Tag Archives: Open Access

Introducing Data to the Open Access Debate: OBP’s Business Model (Part Three)

Open-BookpicHere are our cost and revenue figures. As also reported at the OASPA conference, they are for the 12-month period from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2015. Being based in the UK, our accounts are actually denominated in British pounds, but to ease international comparison I have reported everything in US Dollars. As I mentioned in Part One, the most interesting and exciting aspect of Open Access publishing is, I believe, the ability to reduce the costs of academic publication and distribution. After all, that is what the Internet was invented for! Continue reading

Interdisciplinary Diderot


Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was a mathematician, a major art critic, an innovative novelist, a playwright, and, of course, the editor of the Encyclopédie, which contained articles on most subjects under the sun: science, medicine, the arts, horse-breeding, ship-building… It is a fascinating, not to say enlightening, exercise to approach the interdisciplinary Diderot in an interdisciplinary fashion. I am involved, as an editor, in just such a project.

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In Honour of Professor Robert Rennie


In 2014, Robert Rennie retired from the post he had held since 1994 as Professor of Conveyancing at the University of Glasgow. This brought an end to part – but only part – of a remarkable career encompassing both academia and legal practice. Robert qualified as a solicitor in 1969, having previously studied at the University of Glasgow, completing a part-time PhD thesis on Floating Charges – A Treatise from the Standpoint of Scots Law in 1972. He worked as a solicitor in the west of Scotland, where he played a leading role in the expansion of the firm of Ballantyne and Copland, and was appointed to the part-time Chair of Conveyancing at Glasgow in 1994.
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How I Came Home

For most of my professional career I was a teacher of French literature and much of my published work has been in that field. But I have always been a wanderer and, since my retirement in 1999, perhaps a rather reckless one. Sometimes I look back to see if I can discern any consistency in my seemingly random curiosity and research projects. Continue reading

In a Pilgrim’s Footsteps


In September 2011, I found myself standing on a rock on the shore of Lake Peipsi, the huge stretch of water that lies between Estonia and St Petersburg, peering out across the haze in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Russian shore. Continue reading

Knowledge is for sharing

Open Access: the future of academic publishing

Researchers, authors and funding bodies are realising that the high price of access to academic books and journals means that only a select few can read their work. Open Access (that is, making texts free to read and reuse) helps spread research results and other educational materials to everyone, globally, not just to those who can afford it or have access to well-endowed university libraries able to pay the high prices required by commercial ‘legacy’ publishers. Scholars are realizing that participation in a system that confines the readership, and therefore the intellectual engagement, to the affluent few is not only morally questionable but a potential drag on the progress of their subject, and indeed of their academic careers. Continue reading