Winter Newsletter - February 2022

OBP Newsletter Feb 15, 2022

Welcome to our Winter Newsletter!  

We have updates from COPIM and the OABN, information about our new and forthcoming publications, calls for proposals, new blogs, latest reviews and more...

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Authors' Survey

We would like to ask for your feedback on the publishing process with us. We would also like to collect demographic data about our authors, editors, and contributors  to help us form a better picture of the communities we interact with – and the gaps in representation that need addressing. This data will remain private and the identities of those individuals who agree to participate will not be disclosed under any circumstance. If you are one of our authors, editors, or contributors please, click here to access the survey.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that if you are an author or an editor of any of our titles you can access the OBP Author Reports page to find out more about readership and sales information for your book. If you are unable to log in, or have any question please contact our Marketing and Library Relations Officer Laura Rodriguez here.

New Board Member!

We are delighted to announce that J. David Velleman, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics at New York University and Miller Research Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, has joined as a member of our Editorial Board and Advisory Panel. J. David Velleman is the author of Foundations for Moral Relativism and Beyond Price: Essays on Birth and Death.

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Auld Lang Syne: A Song and its Culture by M. J. Grant has been featured in around 350 media outlets!

This title explores the history of this iconic song, demonstrating how its association with ideas of fellowship, friendship and sociality has enabled it to become so significant for such a wide range of individuals and communities around the world.

Among the highlights are:

BBC Sounds interview with Dr Morag Grant from Edinburgh Uni on Today Show discussing the origins of Auld Lang Syne.

'Why do people link hands to sing Auld Lang Syne?', BBC, 31 December 2021.

'Linking arms while singing Auld Lang Syne was a parting ritual of the Freemasons, expert reveal', Daily Mail, 31 December 2021.

'Freemasonry behind Auld Lang Syne arm linking at new year', Irvine Times, 31 December 2021.

'Auld Lang Syne arm-linking at new year connected to Freemasons', The Guardian, 31 December 2021.

'Roots of Auld Lang Syne found in masonic lodges', The Times, 31 December 2021.

'Author connects Auld Lang Syne arm linking to the Freemasons', Wales Online, 31 December 2021.

'Freemasonry behind Auld Lang Syne arm linking at new year', The Scotsman, 31 December 2021.

'Auld Lang Syne: The possible meaning behind why people link arms while singing', The Herald, 31 December 2021.

This is an Open Access title available to read and download for free at

Read about the importance of this contribution on our blog at

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Access the latest COPIM reports:

* Opening the Future... in 60 seconds by WP3:

* OA book published by OtF press by WP3, Tom Grady, and Martin Paul Eve:

* COPIM statement on the corporate acquisition of OA infrastructure by Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs:

* CEU Press publish 2nd OtF OA book by Tom Grady and WP3:

* Third OA book from CEU Press out today by Tom Grady and WP3:

* Book vs journal metrics - Q&A by Tom Grady and WP3:

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The Open Access Books Networks has released the following blogs and collaborations:

Small university presses and OA books: come and join us!

Open café for small university presses: an update

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Call for Reviewers!

The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association is currently looking for reviewers for our title What is Authorial Philology? by Paola Italia, Giulia Raboni et al.

Interested in reviewing this title? Contact our Marketing and Library Relations Officer, Laura Rodriguez, at

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We have been analysing our titles’ citation performance by comparing our books with similar titles published by traditional presses; we randomly selected a set of our books and we are overjoyed by the results:

As you can see, our titles have received a higher number of citations than those published in the same field and year by traditional presses. Open Access books gain many more readers: a university-level book typically sells only 200 copies during its entire lifetime, but at OBP our books are read around the world by an average of between 300-400 readers per title every month, and these figures do not drop off over time, as sales figures do. Also, the free availability of our titles in PDF and HTML format to everyone everywhere, not just to those who can afford it or have access to well-endowed university libraries, might have played a key part in the citation performance of our titles.

Of course, gathering citation metrics presents the same problems as gathering readership metrics: it is difficult to obtain a complete picture of how a book has performed given that only a limited amount of platforms offer this information. If, for example, you visit the reports page for one of our books ( you will see that it has been accessed more than 13,207 times. However, you will also notice that this information has been gathered from only four sources: Google Books, OAPEN, Worldreader and our website. This is because not all platforms to which we distribute our titles have the technical capacity to provide publishers with this data. Similarly, although we would like to provide our authors with the full picture of the citation metrics for their titles, we can only access information released by certain platforms.

