This article focuses mainly on gold OA, as this is where the majority of our experience and evidence lies. A recent OUP press release documented the uptake of the open access option for Oxford Open hybrid titles. Of all articles published in OUP’s hybrid OA journals, 5.9 per cent were published under an OA model in 2009, a slight decline on 6.7 per cent in 2008. The observation made in the press release was ‘that when given the option, most authors are not yet choosing to publish their research articles under an open access model’. This sparked an energetic response from supporters of green OA, who pointed out that the OUP press release alluded only to author-pays

One of the inevitable consequences of the relative novelty of OA is the divergence of publication models used by OA publishers

OA. That is true, although it remains very difficult to measure green OA as easily as we can measure uptake of Oxford Open. OA uptake has always been strongest amongst our Life Sciences journals, followed at a distance by Medicine. Although it can be difficult to draw any conclusions at a subject level, one inference from the data is that the author-pays option is taken up more frequently in areas with higher funding. Open access charges need to cover the cost of publishing articles, and so are generally priced at a level which is beyond the individual unfunded author. Lack of funding and lack of mandate to publish OA would partly explain the paucity of OA papers being published in OUP’s Humanities, Social Science, and Law journals. One of the inevitable consequences of the relative novelty of OA is the divergence of publication models used by OA publishers. If one considers the availability of funding to be a key factor in an author choosing OA, it is reasonable to expect that there will be an increasing standardization and consolidation with regard to the preferred OA funding models. At the moment we have the situation where institutions and funders are setting up funding for OA for their authors and already specifying certain

restrictions as to where that money goes. We expect that, with experience, in time institutions and funders will want to dictate how their money is spent and the criteria for dissemination. We’ve already seen some consolidation of OA charges across the industry – when will we see the same for publishing models, and what form will that consolidation take? OA has its own publishers’ organization, its own directory of journals, and its own vocabulary (green, gold, OA evangelism, OA mandate). But the truly astonishing thing about OA is how much it has succeeded in commandeering the agenda of publishers and the publishing industry when it remains a relatively small element of the publishing industry as a whole (commercially speaking). I think it will be a sign of OA’s growing maturity when one can make this observation without being accused of trying to somehow downplay or diminish OA, which is not my intent. Over the next few years we can expect the OA industry to continue to evolve and the impact of the financial crisis on OA funding to be fully revealed. OUP, as part of our central mission to work in close partnership with the scholarly community, will remain committed to playing a full role in that evolution.

Based on Rhodri Jackson’s original article, which appeared in UKSG Serials e-News, 20 August 2010: =5591&issueno=227


illuminea | FEATURE

An enormous treasure trove of LANGUAGE I wanted the process of looking up a word in the OED Online to be the start of a journey, not the end nyone who knows the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) knows that it holds an enormous treasure trove of information about the history and development of the English language. The key to the 2010 relaunch of OED website is unlocking this information. The OED Online is Oxford University Press’s oldest online reference text. It was revolutionary when it appeared on the scene in March 2000, allowing users (sorry, readers) to access the riches of the OED’s content in a new, direct way. And it’s been a runaway success, as readers (or is it ‘users’?) have felt at last that the OED has turned into a flexible, dynamic dictionary, rather than the stately recorder of the language that it had been since 1884. But time moves on, and Oxford University Press decided that what was revolutionary in 2000 needed a comprehensive overhaul for 2010. Managing the relaunch of a much-used and much-loved text is difficult. There is a danger that new features could overshadow rather than enhance the enduring qualities of the basic text.


John Simpson, Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary


Clockwise from top left: Definition of affirm by James Murray, early 1880s; Entry for metamorphosis in the OED Online; Quotation slip for dictionary, pre-1896; Timeline feature from the OED Online

In order to avoid this, OUP called on the experience of OED editors, web specialists, project managers, and others to review the existing site and to propose how the dictionary should be presented in 2010. After extensive discussions, we came up with a new model for the dictionary. The most important aspect of the OED is its content: the definitions, etymologies, documentary evidence (quotations). Essentially these are sacrosanct. But the text on the new site derives from the editors’ working database, and

therefore includes not only the revised entries which have been published over the last ten years, but also hundreds of thousands of smaller textual improvements and standardizations that have been made silently to the entire database over that time, but haven’t been published online before. One of the advantages of this for the online site is that more standardized data means more successful searching. Traditionally, dictionaries have been inward-looking. Readers have ‘consulted’ the dictionary for information, and then returned to

their normal lives. We wanted the dictionary to look outwards as well, taking the reader out from a specific word into the larger world of language and beyond. In its new version, each dictionary entry represents the start of a journey, not the end.

