OBP Spring Newsletter 2020

OBP Newsletter May 11, 2020

Welcome to our Spring newsletter!

Amid all the uncertainties surrounding the COVID19 pandemic, at Open Book Publishers we remain committed to making knowledge accessible and we are still working —albeit from our separate homes— to bring you the latest news and open access academic books. In this newsletter we have curated a list of blog posts on e-conferencing and open resources, a wealth of freely available new academic titles, and articles on our most recent publications, which we hope you find useful in a time when accessibility and open content is of prime importance! Below you will also find updates on the UKRI consultation and a fantastic interview with our most recent addition to the team, Agata Morka, who joins us as part of OPERAS-P and the COPIM project as European Co-ordinator for Open Access Books. Finally, our new set of MARC records is now available here.

Thank you so much for being part of our global community and we hope you and yours stay safe!

UKRI Consultation: We are working on our response to UKRI's Open Access policy consultation: the deadline is noon on 29 May. Please consider sending in your own response in support of Open Access books. We will be making our response public on our blog next week -- please use it to help compile your own response, if you wish.

Get to Know Us - An Interview with Agata Morka: Our new European Co-ordinator for Open Access Books, Agata Morka, holds a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Washington, where she completed her dissertation on contemporary French train stations. For the past nine years she has been working with OA books. She is responsible for coordinating efforts between two European projects focusing on OA monographs: the OPERAS-P and the COPIM projects. Click here to find out about her career, her new role and the most challenging aspects of her work.

Chat with us! We would like to invite anyone interested in Open Access book publishing to chat with our team. We are launching a series of drop-in sessions where anyone interested in the different aspects of our work can ask questions and share thoughts. The first session is for researchers interested in our submission and selection process: log on and chat with our director and commissioning editor Dr Alessandra Tosi about how to submit a book proposal, our peer review process, what we look for when selecting books for publication, and more. When: Monday 11th May at 5pm (UK time). How: click here to connect to our Zoom channel. If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like to know more, please feel free to contact Alessandra by email at any time.

We will soon be launching a fantastic new vlog series on one of our forthcoming titles, Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing edited by Sam Mickey, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim. In this new series, which will run from the 11th May to the 1st June, Mary Evelyn Tucker will take the reader on a journey through the book and explore why it matters. She will interview the contributors about the ideas behind the project, and tease out the key arguments in each chapter. Download the schedule here.  
We have also released the first online panel discussion on one of our latest OA books Earth 2020: An Insider's Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet. On Monday, May 4, at 12 p.m. EDT the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth hosted an online panel discussions with four contributors of Earth 2020: An Insider's Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet. This panel was co-moderated by Philippe Tortell, editor of the title and professor at the University of British Columbia and Elizabeth Wilson, director of the Irving Institute and professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College. In this panel the following authors participated:

Sally N. Aitken, University of British Columbia
Douglas G. MacMartin, Cornell University
Roland Geyer, University of California, Santa Barbara
U. Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia
You can now watch this online panel here.
COVID 19: Information, resources and author posts:
COVID19: Information and Resources from OBP: An update on our activities during the Coronavirus crisis, and a collection of freely available and downloadable resources that might be useful during this time.

Coronavirus, inequality and the ‘tipping point’: Mark O'Brien draws on the lessons from his book, Just Managing? What it Means for the Families of Austerity Britain to discuss the very different experiences of the Coronavirus emergency at either end of the UK’s social spectrum.

Vigilant audiences and stay-at-home justice: Author Daniel Trottier reflects on the roles of online vigilance and vigilantism during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Models in Microeconomic Theory - A Blog Post: Martin J. Osborne discusses the importance of writing OA textbooks, especially during periods of crisis, when the urgent need for accessible resources becomes obvious to all.

The End of the World: ten years later: Maria Manuel Lisboa reflects on her book, The End of the World: Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture ten years after its publication, and considers what it has to tell us today.

