Until the 28th of January, Academic Book Week 2017 is celebrating the “diversity, innovation and influence of academic books”.
The week-long celebration has sparked discussions about the future of academic publishing, the question of open access and the possibilities of digital in scholarly publishing. As students, Academic Book Week is also causing us to reflect on our experience with academia, as well as on the value of academic libraries and resources. The latter have not only been crucial to our academic learning and achievements, but have also introduced us to groundbreaking theories and new ways of thinking.
When scouring through articles relating to Academic Book Week, one stood out as particularly informative to us future publishers. In a recent article, Christina Kamposiori from Research Libraries UK presented the views of five university librarians on the future of the academic book. We have identified a key point which we believe is relevant to those considering a career in academic publishing – including us!
“The lines between author, publisher, bookseller and librarian may become blurred as we explore the potential for new and innovative partnerships.”
Librarians are about to become a lot more involved in the publishing process, participating in the design of academic resources and creation of content.
The digital revolution is presenting users with new ways of accessing academic content (eg. online journals, videos, and even social media). In order to provide these users with a wider array of formats, new forms of collaboration between all the actors of the academic publishing chain are likely to take place. The forging of closer partnerships may be further fostered by the increase in the number of university presses. Meanwhile, librarians have a valuable role in supporting authors during their research and providing advice. Such communication and collaboration is key in tackling the challenges academic publishing may face and in ensuring the sector stays innovative and relevant to tomorrow’s users.
Academic Book Week has brought to our attention the current issues and debates surrounding the academic book. As MSc Publishing students, we are looking forward to becoming actively involved in these discussions.
- Make sure to read more on this issue here (Christina Kamposiori, “Five Librarians Discuss the Future of the Academic Book” British Academy Review)
- Find out about Academic Book Week by clicking here
- Head here to find out more about Merchiston Publishing’s latest publication, Innovations in Learning and Teaching