Enhanced functionality The first item on our list of enhanced functionality was an online link to the Historical Thesaurus of the OED, published in book form in 2009. So now the user can read the entry for, say,

‘pencil’, and then follow on-screen links to other entries for semantically related terms through history (say, greff, pointel, style, and gad – there are about 100 others). By selecting a thematic area (say, ‘religion’) the users instantly have access to all the OED’s entries and meanings from this subcategory. There are parallel lines of research. Instead of taking a thesaurus link, users can set off along a geographical trail, in which words are listed according to their geographical area of specialist use (India: 695; Australia

and New Zealand: 3,987); or a slang trail. Or a slang and Australia trail combined. Some of this searchability is backed up by additional tagging that has been applied to the dictionary’s in-house database. Nowhere is this most evident than in the field of etymology. In the previous version of the online dictionary, a search for, say, ‘Italian’ as the language from which a word entered English gave you a list of all the etymologies in the OED in which Italian was mentioned. Now, the user can receive only those English words for which Italian is the direct language of origin. Outward links sometimes go beyond the OED itself, and I’m sure this is something we’ll see more of in future. From the OED’s entry for dog, for example, one can now (subscriptions allowing) jump to the equivalent online entry in the Dictionary of Old English (University of Toronto), or the Middle English Dictionary (University of Michigan), for further detailed treatment of the word. Additional outward links move from the names of authors and texts cited in illustrative quotations in the OED to the author’s own entry (if there is one – and there often is) in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The functionality gives us an opportunity now to link by word to OUP’s other major English dictionary website, Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO), a modern English dictionary and language reference service. So users of the OED can see how smaller contemporary dictionaries handle their word and, by the same token, users of ODO can dive from their entry into the same entry from the historical (and modern) world of the OED. Of course, the availability of dictionaries online doesn’t signal

the end of the print dictionary. We won’t need to decide whether to print the Third Edition of the OED until we complete the update. But OUP has no plans to stop publishing print dictionaries. By now you should have the impression that there are lots of new links (research opportunities) around the OED’s network of language. Another major arm of the relaunch is the visual and graphic representation of OED data which was previously only accessible in words. Although it’s good to know that there are 332 words of Polynesian origin in the OED, it perhaps means more to be able to click and see their chronological spread on a graph: nothing before 1750, then a massive spike in the data in 1830 and 1840. Links back to the words from those decades can help to explain this peak. It’s sometimes easier to interpret data such as this graphically. I should have mentioned that the website has a new look too – but there seemed so many other things to say. Editorially, I’m very pleased that the painstaking editorial research and analysis which creates the ‘content’ for the OED Online website is supported by new, flexible, and dynamic looks and functionality.

We wanted the dictionary to take the reader out from a specific word into the larger world of language and beyond


illuminea | NEWS

Oxford University Press places Social Explorer on the map Oxford University Press has partnered with Social Explorer to distribute worldwide. Social Explorer first launched in 2003 with the mission to build the most informative and easiest-to-use demographic website possible. It is

now one of the busiest demographics sites on the internet today and was selected as a 2010 Outstanding Reference Source by the American Library Association and Reference and User Service Association. This resource brings together a vast and growing amount of data with an intuitive visual interface to make demographic and statistical research, and the analysis of social trends, interactive and accessible to anyone. It makes available hundreds of thousands of reports and tens of thousands of maps from the entire history of the US

Census, including the American Community Survey, as well as US religious congregation and membership data. The site is updated regularly with new data and features, and plans are in place to add data beyond the borders of the US. Social Explorer will appeal to students, scholars, and researchers across the Social Sciences. The site will be distributed worldwide by OUP and is available to library customers on an annual subscription. Further details can be found at

