OBP Spring Newsletter 2021

OBP Newsletter May 13, 2021

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter!

We have exciting news about upcoming events, new publications, an interview with our developer Ross Higman and information on our open CFPs. Also, the latest set of MARC records containing all our new and past titles is now available here. There’s lots to explore below, so dive in to find out more about our plans for the months ahead...  


  • Reader survey: help us make the case for OA books
  • Ask an OBP author
  • OABN: new recordings from Plan S workshops
  • COPIM: reports and a vacancy
  • OAPEN Toolkit: a resource for authors

Books, Readership and Content

  • New Open Access publications
  • New resources
  • Call for proposals
  • Events
  • New blog posts and videos
  • Latest reviews
  • Our library scheme


  • About us: An interview with Ross Higman
Reader survey help us make the case for OA books!

Help Open Book Publishers make the case for open access books!
Please answer a few questions about how you use our books. This will only take a couple of minutes, and it will help us to demonstrate the importance of making books freely available. Please share the questionnaire with your networks too.  Complete the questionnaire to be entered into a prize draw to win a free book of your choice!

Link: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SPJM8K/

Ask an OBP Author

If you want to find out more about what it’s like to publish with us, email Professor Caroline Warman (caroline.warman@Jesus.ox.ac.uk), author of The Atheist's Bible: Diderot's ‘Éléments de physiologie’ (2020) and translator of Denis Diderot 'Rameau's Nephew' – 'Le Neveu de Rameau': A Multi-Media Bilingual Edition (2nd ed., 2016) and Tolerance: The Beacon of the Enlightenment (2016).

Open Access Books Network

​The Open Access Books Networks has recently released the VIDEO RECORDINGS and NOTES from their first three 'Voices from the OA Books Community' sessions. These recordings are available here, along with open notepads for more contributions -- add your thoughts! You can also find more information about these sessions here.
You can sign up for the next session on the links below:

Session 5: May 25th 2-4pm BST/3-5PM CEST: Rights retention and licensing (lead: Vanessa Proudman) (sign up here)


Access the latest COPIM reports:

CEU Press announces first OA book funded entirely by our library membership programme by Tom Grady and Martin Paul Eve

Combinatorial Books - Gathering Flowers - Part III by Janneke Adema, Gary Hall, and Gabriela Méndez Cota.

Combinatorial Books - Gathering Flowers - Part II by by Janneke Adema, Gary Hall, and Gabriela Méndez Cota.

Combinatorial Books - Gathering Flowers - Part I by by Janneke Adema, Gary Hall, and Gabriela Méndez Cota.

WP5 Scoping Report: Building an Open Dissemination System by Graham Stone, Rupert Gatti, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Javier Arias, Tobias Steiner, and Eelco Ferwerda: Mapping the minimal metadata requirements for the interaction of open access (OA) presses with the scholarly communications supply chain.


COPIM Research Associate in Archiving and Preserving Open Access Books @ Loughborough University
The Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project are seeking a Research Associate in Archiving and Preserving Open Access Books.

If you or anyone you know is interested in this position please, visit https://tinyurl.com/3je3c7z6


The Open Access Books Toolkit, hosted by OAPEN, aims to help book authors better understand their options in relation to open access book publishing, and to increase trust in open access books. You will  find relevant articles on all aspects of open access book publishing at different stages of the research lifecycle, along with an extensive FAQ section and a keyword search. Our Editor and Outreach Coordinator, Lucy Barnes, helped to create the Toolkit, so it comes highly recommended!