Out New: Our First Spanish Translation!

This month we have published Replanteando la acción social por la música: la búsqueda de la convivencia y la ciudadanía en la Red de Escuelas de Música de Medellín by Geoffrey Baker, translated by Claudia García.

This our first publication in Spanish and is a translation of our book Rethinking Social Action Through Music: The Search for Coexistence and Citizenship in Medellín Music Schools, published in 2021.

OBP actively works to improve diversity, inclusion, and equity in scholarly publishing by publishing and/or translating research from outside the anglosphere and into multiple languages. We have published books in German and French and soon we will publish our first title in Italian: Il 'Gabinetto Armonico' di Filippo Bonanni, written by Cristina Ghirardini.

You can access our catalogue at

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New Titles

These past months we have released 8 new titles in the fields of classical studies, development studies, sociology and anthropology. As always, these titles are freely available to read and download at

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New Blogs

* Ya Disponible: Replanteando la acción social por la música: la búsqueda de la convivencia y la ciudadanía en la Red de Escuelas de Música de Medellín by Geoffrey Baker:

* On Burns Night by M. J. Grant:

* Points of Contact: The Shared Intellectual History of Vocalisation in Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew by Nick Posegay:

* HOROS: Ancient Boundaries and the Ecology of Stone by Thea Potter:

* Book: Points of Contact, by Nick Posegay by Melonie Schmierer-Lee:

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New Library Membership Programme

As you know, at Open Book Publishers, we ensure that we do not need to charge authors a mandatory Open Access fee thanks to our mixed model of funding. The support we receive from libraries is vital to help us continue our work: the income from our Library Membership Programme constitutes a third of our annual revenue.

Since the membership was launched in 2015, Open Book Publishers has been steadily increasing the number of publications per year (with a growth of 275% since the first year of our membership), we have worked on the development of open-source infrastructure to lower the technical and financial barriers for others who wish to publish OA and our book accesses have increased a 310.28% - all while our membership fee remained unchanged.

We always aim to attract more libraries to our programme to reduce the amount of revenue we would need from other sources. However, to mitigate the concern over Open Book Publishers’ dependence on grants funds and to work towards a more sustainable model, we would like to introduce a new membership.

Open Book Publishers’ new membership allows institutions to choose their pricing tier and support OBP in agreement with their individual funding and subscription capacities. Our tier system consists of recommended prices that align with each institution’s size and budget. We won’t impose a tier on any institution, but we encourage institutions that are able to sign-up to their suggested tier or those that would like to join a higher tier to make their selection accordingly. Find out more information on tiers here.

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, or if you are interested in receiving more information on how to become a member, please contact our Marketing and Library Relations Officer Laura Rodriguez at

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Calls for Proposals

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 Dr Alessandra Tosi at if you would like to discuss a publishing proposal and ways we might work together to best realise it.

Latest Reviews
Waltzing Through Europe: Attitudes towards Couple Dances in the Long Nineteenth Century by Egil Bakka, Theresa Jill Buckland, Helena Saarikoski and Anne von Bibra Wharton (eds)

All the chapters are in English, and as such the authors are able to introduce hitherto limited-access research materials in their own languages to a wider, international audience. An excellent feature of the book is the extensive use of references to online video material, including the use of QR codes to make access easier. At a time when academic book prices have become excessive, it is pleasing to note that this book is available as a free PDF online, as well as for purchase at a reasonable price. This excellent collection should appeal to anyone with an interest in popular and traditional dance and its international transmission.
—Derek Schofield, Folk Music Journal, Vol. 12, Number 2

Böckerman’s new study, edition and translation of the Latin commentary to the Metamorphoses transmitted in Munich, BSB, clm 4610 is a most welcome and very good addition to the growing literature on the medieval Ovid. The text of the commentary has been carefully transcribed and edited, the accompanying English translation opens up this somewhat abstruse Latin material to a wider audience, and the study which introduces the text and translation grounds the work fully in its intellectual milieu.
—Frank T. Coulson, The Ohio State University, Exemplaria Classica, 25, 2021, 479-481.