Oxford library advisory group goes international Oxford University Press’s annual library advisory group meeting had a distinctly international flavour this year as we welcomed new group members from all around the globe. Thirteen distinguished librarians travelled to Oxford in May, including new representatives from as far afield as China, Japan, India, and Australia as well as returning friends and colleagues from North America and Europe. Nigel Portwood, the new Chief Executive Officer of OUP, started the day by introducing himself to the group and talking about the challenges and possible changes that face academic libraries and publishers. Amongst these changes was the imminent retirement of Martin Richardson, the outgoing Managing Director of the Academic and Journals Divisions. With formalities out of the way the group got right down to business with Richard Gedye, Research Director at OUP, leading a discussion on the competitive marketplace for academic publishing. The talk covered


financial results as well as some interesting technological developments, such as innovative new journal article formats and business models. Business models were also the focus of a session on e-books led by Chris Bennett, Head of Online Sales. With ever-increasing amounts of electronic reference and scholarly content published online, the discussion of current and potential future routes to market will no doubt inform future sales models. Making the most of the knowledge of our international guests was one of our key objectives for the day and the basis for a discussion on the international market. The impact of the recent global economic crisis on education funding was of great concern. Generally the view was that the funding situation within Europe is gloomy, and that US institutions have been hit hard by falls in endowment income, but this contrasts somewhat with the picture in Asia. Dr Jagdish Arora, representing the Inflibnet consortium, gave an overview of the ongoing investment in

education by the Indian state. A similar picture was presented by Qiang Zhu (Peking University Library) with the government in China investing heavily in higher education. Various proposals for mandating open access publishing were also discussed, with Ann Okerson (Yale) outlining the potential impact of proposed US legislation. The afternoon took a decidedly technological turn with Terry Bucknell (University of Liverpool) and Graham Stone (University of Huddersfield) demonstrating some next-generation library search and discovery tools. Group discussion focused on the implications for both libraries and publishers, and in particular what publishers should be aware of in order to support such technology. Timely delivery of metadata to system vendors was one of the key learning points of the day. As ever, the frank discussions and extended consultation with librarian group members over the course of the day will prove invaluable to OUP in developing future publishing strategies.

Successful migration of journal content to new platform The migration of Oxford University Press’s 1.2m online journal articles to the HighWire 2.0 platform was completed last month. The move has allowed OUP to develop a more user-friendly and dynamic online experience, responding to the increasingly rapid pace of change demanded in online publishing and strengthening OUP’s position within the industry. The re-engineered Oxford Journals site has been designed around proven web publishing standards, powered by HighWire Press’s H2O web technologies. Most of the changes are behind-the-scenes to underlying technology that is not visible to users. The upgrade has resulted in enhancements in how articles are displayed, including a cleaner and more readable page layout, improvements to image display, flexible page delivery to different devices, and easier navigation. In response to the fact that over 60 per cent of users are linking deep into content from search engines, journal articles now display contextual information alongside content – effectively making every page a home page. Twenty pilot sites were successfully transferred during January and February followed by the remaining 223 journals in August and September. The initial project migrated all journal content onto the new platform. Further design and functionality enhancements will be made during 2010 and beyond.

interview | are digitizing unique materials, co-ordinating awareness of and access to these assets is largely unaddressed. And a greater worry is the ephemeral nature of some digital content. Nothwithstanding the Internet Archive, Portico, and the Library of Congress’ digital preservation programme (NDIIPP), vast quantities of the ‘digital human record’ are being lost. No one entity can afford to preserve all digital information and only a portion is being archived permanently.