What is Authorial Philology?
Click Here to Read and Download‌‌


Romanticism and Time: Literary Temporalities
Click Here to Read and Download
Middlemarch: Epigraphs and Mirrors
Click Here to Read and Download
Rethinking Social Action through Music: The Search for Coexistence and Citizenship in Medellín’s Music Schools
Click Here to Read and Download
Diversity and Rabbinization: Jewish Texts and Societies between 400 and 1000 CE
Click Here to Read and Download
A Victorian Curate: A Study of the Life and Career of the Rev. Dr John Hunt
Click Here to Read and Download
Arab Media Systems
Click Here to Read and Download
Classical Music: Contemporary Perspectives and Challenges
Click Here to Read and Download
New Perspectives in Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew
Click Here to Read and Download
Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene
Click Here to Read and Download
Shaping the Digital Dissertation: Knowledge Production in the Arts and Humanities
Click Here to Read and Download
A Victorian Curate: A Study of the Life and Career of the Rev. Dr John Hunt
Click Here to Read and Download
New Resources

Tracy T. Dooley, co-editor of Simplified Signs: A Manual Sign-Communications System for Special Populations, has made available a transcript of the Online Book Launch of Simplified Signs: A Manual Sign-Communication System for Special Populations here.

The editors have also released the official website for this book at http://www.simplifiedsigns.net to access tutorials designed to help people, especially parents and teachers, learn to use the signs.

Call for Proposals

​We have various Open Access series all of which are open for proposals, so feel free to get in touch if you or someone you know is interested in submitting a proposal!

Global Communications
Global Communications is a new book series that looks beyond national borders to examine current transformations in public communication, journalism and media. Special focus is given on regions other than Western Europe and North America, which have received the bulk of scholarly attention until now.

St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture
St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture, a successful series published by the Centre for French History and Culture at the University of St Andrews since 2010 and now in collaboration with Open Book Publishers, aims to enhance scholarly understanding of the historical culture of the French-speaking world. 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.

Studies on Mathematics Education and Society
This book series publishes high-quality monographs, edited volumes, handbooks and formally innovative books which explore the relationships between mathematics education and society. The series advances scholarship in mathematics education by bringing multiple disciplinary perspectives to the study of contemporary predicaments of the cultural, social, political, economic and ethical contexts of mathematics education in a range of different contexts around the globe.

The Global Qur'an
The Global Qur’an is a new book series that looks at Muslim engagement with the Qur’an in a global perspective. Scholars interested in publishing work in this series and submitting their monographs and/or edited collections should contact the General Editor, Johanna Pink. If you wish to submit a contribution, please read and download the submission guidelines here.

The Medieval Text Consortium Series
The Series is created by an association of leading scholars aimed at making works of medieval philosophy available to a wider audience. The Series' goal is to publish peer-reviewed texts across all of Western thought between antiquity and modernity, both in their original languages and in English translation. Find out more here.

Applied Theatre Praxis
This series publishes works of practitioner-researchers who use their rehearsal rooms as "labs”; spaces in which theories are generated and experimented with before being implemented in vulnerable contexts. Find out more here.

Digital Humanities
Overseen by an international board of experts, our Digital Humanities Series: Knowledge, Thought and Practice is dedicated to the exploration of these changes by scholars across disciplines. Books in this Series present cutting-edge research that investigate the links between the digital and other disciplines paving the ways for further investigations and applications that take advantage of new digital media to present knowledge in new ways. Proposals in any area of the Digital Humanities are invited. We welcome proposals for new books in this series. Please do not hesitate to contact us (a.tosi@openbookpublishers.com) if you would like to discuss a publishing proposal and ways we might work together to best realise it.​


Calling librarians and researchers !  Don't miss this online discussion about the creation and usage of #openaccess books with  @EIFLnet and @OpenBookPublish.

When: 20 May at 09:00 UTC

RSVP: http://bit.ly/EIFLOABDis

Blogs and Videos

Translating Les Philosophes: A Collaborative Challenge by Felicity Gush and Rosie Rigby

Earth Day and the Beauty We Love by Sam Mickey

In praise of conflict by Geoffrey Baker

Out now: "Rethinking Social Action Through Music” by Geoffrey Baker.

An Interview with Giulia Raboni, co-editor of What is Authorial Philology?  

Promotional Video for Arab Media Systems by Carola Richter and Claudia Kozman (eds)

An Interview with Jessica Goodman, editor of 'The Philosophes' by Charles Palissot

An Interview with the contributors of Introducing Vigilant Audiences by Daniel Trottier, Rashid Gabdulhakov and Qian Huang

Latest Book Reviews

Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing by Sam Mickey, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim (eds).

