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Celebrating #OAWeek17

Recommendations from AEUP for University Presses to go digital

We would like to contribute to this year’s theme “Open access in order to…”.

At this year’s annual members meeting there was a discussion of seven (7) recommendations that the board addressed on the AEUP Conference in Stockholm May 16-17 “Going digital in Europe – joining forces in scholarly publishing”.

Two of the recommendations focus on Open Access and Open Science. AEUP suggests that in order to go digital (open access), we as university presses need to discuss those recommendations openly.

The third (3) recommendation states:

Access to scientific communication needs to be as free and as inclusive as possible to let society benefit fully from research. Open Access and Open Science are the right means to reach these objectives.

And the sixth (6) recommendation states:

To face pending challenges for society, we need to unlock the full potential of scientific communication in the Humanities and qualitative Social Sciences. Adequate funding models and beneficial infrastructures (including governance structures) for open access monographs enable European UPs to contribute to the potential of those disciplines.

The board of AEUP believes that European University Presses can make a special contribution for open access monographs. We are very much aware that we need to discuss quality and costs in relation to open access. There are still many preconceptions especially about the quality of open access books and Journals.

Open Access University Presses in Europe

AEUP has 33 member presses from 16 countries. Many of the university presses publish open access books (monographs, edited volumes and textbooks), although most of them are not yet fully open access (CC-BY).

Within AEUP we strive to promote peer reviewed open access publishing as default, although we know that the conditions are very different in the European countries and most presses have local regulations which limit their prerequisites and possibilities to open access publishing.

Therefore we need the good examples of high quality open access university presses publishing. We hope that AEUP can be part of this discussion both on a European and international level.

AEUP members presentation: Masaryk University Press

About 16,000 books are published annually in the Czech Republic. Per capita, this places this country (along with the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Spain, and Norway) among European “reading superpowers”. Two thousand titles are published by Czech academic publishers every year, half of which comes under Brno-based universities.
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and an important university hub: five major public universities have their seats here, four of them maintaining their own academic publishing houses. The largest one is Masaryk University Press.

Tradition going back to early 1920s

With over three hundred professional and popular-educational books and fifty academic journals per year, Masaryk University Press (member of AEUP since 2014) is comparable with the oldest Czech academic publisher, Carolinum (Charles University, Prague).
Since its founding, Masaryk University has been focusing on publishing professional literature and textbooks. “Several editions of ours, such as Opera Facultatis Philosophicae Universitatis Masarykianae Brunensis, have a tradition going back to early 1920s,” says Alena Mizerová, Masaryk University Press director. However, all academic publishing halted with the World War II and our licence to publish books was not restored until 1964.

Celebrates its 10th anniversary

For some time after the Velvet revolution (1989), our university was primarily focusing on producing textbooks, but it soon became clear that one of the major tasks of a university is to spread knowledge beyond its own academic community. Therefore, the original editorial department was transformed into a proper academic publishing house at the turn of the new millennium and so Masaryk University Press celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
Besides the cooperation with university faculties and their own editorial centres (which are currently releasing most of the university’s book production), the university press maintains an editorial plan of its own. It is focused on popular books that make knowledge available to the public. It also brings important works of world academic literature in Czech translations.

First Czech university to sign the Berlin Declaration

Like other publishers, Masaryk University Press is facing changes that have affected all academic publishing worldwide. Masaryk University was the first Czech university that signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in Sciences and Humanities in 2010, acknowledging the need for global dissemination of Open Access to research results. That is why it makes a part of its production publicly available through its newly-opened Munispace online reading platform. The Government of the Czech Republic approved the National Strategy for Open Access to Scientific Information in June 2017. This trend of making academic outputs more accessible is expected to evolve and our academic publishers are ready.

Martina Tlachová
PR & marketing
Masaryk University Press

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We would like to share some information about our member presses on this News website. Please, feel free to email us a blog post about your University Press:

Please also give us ideas a inspiration about what you would like us to discuss here in 2018. You are always welcome to take part in and join the forthcoming discussions.

Christina Lenz/Secretary AEUP Board

Welcome: new members in March 2016

AEUP likes to welcome two new members from Germany and from Armenia. This is how the presses present themselves:

Heidelberg University Publishing from Germany:

The mission of Heidelberg University Publishing is to provide open access to outstanding academic publications. We see the opportunities afforded by digital publishing as a way to advance the visibility of research output beyond the confines of academic disciplines. For us, this means that we publish open access, follow a consistent e-strategy, use innovative digital publication formats, and ensure quality with double-blind peer review. In addition to electronic formats, we offer high-quality printed versions of all our titles. Our decision to accept a submission does not depend on its provenance, but on its quality. [source: website]

YSU Publishing House from Armenia:

The history of the Publishing House of Yerevan State University is closely linked to the activities that the Main University has been carrying out for the past more than 90 years of its existence. Throughout the past nine decades, YSU Publishing House has published more than 5,500 books. […] The journals, magazines and yearbooks published since the first years have highly contributed to the development of science. The representatives of the YSU Publishing House have always participated in the international book fairs held in Frankfurt, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Geneva and other cities. Most of the books published by the YSU Publishing House have won honorary awards. [source: cataloguewebsite]

Survey: What should AEUP as your stakeholder do for you?