Roberta Stevens

President of the American Library Association As the current President of the American Library Association (ALA), Roberta Stevens’ thirty-six years of experience in libraries has certainly qualified her for the job. Illuminea found out her thoughts on the changes taking place in the library community. In a climate of content overload, what do you think are the skills that librarianship now needs to focus upon? The bedrock of our profession will always be its core values: the commitment to preserving the human record, ensuring access to knowledge, intellectual freedom, and the importance of an educated citizenry to sustaining our democracy. Twenty-first century librarians must blend traditional and technological skills, be flexible, able to anticipate change, and willing to fearlessly alter the library’s services to address those changes. How are libraries adapting to the move towards primarily digital content, particularly when it comes to dealing with digital preservation? Digitized databases for research have been a fundamental service for a number of years and libraries are moving rapidly to offer access to e-books. However, the lack of a single standardized format for e-readers has made the download of library e-content a more challenging proposition. Of even greater significance, however, is digital preservation. While many libraries

Libraries are confronting a perfect storm of escalating costs, increased demands for service, and surging usage

How is the library community coping with the effects of the economic downturn and what measures is the ALA taking to combat its effects? Libraries are confronting a perfect storm of escalating costs, shrinking financial support, increased demands for service, and surging usage. At the same time, there is a demand that libraries demonstrate the return on the investment made in their facilities, staffing, collections, and databases. ALA has made the development of advocacy skills a top priority. It is a major goal in the Association’s strategic plan and includes 1) support for research and evaluation to provide evidence of the impact of libraries; 2) the mobilization and sustainment of grassroots advocacy for libraries and funding; and 3) collaborations that secure legislation favourable to libraries. How do you stay up-to-date with the changes taking place within, and the opinions of, the library community? As ALA’s President, I am its most visible representative. And there are many association members, government officials, librarians, and library users


who want to share their observations and recommendations with me. They are a rich source of information on what is occurring in the different library communities. And, I take full advantage of the information available from ALA. In fact, the growth of webinars and e-learning courses the Association offers has grown exponentially over the past two years, reflecting both comfort in online learning and the ease and lower cost of this means of professional development. What changes do you expect to see and/or implement during your tenure as president of the ALA as libraries adjust to the new expectations of readers and researchers? Several of my presidential initiatives support the strategic goal of advocacy for libraries and reflect the need to pursue alternative funding sources. At my inaugural program, I launched ‘Our Authors, Our Advocates’. Authors are not only the natural allies of libraries, but often celebrities in their own right. The four authors who spoke that evening were clear examples of how the writing community can partner with ALA to advocate for libraries. A second initiative, using social networking, involves children and teens preparing videos on ‘Why I Need My Library’ and a third is aimed at helping libraries develop options for financial support. I have appointed to committee posts and task forces newer ALA members and members who had not previously had the opportunity to contribute. I am dedicated to moving forward the process of developing a new generation of ALA leaders.


illuminea | feature

The future of scholarly publishing: Business as usual for libraries? Below Rick Anderson, Associate Director for Scholarly Resources and Collections at the Marriott Library, University of Utah, comments on the choices available to scholarly publishers in the face of reduced library spending. Across, a publisher and a librarian give their response to his essay.


n the current budget environment, most research libraries are substantially less able to purchase desired books, journals, and databases than they were just a few years ago. Few expect this situation to ease in the foreseeable future. At the same time, circulation rates in most research libraries are falling, even as use of other library services continues to rise. These factors combine to make it more and more difficult to justify large programmes of speculative purchasing – the likelihood of waste is simply too high, and newly emerging patron-driven acquisition models offer a variety of ways for libraries to acquire only what is needed, at – or very close to – the time the need is felt by patrons.

This new reality threatens any scholarly publisher that has traditionally relied, in significant part, on speculative library sales. To the degree that scholarly publishers (a) seek organic growth (either to fulfill their mission or to make shareholders happy) and (b) depend on library sales to get them to their growth goals, they are probably in serious trouble. If I were a scholarly publisher and were trying to figure out my options, I would conclude that they are four: 1. Be satisfied with flat growth, or even moderate declines in profitability (probably not a viable strategy for the long term) 2. Continue seeking vigorous growth in the library market (also probably a losing proposition for the long term)

3. Find a way to bypass libraries. This approach could take several forms, among them: a. Marketing and selling content directly to faculty, students, and researchers b. Marketing and selling content directly to campuses through college/university administrators c. Branching out into other sales models d. Getting out of the scholarly information market altogether and pursuing different publishing opportunities 4. Provide an information service other than traditional publishing Of the four options above, the one that should concern libraries the most is the third. Library