This book makes essential connections for understanding how humans may interact with all of life on Earth, especially in the face of rapid global climate change.

—  J. B. Richardson III, emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, CHOICE connect, April 2021 Vol. 58 No. 8

History of International Relations: A Non-European Perspective by Erik Ringmar.

The book is a rich mine of historical narratives that give an interesting, objective and enlightening account of crucial stages of the world history. Without its comprehensive study, one cannot better understand the complexity of today’s world. It is a must read for graduate students, faculty and researchers. The book is highly recommended for all those who are keen enough to have an access to the world history through objective lenses.

— B.M. Jain, Editor-in-Chief, Indian Journal of Asian Affairs, Vol. 33, June-Dec 2020.

B C, Before Computers: On Information Technology from Writing to the Age of Digital Data by Stephen Robertson.

This reviewer found the book an absorbing read… should … appeal to general readers interested in the modern information environment.

— R. Bharath, emeritus, Northern Michigan University, CHOICE connect, May 2021 Vol. 58 No. 9.

The Waning Sword: Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth in 'Beowulf' by Edward Pettit.

This book’s strength is its wealth of [...] comparanda—interesting, worthy, often compelling analogues to the central monster-fight of Beowulf. They reveal the likelihood of an archaic mythic substrate embedded in the narrative tradition the poet inherited [...]. Pettit’s study is well worth the effort he has put into it, gathering in one place a compendium of the solar imagery that once appealed so strongly to the Beowulf poet [...].

— Craig R. Davis, Speculum 96/2 (April 2021), 545-47.

Annunciations: Sacred Music for the Twenty-First Century by George Corbett (ed.)

‘In this book we have a highly creative response [to (post-?) secular society], one which is not just a book, but a multimedia work […] It is the fruit of a remarkable, indeed unique collaboration between theologians and composers […] the resultant “alchemy” has produced some rather wonderful music as well as developing theological understanding, and raising sometimes awkward new questions. […] Annunciations makes a decisive shift from the now-common Historically Informed Performance model (i.e. how would Palestrina’s music have sounded in its historical context?) to Theologically Informed Programming and Performance: “to show how an appreciation of the theological engagement or profound spirituality of composers can influence their music’s performance and reception”’. — Dominic White, OP, New Blackfriars, (May 2021)

Sailing from Polis to Empire: Ships in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic Period by Emmanuel Nantet (ed.)

This work is a worthy and innovative contribution to its field. The visual component is a valuable asset towards the understanding of the subject, and the inclusion of different themes, explored through varied approaches, allows for a greater understanding of the most recent work in nautical studies of the ancient Mediterranean, bringing important input into a subject that has been growing in visibility during the past few years, due to new technologies and the irreplaceable role of underwater archaeological surveys. The bibliographies of the different chapters provide a valuable collection of both early ship studies, updated and very recent publications, and ancient sources, in which researchers can find passages for further consideration. The illustration list, which includes ancient iconography, also contributes to this purpose. Even though the nature of the various chapters seems, at first, rather different, readers will soon realise that they are connected by the same approach and purpose, marking the work’s methodological position and serving as a practical guide to researchers who may wish to further their knowledge and future investigation into these matters. Its proposed timeframe, albeit focusing on the Hellenistic era, often ends up transposing towards the more remote period of the Homeric tales and occasionally extends into the Roman imperial period, especially as regards iconographic surveys, due to the scarcity of material. This allows the work to go beyond its initial scope and to consider matters such as technological capacities, shipbuilding techniques, harbour characteristics and mental and socio-economical influence of ship trade with a long-term view, another mark of its multidisciplinary approach.

— Daniela Dantas, Centre for History of the University of Lisbon, The Classical Review 71.1 190–193, 2021.

Making up Numbers: A History of Invention in Mathematics by Ekkehard Kopp.

This book examines the theoretical growth of mathematics from a historical perspective. Kopp (Univ. of Hull) offers a fascinating and enlightening presentation in which basic notions are evolved into advanced mathematical concepts. As shown here, abstraction becomes a natural result of mathematical development.