The World Dislocated: Author Ellyn Toscano draws on her book, Women and Migration, to consider the impact of Coronavirus on the plight of migrants huddled closely in detention centers, migrant camps and prisons.
A thank-you note to my publisher and readers: One year after its publication, R. H. Winnick, author of Tennyson’s Poems: New Textual Parallels reflects on the importance of modern technology and of OA publishing in keeping reading, learning, & scholarship alive during the current pandemic.

Open Books from OBP - A Showcase

A showcase of freely accessible academic books - from anthologies to philosophical tracts to books on film and quotation - all introduced by their authors.

The Environmental Impact of Open Book Publishers: At Open Book Publishers, we are working to minimise our environmental impact. Find out more in this post.

Open Education:

Is prestige a problem? Considering the usefulness of prestige in academic book publishing: A reliance on prestige in academic publishing limits the choice of authors and the accessibility of research, and it deadens innovation. What might we replace it with?

Why is open education resource creation, management and publishing important? Reflections for Open Book Publishers on Open Education Week 2020: Read our authors and contributors as they consider OER creation, management and publishing.

Publishing an Open Access Textbook on Environmental Sciences: Conservation Biology in Sub-Saharan Africa: Richard Primack and John Wilson discuss the idea behind their OER project and the importance of making this knowledge openly accessible.

Open education is key to the future of learning: Read Patrick Blessinger's blog on the importance of open education for human development and learning.

Econferences: why and how? A blog series

We are all having to learn how to do more remotely, now and for the foreseeable future. This series of blog posts, drawn from our forthcoming title Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene, deals with the why, the what, and the how of online conferences.

What do conferences do—and can econferences replace them? Why do we have academic conferences at all, and what are the affordances and constraints of online conferences in meeting these needs?

Are virtual conferences good enough? Socially constructed obstacles to virtual conference adoption are large, but fragile. Change will be driven by improvements in technology, increased networked literacy and pressure to restrain costs – both financial and ecological.

Time management and Continuous Partial Attention: The simultaneous focus on multiple technologies and social contexts in conferences settings creates opportunities as well as problems for researchers.

Successful econferences: examples and case studies: This post presents some examples and in-depth case studies of successful online conferences.

Authors' Posts:

Agency: Moral Identity and Free Will - A blog post: Read David Weissman's new blog on his book in which he discusses the concepts of determination, autonomy and choice.

In Gallucci's Commentary on Dürer’s 'Four Books on Human Proportion': Renaissance Proportion Theory, James Hutson explores the ideas and intention behind his new OA title.

The Classic Short Story, 1870-1925: Theory of a Genre: Read Florence Goyet's incisive introduction to her global study of the classic short story, including works by Maupassant, Chekhov, Verga, James and Akutagawa.

From Darkness to Light, Writers in Museums 1798-1898 presents essays that explore, for the first time, the reaction of writers and artists to museums and galleries that were not yet lit by electric light.

Tony Curtis, “The Young Juggler”: Jan M. Ziolkowski explores the connections between Hollywood star Tony Curtis and the fable of the Juggler of Notre Dame.

The Death of Tomie dePaola and the Juggler of Notre Dame: Jan Ziolkowski reflects on the life and work of American author and illustrator Tomie dePaola, particularly his affinity for the tale of the Juggler of Notre Dame.
Our books elsewhere:

Forgotten letters tell the inspiring story of a Suffolk pioneer by Andrew Clarke: Published in the East Anglian Daily Times, this article focuses on Lucy Pollard's new title Margery Spring Rice: Pioneer of Women’s Health in the Early Twentieth Century.

Earth Day 2020 — the 50th anniversary will be the weirdest Earth Day ever: A fantastic interview with CBC Quirks & Quarks where host Bob McDonald speaks with Philippe Tortell, author of Earth 2020: An Insider's Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet, about his new book. The podcast features an excerpt from the Earth Symphony.

