Collaboration is the key to success for smaller publishers. This time of year calls for a look in the rearview mirror to see what the result of all our collaboration is. What did it mean for us to participate, network and share knowledge with our colleagues in organisations such as OASPA, AEUP, ALPSP, OPERAS, and the Ubiquity Partner Network?
Publishing, a collaborative tradition
There is a long tradition of collaboration between academic journal publishers, which you can find the result of within organisations and committees such as STM, ALPSP, OASPA, COPE, and others. In recent years, we have seen a lot of new university presses, like us, sprouting. This movement has for example been described in the report Changing publishing ecologies. A landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing by Janneke Adema and Graham Stone. The report emphasises the ongoing collaboration between presses, consisting of activities such as sharing services to reduce costs and sharing knowledge to grow and learn. Stockholm University Press has been a collaborative organisation from the very beginning as we joined the Ubiquity Partner Network to run our entire technical and production environment sustainably. However, it is commonly known that collaboration is not just roses and daisies but also require some hard work and engagement. It is now time to take a step back and look in the rearview mirror to see the result of the work we have accomplished together in different constellations.
Visibility through shared services and networks
With the help of our colleagues and partners, we can tackle challenges together. One such thing to manage for a small book and journal publisher is visibility. How do we, for example, get readers to our books, and how do we gain trust from authors? While the academic journal publishers came together to organise and develop a new paradigm to develop digital publishing systems in the late 1990ies, the academic book market is still struggling with digital distribution when it comes to such things as standardisation of digital platforms, object identifiers, metadata, distribution channels and so on. An infrastructure for sharing information about new books to libraries and book buyers is essential for any publisher, but even more so when there is no room in the budget for dedicated sales staff. In our model by using databases and services such as OAPEN, DOAJ, and DOAB, which all helps us to distribute information about new content. The work to connect content is managed via our provider, Ubiquity Press.
Now with online annotation for books
This year, we are also most pleased with developments that allow online annotation for all our books via Hypothes.is. This service allows all users to highlight and add notes while reading, and they can choose to make the comments public or private. It works for PDF files as well! This significant development has been possible for us due to the collaboration with Ubiquity Press and their engagement in the HIRMEOS project. So, the partnership works directly as well as indirectly.
We have been busy collaborating this year!
We have in addition to the above of course done much more this year. Here are some of the activities within the networks and organisations where we have contributed or participated:
- We presented our view on how we can make a difference together at the annual LIBER Conference in Lille, France – with the panel discussion Rebels with a cause: Supporting New Library and Scholar-led Open Access Publishing through Organic Collaboration and Academic Community Building in collaboration with Joe Deville, Jeroen Sondervan and Graham Stone.
- The Association of European University Presses (AEUP) workshop in Riga, Latvia entitled Keeping up with the standards, where we had the opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss the future together with our peers all over Europe.
- We contributed to a white paper about tools for publishing via the OPERAS collaboration, co-authored with Arnaud Gingold (OpenEdition), Francesca Di Donato (AISA), Patrick Gendre (OpenEdition), Elena Giglia (University of Turin), Maciej Maryl (IBL PAN), Tom Mowlam (Ubiquity Press), Ghislain Sillaume (C2DH), and Heather Staines (Hypothes.is).
- We contributed, as representatives of LIBER and their library publishing community to continue the work with the educational tool Think.Check.Submit. Survey reveals that it is essential to keep talking about trustworthy spaces for publishing.
- We attended the University Press Redux conference in London, UK, organised by ALPSP. At this event, we learned that the university presses are moving forward not only in Europe but also in the US. It was evident that all publishers have to deal with the move to Open Access and the challenges with funding and author engagement that the paradigm entails.
- We attended the first OPERAS conference in Athens, Greece, where we, for example, learned more about the importance of coordinating efforts and to consider the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and other European e-infrastructures to ensure wide dissemination of content in the future.
- We attended the COASP conference in Vienna, Austria, where we again found that the focus on collaboration when developing F.A.I.R scholarly publication systems for the future is essential for all of us.
- There was an interesting workshop Beyond APCs: Alternative Open Access Publishing Business Models in The Hague, The Netherlands hosted by OpenAIRE that we attended as a part of the work with writing a report to support the shift to a Swedish Open Access policy.
- We also initiated and nurtured collaboration with other universities, via study visits or other forms of sharing services and ideas, such as UiT the Arctic University of Norway, University of South-Eastern Norway, Helsinki University Press, Göttingen State and University Library in Germany.
These activities are all contributing to the work with making Stockholm University Press a reliable, up-to-date, relevant and fun publishing partner. We are looking forward to seeing more results of our collaborative efforts benefit the authors and editors working with us in the coming years.
This blog post was written by Sofie Wennström, Managing Editor, Stockholm University Press