Stockholm University Press is still under development, as it takes time to build a trustworthy brand and fine-tune the processes to serve the academic community with relevant publications. This means that we constantly need to revise our workflows and develop the routines together with researchers from the Editorial Boards and the Publishing Committee.
Rigorous peer review was a requirement to get published with Stockholm University Press from the very beginning, along with principles of Open Access and ensuring global dissemination of all content. These core principles require collaboration to find good reviewers and to develop a sustainable distribution infrastructure that reaches all corners of the world in each specific genre.
International Author Survey about Scholarly Communication in the Social Sciences and Humanities
The collaborative organisation OPERAS recently released a survey aimed at researchers to collect more insights from researchers on their strategies for scholarly communication. The OPERAS-P project in charge of the survey has received funding from the European H2020 program (grant no 871069) to conduct an investigation on the need for more structures supporting publishing strategies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).
Stockholm University Press encourages researchers to participate in the survey, which addresses the following dimensions of scholarly communication within the HSS areas:
- publishing and communicating
- reading, writing and collaborating
- search, access and discovery.
Respondents will participate in a raffle to win books donated by Stockholm University Press and several other publishers from the Association of European University Presses (AUEP), such as Bozen-Bolzano University Press, Brussels University Press, Firenze University Press and Hamburg University Press.
Multilingualism is an important feature to nurture research in many languages in an increasingly interconnected world. The participating organisations in OPERAS also made sure that the survey is available in eight different languages.
International Collaboration is the Key to Success for a Small Press
Stockholm University Press has since the start been active in several networks to gain and share relevant knowledge about scholarly communication that contributes to the continued strive to provide a reliable alternative to traditional publishing venues. The organisations we work with serves as a benchmark for the development of best practices but also as a sounding board for the direction of innovations within the field. Research is no longer a local activity, regardless of the subject area or language.
Examples of organisations and projects Stockholm University Press is involved with are Association of European University Presses (AEUP), the LIBER Open Access Working Group, the COPIM project & the ScholarLed collaboration, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), OAPEN & DOAB and, of course, OPERAS.
Previous Studies aiming to Develop Editorial Processes and Best Practices
Supporting the work within OPERAS-P is not the only activity aimed at improving services from Stockholm University Press. A conference paper at the ELPUB 2019 (23rd edition of the International Conference on Electronic Publishing) in, June 2019, in Marseille, France, contributed with results from a smaller author study related to author attitudes about publishing Open Access and about the value of metrics as a measure of success.
The results showed that the authors chose to publish Open Access because they value the possibility to reach a global audience without barriers. However, it also seemed like the respondents were not entirely sure about the value of metrics such as the number of citations or downloads, or altmetric scores (measuring the audience reach in other outlets than citation databases and libraries). The paper concluded that the cultural practices within each academic discipline matters, but that further studies are needed to confirm how much of a role the discourse plays when defining the value of a publication.
The presentation from the conference, the survey questions and the dataset used for the analysis are all available for download here https://doi.org/10.17045/sthlmuni.8051717.v2.
Stockholm University Press has previously contributed to several other collaborative studies such as the AEUP Survey on reviewing and quality control, production and dissemination/distribution (2019) and the AEUP Survey on Editorial Skills and Courses (2018).
Work in Progress
The constant development of principles and practices is an important feature of everyday activities at Stockholm University Press. The dialogue between the Press staff and the members of the Editorial Boards of Book Series and Journals as well as the quality assurance work together with the Publishing Committee is at the core of the publishing house.
Furthermore, it is common that direct feedback from authors and reviewers lead to improved documentation and instructions to ensure that as many as possible can take advantage of the service included, when striving to publish a book that is presenting good academic work at the same time as it is a good read. Stockholm University Press would not exist without all these dedicated researchers and their hard work, so THANK YOU to all our past, current and future collaborators!
Currently, we have 17 agreements for ongoing book projects in different stages. We hope to announce quite a few of them as published this year. Watch this space for updates about new books or, follow us on Twitter.
Text by: Christina Lenz and Sofie Wennström, Managing Editors at Stockholm University Press