—  D. P. Turner, Faulkner University, CHOICE Connects, June 2021 Vol. 58 No. 10

Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850 by Simon Franklin and Katherine Bowers (eds)

Wegen dieser guten Verfügbarkeit des Bandes, seiner klaren Struktur und der Bedeutung des Themas kann das Buch sowohl dem Spezialisten als auch für die universitäre Lehre empfohlen werden. Die kontroversen, aber auch komplementären Thesen im Buch werden zu fruchtbaren Diskussionen in Kursen und Seminaren anregen.

—Arkadi Miller, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas in our review supplement jgo.e-reviews 9 (2019), no. 2

Earth 2020: An Insider’s Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet by Philippe Tortell (ed.).

Conceived before Covid-19, 'Earth 2020: An Insider’s Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet' is an attempt to review various environmental topics from climate change to biodiversity and pollution crises in a series of testimonies by "insiders,” specialists in their respective disciplines. It begins with a solid introduction by Philippe Tortell explaining his journey into the preparation of these essays. As he explains in the introduction the idea for this book came to him as a way "to focus public attention (if only for a short while) on topics of significant importance.”[5] Tortell explains the book as a way of assessing the human footprint on the "Earth system” since the first celebration of Earth Day in 1970.

— Loys Maingon, The Ormsby Review, April 17, 2021.

Our Library Membership Scheme

The Open Book Publishers' Library Membership Programme supports our award-winning Open Access monograph publishing programme. By joining the Programme for an annual fee of £300/$500/€400, libraries and their users both support and benefit from OA publishing. We would be delighted to hear from libraries considering joining the Library Membership Programme or interested in further information. You can find the list of benefits here. We are delighted to offer a special 10% discount to members of SPARC and JISC Collections - just mention your membership when you contact us!
Free membership for libraries in economically developing countries: For institutions based in economically developing nations some fees may not apply. If you are a librarian at a university or library in such a country, and would be interested in receiving more information on how to become a member, please contact our Marketing and Library Relations Officer Laura Rodriguez at laura@openbookpublishers.com.

About us: An Interview with Ross Higman

Ross Higman is a software engineer working on the Open Dissemination System for the COPIM project. He has previously developed software for telecommunications networking and air pollution modelling, and worked as an editorial assistant. He holds an MPhil in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge.

Could you give us a glimpse of how you first became involved with open access?

I've been aware of open access for a while, as many of my friends are in academia or librarianship. Like many people, I became much more conscious of the issues that can arise from closed access publishing early in the coronavirus pandemic! Working at OBP has been my first direct involvement with open access, and it's exciting to work on at this time of growing interest and engagement from the scholarly community.

What drew you to work at OBP?

I've always sought out roles where I can use my skills to the benefit of society, and as a software developer with an earlier background in publishing admin, I found the opportunity to create open source software supporting smaller OA publishers very appealing.

Could you briefly describe what your role involves?

I work full-time on the COPIM project developing the web-based metadata management system Thoth. There are two of us on the development team, and between us we work on extending and improving all aspects of the software, from the publicly-visible web interface to the database that holds all the metadata under the covers. We're adding new functionality all the time, as well as learning what works best for the editorial staff who use it and adapting the system to their needs, and it's great to have that sense that we're constantly making progress.

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of your work? And the most exciting?

There's lots to learn, and it's constantly changing - which is both challenging and exciting. Thoth is written entirely in the programming language Rust, which I hadn't worked with before, and has some unusual features compared to languages I've used previously. Like Thoth itself, it's quite new, and still developing, but that allows it to learn from and improve on what's gone before! It's also the first time I've been involved in developing every level of a web application, which is a lot to master, but really satisfying when you see it all working together.

This post was a collaboration between

Open Book Publishers, Laura Rodríguez, Lucy Barnes

  • Open Book Publishers

    Open Book Publishers

    We believe that knowledge should be available to everyone: our books are free to read and download online, and we are working to create a world in which all research is freely available to all readers

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    Open Book Publishers
  • 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.

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    Lucy Barnes