Business as usual? Abridged from Rick Anderson’s original article, which appeared in EDUCAUSE Review, vol 45, no 5 (July/August 2010): IfIWereaScholarlyPublisher/209335


..although libraries are increasingly popular as study spaces, services such as traditional reference and book circulation are declining – in some cases dramatically

patrons do not depend on libraries in the same ways that they once did; although libraries are increasing popular as study spaces, services such as traditional reference and book circulation are declining – in some cases quite dramatically. For now, the broker role remains highly important; patrons depend on libraries to buy access that they cannot afford on their own. This role will remain key as long as both the price of personal access and the inconvenience of working directly with individual publishers remain high. But what if publishers develop personal-access models that combine convenience with reasonable pricing? Doing so would require significant effort and some risk, but the risks of attempting to stick with current models (or with one of the other options listed above) may well be much higher. This being the case, librarians would be well advised to consider seriously the possibility that publishers will move towards marketing and sales models that change dramatically the landscape of scholarly information dissemination. That landscape may prove radically inhospitable to libraries that insist on continuing with business as usual.

insight |

A publisher’s Response

A librarian’s Response

Kent Anderson, CEO/Publisher, The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery

Tony Ferguson, Librarian, University of Hong Kong

Rick Anderson’s essay is timely and makes important observations. The macroeconomic travails we’re currently facing are exposing the fat in budgets throughout the system, fat that was put in to deal with an economy of scarcity. After all, when information is scarce, it’s better to have a little too much than to risk having too little. When we trim the fat this time, however, there’s a sneaking suspicion the soft boundary may never return. There are forces beyond cyclical economics at work in the information space, including just-in-time information, expectations of free information, and willingness to pay for information services but not content alone. Publishers have, to varying degrees, depended on a certain amount of fat in the system – excess printing, excess purchasing, excess renewals. In the institutional market, this fat provided revenues high enough that publishers were willing to forgo direct customer relationships with users. However, as library budgets have flattened and fallen,

Rick Anderson’s article is a timely review of the consequences for librarians and publishers of the seeming drying up of university support for libraries. The question is, is this true? Will library budgets not recover? Over the past 40 years of building collections, I have frequently played the part of Peter in the wolf story and declared the end of libraries was in sight only to discover that somehow universities found sufficient funds to drive buying power and prices ever higher. Of the four choices proposed, Rick suggests that what librarians should fear most is the threat of publishers selling information to readers or universities. I admit that the world in which we live is radically different from the past but I don’t think publishers, particularly those publishing journals, are willing to give up on libraries yet. Once I criticized a university press director for failing to publish journals. He said he would love to publish journals because, unlike for books, libraries would agree to pay for information not yet received or

publishers are beginning to sense the vulnerability at the heart of this bargain. Some are seriously contemplating a return to personal sales as a way to reclaim the subscription annuity and provide advertisers with better results. But these are the tactics for the familiar products. Many publishers want to create ‘an information service other than traditional publishing’. This approach strains a publisher’s core capabilities, strategies, investments, partnerships, and customers. But in an era of abundance – where anyone can publish, where any content is quickly commoditized, and where expertise is levelled – services that support content producers become more valuable than content producers themselves.

Publishers have, to varying degrees, depended on a certain amount of fat in the system


While our existing system of scholarly communication is irrational, it works

written. Journal publishing is downright lucrative. While our existing system of scholarly communication is irrational, it works. It works because of the importance of reputation to the educational enterprise. The reputation of a university is a reflection of its scholars; the reputation of a publisher is a reflection of the research quality; the reputation of a library is a reflection of the quality of the collections, facilities, and services. Any attempt to cut any one of these actors out will upset the system and call its very survival into question. I am optimistic that while the means of doing research, of publishing or the nature of libraries will change, all three actors will continue to perform their roles for many, many more years.


illuminea | directory


These are the major conferences we will be attending between October and the beginning of January 2011. You can either catch us at our information stand or contact us in advance to arrange a private appointment.