First phase completed

We invited all our members, but also other interested university presses and institutional scholarly publishers or alike from all over Europe to participate in a survey.
Its aim is to get information on the presses’ needs, challenges, as well as scope the horizon for future questions and opportunities, thus establishing a rounded picture of your actual situation.

The first phase is completed,. We like to thank the 38 European university presses who took part.

Now evaluation has started. We will present preliminary views at the COASP in Amsterdam, September 15th-17th, 2015. An outline and the aggregated results will be presented at the annual meeting of AEUP at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This year the meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, 4.30-6.30 in the Brillanz Room (in Hall 4.2).

Second phase started

We still like to learn more about the needs of European university presses. If you haven’t participated yet, please feel still invited to do so.
Participation will only take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Please note: any data you fill in will be kept in strict confidence. The results of the survey will be published in an entirely anonymous form.

RLUK joins AEUP as patron member

The Association of European University Presses (AEUP) is pleased to welcome Research Libraries UK (RLUK) as a new patron member.

Publishing in the Humanities and Arts to a large extent is taking place in university presses, especially in those disciplines communicating their research via the “long argument” – the monograph as the predominant publishing format – and in national languages. Among university presses, there are major players such as Oxford or Cambridge University Press. The majority of presses serving those disciplines however is rather small and specialised. Hence close collaboration within associations like AEUP allows them to pool resources (joint catalogue, joint Book fair presence), lobby and network with each other as well as with vendors and other stakeholders, plus stay in touch with current trends and developments.

John MacColl, Chair of RLUK stated:

“RLUK supports all forms of scholarly publishing, and we believe that a flexible approach is necessary. The monograph occupies a proud and distinctive place in the research library, with which it is strongly identified, especially for research in the humanities. As we move increasingly to online publication, and towards new business models for access to monographs on the web, it is pleasing to find that this enduring expression of scholarship is alive and well. We are very pleased therefore to work within the AEUP on the future form of and revitalized prospects for the academic book.”

David Prosser, Executive Director of RLUK, said:

“There is presently a great deal of dynamism in monograph publishing, both as format and as an organizing principle of doing research. Despite the challenges for the monograph and its publishers, several recent developments show that there is a healthy future ahead, if forces are joined and potentials explored. RLUK is very happy to support the AEUP as a player paving the way towards that future, for the benefit of researchers, students and the wider public. By joining AEUP, RLUK also signals encouragement of the library as publisher. There has been a call for experimentation in this area, and RLUK is delighted to take an active role through and with AEUP to promote that openness of approach towards monograph publishing in and for the sector.”

About RLUK: Research Libraries UK is a consortium of 34 of the largest research organisations in the UK and Ireland, including the three UK national libraries. Founded more than 30 years ago, RLUK has directly and indirectly sponsored some of the major free online UK resources in support of research. RLUK’s mission is to work with its members and partners, nationally and internationally, to shape and to realise the vision of the modern research library.
on the Internet:

press release AEUP-RLUK

Annual Meeting 2014 of the AEUP

This year’s Annual Meeting of the AEUP will take place at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Thursday, October 9th, from 3 till 5 pm in room Brillanz, Hall 4.2. The first hour of the meeting is intended for AEUP-members only. The second hour, from 4pm onwards, will be open to non-members and interested parties.

More information on the agenda will soon be available on this website in the section ‘Events’.

2013 Annual Meeting of the AEUP

This year’s Annual Meeting of the AEUP will take place at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Thursday October 10th, from 3 till 5 pm in room Good Will, Hall 4.1. The first hour of the meeting is intended for AEUP-members only. The second hour, from 4pm onwards, may be attended by all parties interested.

More information on the agenda will soon be available on this website in the section ‘Events’.

Looking for New Members

The AEUP is always looking out for new members to join the association. We are a new association looking to build something which can benefit all our members during a time where university presses are being hard hit by lower consumer spending. The association meets throughout the year to discuss major issues occuring for university presses and work out ways to solve them. If you would like to know more information please feel free to contact us through the details on the contacts page. If you would like to know about member benefits please the Membership Applications page.

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