UCL Open Access Publishing.

According to a Times Higher Education story by Paul Jump, University College London is going to do its own publishing and move to open access in a big way:

The UCL Press imprint, which it had previously licensed to commercial publishers, was repatriated by the university earlier this year. UCL Press is now a department within the institution’s Library Services, whose director and acting group manager, Paul Ayris, told Times Higher Education that the germ of the idea had simply been his observation that, unlike UCL, “competitor” institutions already had their own presses, which “seemed a bit odd”.

But the wisdom of adopting “a more proactive approach to research dissemination” quickly became apparent to him.

One advantage is enabling postgraduates to publish earlier in their careers than would typically be possible, with student societies able to establish “overlay journals” on UCL’s repository. One example, known as Slovo – produced by postgraduates in Slavonic and East European studies – is already up and running, having been converted from its previous paper format after UCL Press’ “soft launch” in August. […]

The other major inspiration for UCL Press was the need to address the “broken” monograph business model, as well as the reluctance of some arts, humanities and social science scholars to get involved with open access, Dr Ayris explained.

“Most commercially produced monographs are aimed at the library market because of their [high] price. But library budgets are so squeezed by meeting the demands of journal inflation that there is less and less money for monographs,” he said.

Hence, UCL Press will follow Manchester University Press in also publishing open-access monographs.

Dr Ayris sees open access as a potential saviour of the monograph, provided funders are willing to follow the example of the Wellcome Trust and cover publication charges. UCL academics – at least one of whom will have to sit on the editorial board managing the monograph series – again will be exempt from author charges.

Slovo is here, and it looks very interesting (Thomas McLenachan, “Truth is Stranger than Science Fiction: The Quest for Knowledge in Andrei Tarkovskii’s Solaris and Stalker”! John A. Riley’s review of Trudno byt Bogom/Hard to be a God!). Via MetaFilter.

Another nice bit of open access (via Memiyawanzi): the Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Greek Linguistics is out and free to download from this site (warning: almost 1,900-page pdf); most of the papers are in Greek, but there are quite a few in English (e.g., Angelos Lengeris & Katerina Nicolaidis, “Greek consonant confusions by native listeners in quiet and noise”; Nikos Liosis, “Language varieties of the Peloponnese: Contact in diachrony”; Nikos Liosis & Eirini Kriki, “Towards a typology of relative clauses in late Medieval Greek”).


  1. David Eddyshaw says:

    The Tarkovsky article encourages me to read Stanislaw Lem’s original “Solaris”, which I have always been put off doing by the phenomenal pretentiousness and stupefying dullness of the film, which surprised me in view of the intellectual fizz of those of Lem’s works which I have read. It’s interesting to find out that he did considerable violence to the original because of his half-baked epistemological ideas (assuming the article represents him correctly.)

    Once and for all – there is only one Truth. There may very well be different routes to it, but that is quite another matter.

  2. Bathrobe says:

    The OAPEN library has an interesting study of Japanese intellectual life in the late eighteenth century (“a prosopographical approach”), which I downloaded.

    Unfortunately the pdf document itself is unsearchable because the underlying text is somewhat different from the surface text. If you try and copy “prosopographical”, for instance, you find that you’ve actually copied “SURVRSRJUDSKLFDO”. So if you search for “prosopographical” you’ll find nothing, but if you search for “SURVRSRJUDSKLFDO” you’ll find that it occurs on 21 pages in the book. A real pity.

  3. Solaris is a fantastic book. But then, I like Lem. Roadside Picnic (original inspiration for Stalker) is also very good. But I like Strugatskys as well…

  4. I haven’t liked Lem when I’ve read him in English; I may try him in Russian in the hopes I’ll like him better that way.

  5. (I’d say “phenomenal pretentiousness,” mixed with heavy sarcasm, isn’t far from how I feel about his writing, whereas I love the Tarkovsky movie and could watch it many times without getting bored. People are different!)

  6. The logician Alfred Whitehead said that a Unitarian is someone who believes in at most one God. I would similarly say in my agnostic fashion that there is at most one Truth, while of course affirming that there are many truths.

    Unitarian Jihad communiqué.

  7. prosopographical->SURVRSRJUDSKLFDO is, of course, letter-by-letter change of case and +3 in alphabetical order. Someone mixed up ASCII tables or something like that. A strange mix up, it requires shift by -29.

  8. David Eddyshaw says:

    “People are different!”

    A truism; but true. And moreover our best hope for arriving at Truth (by triangulation.)

  9. Stockholm University Press (SUP) is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals and books. We aim to make journals and books affordable, and to give them the widest possible dissemination so that researchers around the world can find and access the information they need without barriers.


  10. mattitiahu says:

    Thanks again for the shoutout, Hat! 🙂

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