Asia Innovate and Motivate 25 October 2010, Hong Kong Liu Liping, Oxford Journals

Internet Librarian International 2010 14-15 October, London, UK Hannah Dernie, Oxford Journals

NTU Library e-Resource Fair 2010 27-28 October, Singapore Kaushik Ghosh, Oxford Journals

Working In A Digital Age: The Tenth Anniversary E-books Conference 21 October, Edinburgh, UK Jennifer Brothwell, Online

CONCERT 10-11 November, Taipei, Taiwan Liu Liping, Oxford Journals

Public Library Authority Conference 20-22 October, Leeds, UK Ged Welford, Online

The 12th Library Fair & Forum 24-26 November, Yokohama, Japan Kazunori Oike, Oxford Journals

Hellenic Conference Of Academic Libraries 3-5 November, Athens, Greece Victoria Lopez, Oxford Journals Helen Edgington, Online

SIS Conference 24-26 November, Kolkala, India Swastika Chatterjee, Oxford Journals International Conference on Digital Library Management 11-13 Jan 2011, Kolkala, India Swastika Chatterjee, Oxford Journals

Australasia LIANZA 14-17 November, Dunedin, New Zealand Marika Whitfield, Online

Asamblea Rebiun 3-5 November, Las Palmas, Spain Annaig Gautier, Online Pharma-Bio-Med 2010 7-10 November, Seville, Spain Hannah Dernie, Oxford Journals London Online 30 November - 2 December, London, UK Wolfgang Steinmetz, Oxford Journals Online Team

Europe Frankfurt Book Fair 6-10 October, Frankfurt, Germany Wolfgang Steinmetz, Oxford Journals Katharina Baier, Online JISC RSC YH Annual Learning Resources Conference 14 October, Sheffield, UK Jennifer Brothwell, Online

North America Virginia Library Association 21-22 October, Portsmouth, VA, USA Jenifer Maloney, Oxford Journals Colleen Bussey, Library Sales Pennsylvania Library Association 24-27 October, Lancaster, PA, USA Belinda Hayes, Oxford Journals Susan Goodgion, Library Sales Internet Librarian Conference 25-27 October, 2010 Monterey, CA, USA Taylor Stang, Reference and Online Marketing Charleston Conference Vendor Day 3-6 November, Charleston, SC, USA Francesca Martin, Oxford Journals Deb Farinella, Library Sales ALA Midwinter 7-11 January, San Diego, CA, USA Jenifer Maloney, Oxford Journals Rebecca Seger, Reference/ Online Marketing & Sales Deb Farinella, Library Sales

South America Attending London Online? We’ll be showcasing a range of our products, including Oxford Bibliographies Online, Taruskin’s Oxford History of Western Music, Oxford Medical Handbooks Online Phase 2, the re-launched Oxford English Dictionary, and the new journals joining Oxford in 2011.

XVI SNBU / II SIBDB Biennial Conference 17-22 October, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Greg Goss, Oxford Journals

Request free trials and be entered into our free prize draw to win a selection of prizes.

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directory |


Your contacts at Oxford University Press Here’s our list of handy contacts to help you gain access to the vast information resources available at Oxford University Press.

Journals contacts We publish over 230 academic journals, available to libraries (single and multi-site) and consortia as an entire package (the Oxford Journals Collection), a subject subset or a bespoke selection tailored to meet the needs of library users. Journal back files are also available via our Oxford Journals Archive.

Sales enquiries For product information, requests for trials, and quotations please email journals.sales@ To contact an individual member of our sales team visit for_librarians/quote.html.

Marketing enquiries For promotional materials and advice on marketing your collection to library users please email

Customer service enquiries For customer service enquiries, including enquiries relating to online access, technical assistance, print issue claims, payment or invoice enquiries, customers should contact our support team: Customers in the Americas +1 800 852 7323 (toll-free in USA/Canada) Customers in Japan and South Korea +81 3 5444 5858

Customers in other regions Consortia customers +44 (0)1865 354949 Non-consortia customers +44 (0)1865 353907

Online products contacts We also publish a number of other online products. Our acclaimed online products include the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford Reference Online, Oxford Bibliographies Online, and Oxford Scholarship Online.