Reading Backwards: An Advance Retrospective on Russian Literature by Muireann Maguire and Timothy Langen (eds)

[...] admirably clear, jargon-free and balanced introduction [...] everyone should read the introduction to this book [...] a scrupulously edited volume [...] As a retired academic who gave many lectures on Gogol, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, and sometimes struggled to find anything new to say, I wish I had had this book to hand.
—Frank T. Coulson, The Ohio State University, Exemplaria Classica, 25, 2021, 479-481.

'The Philosophes' by Charles Palissot by ed. and transl. Jessica Goodman et al.

The text includes the letter that Palissot published as a preface to the play, along with translations of the critical notes that Voltaire added to that preface when he republished it, and the translation is followed by the full French texts of both the play and this preface. All in all, this is an interesting and useful publication, and a steal at the online price of nothing at all.
—Derek Connon, Swansea University, Modern Language Review, Vol. 117, PART 1 January 2022
A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law by Jeffrey Love, Inger Larsson, Ulrika Djärv, Christine Peel, and Erik Simensen

'A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law' is a well-edited and successful publication in several respects. The compilation of law terms with English translations alone meets a research desid- eratum. In addition, there is the possibility to discover the Old Nordic terms from English. As an inter-Scandinavian dictionary on a specialized topic for a specific historical layer of the language, it breaks new ground. The concise appendices, which can be understood as explan- atory annotations, certainly contribute to the understanding of the legal texts. The modern hybrid publication offers researchers the convenience of using the reference work in many for- mats, whether it be on the desktop as a book, on the tablet as an e-book, or on the computer as a PDF or HTML. In addition, the XML version enables, albeit with limitations, computer-aided research in the digital humanities.

—Fabian Schwabe, Universität Tübingen, Speculum, 97/1, 214-216
Conservation Biology in Sub-Saharan Africa by John W. Wilson and Richard B. Primack

The book, published by Open Book Publishers, is freely available in pdf format. The decision of the authors to make the book open access is highly commendable and makes it of major importance to biodiversity conservation in Africa by Africans. I recommend this textbook to African students, conservation personnel, policy makers, and everyone interested in nature conservation. Free distribution ensures a wide readership among African environmental scholars, researchers, and other practitioners. The volume provides a rare opportunity for access to biodiversity research in Africa, and the information supplied can be used to improve intra-African research collaboration and build local and regional capacity for research opportunities across the continent. This book is currently the most comprehensive publication on conservation in Africa; provides a reference point for environmental scholars, wildlife biologists, conservationists, and policy makers working with the environment and wildlife of Africa; and is set to become a classic publication.

—Titus S. Imboma, Ornithology Section, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, 'A Great Service to African Conservation Science', Conservation Biology, 20 January 2022,

Politics and the Environment in Eastern Europe by Eszter Krasznai Kovacs (ed.)

This is an important book that addresses the environment of a neglected region undergoing socialist as well as capitalist upheavals. The history of the region is complex, and this collection will prove useful to specialists and scholars of Eastern Europe at all levels. It will also attract adult general readers with related interests.

—J. P. Davis, Hopkinsville Community College, Choice Connects,March 2022 Vol. 59 No. 7

The three volumes of the Sharp/Macleod letters edited by William F. Halloran mark a major intervention in our understanding of Sharp, shedding light on his life, on his literary networks, and on Macleod’s literary development. Through decades of research and his detailed editorial apparatus (including lengthy introductions to each year of Sharp’s life), Halloran not only contextualises the surviving letters but unlocks and interprets many otherwise opaque details within them, such as Sharp’s coded references to his muse and the inspiration for Macleod, the writer Edith Wingate Rinder. As such, these volumes provide the most detailed portrait available on Sharp, his networks and movements, and how Fiona Macleod came to be.

Michael Shaw, University of Stirling, "Moulding A Persona: The Life and Letters of William Sharp and Fiona Macleod," Studies in Scottish Literature, Vol. 47: Iss. 1, 178–181.

[Papers discuss] the rupture that migration enacts on families when children are separated from their parents; migration departure as an act of necessity;  landscapes as an illustration of the liminal space of disorientation when one transitions through multiple cultural spheres; the art of crocheting as a symbolic  weaving of Guyanese and American cultural spheres; migrating from Guyana to Canada; the objects that are preserved and left behind when one migrates; the  fractures and fissures migration creates in  relationships and cultural identity; and waves of  migration from India to British Guiana and Guyana to  the United States.
Journal of Economic Literature, Volume 59, no. 4.

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.