Earth Day at 50: A look to the past offers hope for the planet's future: Read Philippe Tortell's latest article for The Conversation Canada, in which he talks about the history of Earth Day and the actions that have been implemented since its first celebration in 1970.

Call for Papers:

Applied Theatre Praxis: This series focuses on Applied Theatre practitioner-researchers who use their rehearsal rooms as "labs”; spaces in which theories are generated and experimented with before being implemented in vulnerable contexts. Click here to find out more about the submission process.

St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture: This series covers the full span of historical themes relating to France: from political history, through military/naval, diplomatic, religious, social, financial, cultural and intellectual history, art and architectural history, to literary culture. Click here for more details.

Global Communications: Global Communications series looks beyond national borders to examine current transformations in public communication, journalism and media. We are currently accepting proposals for this series. Click here if you wish to know more.

New Publications: These past few months we have released fantastic new titles on the fields of environmental sciences, literary studies, philosophy, economics and art. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, written by Geoffrey Khan, is the first title of our Cambridge Semitic Languages and Culture series. In this book, Professor Khan presents the current state of knowledge of the Tiberian pronunciation tradition of Biblical Hebrew and a full edition of one of the key medieval sources, Hidāyat al-Qāriʾ ‘The Guide for the Reader’, by ʾAbū al-Faraj Hārūn. You can read the first volume here and access the second volume here. March saw the publication of Gallucci's Commentary on Dürer’s 'Four Books on Human Proportion': Renaissance Proportion Theory by James Hutson and Models in Microeconomic Theory by Martin J. Osborne and Ariel Rubinstein. Finally, in April a wealth of new titles hit the press: Agency: Moral Identity and Free Will by David Weissman was published earlier this month, as well as the second volume of The Life and Letters of William Sharp and "Fiona Macleod". Volume 2: 1895-1899 by William F. Halloran which is now available to read and download here. On Earth Day we published Earth 2020: An Insider's Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet, edited by Philippe Tortell. Written by world-leading thinkers on the front lines of global change research and policy, this multi-disciplinary collection maintains a dual focus: some essays investigate specific facets of the physical Earth system, while others explore the social, legal, and political dimensions shaping the human environmental footprint. Finally, on 24th April 2020, a date chosen to commemorate the second anniversary of the unveiling of Millicent Fawcett's statue in Parliament Square, we published a biography of her niece: Margery Spring Rice: Pioneer of Women’s Health in the Early Twentieth Century. This biography presents readers with the story of Margery Spring Rice, an instrumental figure in the movements of women’s health and family planning in the first half of the twentieth century. Spring Rice was born into a family of formidable female trailblazers – niece of physician and suffragist Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, and of Millicent Fawcett, a leading suffragist and campaigner for equal rights for women, and she continued this legacy with her co-founding of the North Kensington birth control clinic in 1924, three years after Marie Stopes founded the first clinic in Britain. You can now read and download this title for free here.

Forthcoming publications: Do you want to know more about the interplay between nature and culture in the setting of our current age of ecological crisis? Or about the grammatical aspects of Rabinnic Hebrew? If so, click here to visit our forthcoming titles section and find out more about the upcoming titles on these and many other topics that will soon be  available!

If there are any thoughts you would like to share with us about this newsletter or our work in general, please email laura@openbookpublishers.com or contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

This post was a collaboration between

Laura Rodríguez, Lucy Barnes

  • Laura Rodríguez

    Laura Rodríguez

    Laura Rodríguez holds an MPhil in Medieval Literature at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include medieval pastoral care, women's studies, religious history, and cycle drama.

    More posts by Laura Rodríguez.

    Laura Rodríguez
  • Lucy Barnes

    Lucy Barnes

    Lucy Barnes is Senior Editor and Outreach Coordinator at Open Book Publishers.

    More posts by Lucy Barnes.

    Lucy Barnes