Sales enquiries For product information, requests for trials, and quotations please contact our sales teams: World exc Americas +44 (0) 1865 353705 The Americas +1 800 624 0153

Marketing enquiries For promotional materials and advice on marketing your online collection to library users please email our marketing teams: World exc Americas The Americas

Online support enquiries For customer service enquiries, including enquiries relating to online access, technical assistance, payment or invoice enquiries, customers should contact our knowledgeable and friendly online support team: World exc Americas +44 (0) 1865 353705 The Americas +1 800 334 4249 (ext 6484)

Training requests For training requests on how to use any of our online products please contact our online products specialists: World exc Americas Mark Turner The Americas Taylor Stang


illuminea | insight

Beyond books: Digital future and parallel processes A view from OUP’s archivist Dr Martin Maw, Oxford University Press Archivist


igital technology can seem confusing. It’s as though publishers have just picked up the keys to a house with a million doors, but no one is quite sure which key fits which lock. Nor is it clear whether opening a door will reveal an empty cupboard or unimagined treasure. For the first time since the invention of printing in Europe in the 15th century, the possibilities of the trade may have been turned on their head. Perhaps digital publishing might best be viewed as a process: the means of collecting, sorting, and conjuring up material in a different form than a book. To many of us raised in a hard-copy culture, this notion may appear strange, even threatening. But even the way we read English is an evolved product. In ancient times, literate Greeks or Egyptians were quite used to boustrophedon scripts – writing which turned round at the end of one line, like oxen ploughing, and reversed itself for the next. Similarly, medieval monks wouldn’t have blanched at a solid block of Latin: the punctuation marks we take for granted only gained currency with bible copyists in the seventh century, and were popularized by the Venetian printer Manutius eight-hundred years later. It would be quite logical to imagine a new technology bringing further refinements to our texts and to the way we read them. Certainly, previous generations took a less blinkered view of accessing their information. In


1520, Oxford University edged into mathematical work with a pamphlet entitled Compotus Manualis ad Usum Oxoniensum: a guide to hand calculation for students confused by the University’s terms. By curling the fingers and employing both palm and knuckles, one could develop a set of exercises that laid out the whole Christian year, similar to manual systems such as finger binary or chisanbop still in use today.

Publishing change can enhance literacy This proved a vital tool for the learned, and it’s not surprising to discover a similar volume listed in the library of the Elizabethan magus John Dee. Renaissance scholars would have regarded such a technique as the natural adjunct to book-learning, a set of nimble prompts and reminders that mirrored the incredible system of “memory palaces” by which entire volumes could be learnt and brought to mind at will. It was not a faculty that demeaned printed words. Rather, it invoked the knowledge which those words conveyed when their printed form was absent. An obvious parallel concerns sign language. Questions of mark and meaning began to tax European academics in the 17th century, when Chinese ideograms became known in the West. Misguidedly, some interpreted these as a picture language: characters that

unambiguously portrayed their subjects, without any of the nuance inherent to Indo-European scripts. That notion was wrong-headed, but it led to a philosophical consideration of signs, and to the construction of the first hand-alphabets for the deaf in England. Again, Oxford popularized this thinking with George Dalgarno’s Deaf Man’s Tutor (1680). Dalgarno overlaid the alphabet on the hand, opening up rapid communication with the hard of hearing or the mute: booklearning was bypassed by something quite different, but just as fluent. If all this offers a lesson in 2010, it is that publishing change needn’t devalue literacy: it may even enhance it. After all, Manutius’s printing helped to destroy a scribe-based book culture, but ushered in the start of international scholarship and eventual mass literacy: at his funeral in 1515, humanists ringed

the coffin with his own books as a mark of respect. It may well be that some pioneer with a palm-top or the equivalent will attract similar honours in our own lifetime.

Illuminea October 2010  

October issue of Illuminea, Oxford University Press’ quarterly librarian newsletter

Illuminea October 2010  

October issue of Illuminea, Oxford University Press’ quarterly librarian newsletter