News: Academic Publishing Weekly

Looking at the "version of record," multimedia publishing agreements, and efforts against book banning

By Choice Staff
Academic Publishing Weekly: the latest curated news from around the industry. Purple background, white lettering.

The Version of Record of Today

This week, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe explores the state of the “version of record.” Hinchliffe walks through the definition of the VoR and how open access policies and the introduction of digital publishing have complicated this description. Highlighting the “centrality of the version of record,” she discusses how it’s prioritized by publishers, funders, and recognition or assessment standards. But how do preprints factor into the equation? What about updates or changes to the VoR? How would decentralizing the version of record impact scholarly publishing? [Scholarly Kitchen]

Multimedia Agreements Take Flight

First, Elsevier announced a partnership with Cassyni, a “virtual and hybrid academic seminar platform,” for a seminar series in collaboration with Elsevier’s physics journals. The project will feature live seminars with a Q&A portion, and the recordings “will then be hosted on Cassyni and assigned a DOI, making them a citable part of the academic ecosystem.” In addition, MIT Press and Brown University Library announced “an experiment in multimodal publishing,” that “will examine understudied questions at the intersection of visual culture and subjects such as race, care, decolonization, privilege, and precarity.” The book series will appear in print, but also offer digital editions and expansions like author interviews, podcast episodes, book readings, and more. Out with the print, in with the new?

It’s not just parents appealing to principals and librarians, it’s legislation being introduced in state houses to impose sweeping bans on what kinds of books are available to students. And it’s enmeshed in a much larger political battle over the narratives that are accessible in this country, which narratives communities want to elevate and to suppress.

Suzanne Nossel, PEN America

Major Dollars Against Book Banning

PEN America, a nonprofit for free expression, announced a donation of $500,000 from Penguin Random House chief executive Markus Dohle to “provide support to communities where books are being challenged.” The Dohle Book Defense Fund is in response to the recent rise in book bans and challenges across public schools and libraries in the United States. PEN America declared the number of bans and challenges “unprecedented,” and plans to use the funds for litigation, public events, and media campaigns. But what about the kids’ perspectives? Teenage members of a Banned Book Club in Pennsylvania share their own thoughts on the book banning surge. [New York Times]

PROSE Award Winners

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced the Excellence winners of the 2022 PROSE Awards, as well as its top prize, the R.R. Hawkins Award. The four categories include the Humanities, Biological and Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, and Social Sciences. Duke, Harvard, MIT, and Little, Brown and Company took home gold. Experiments in Skin: Race and Beauty in the Shadows of Vietnam by Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu from Duke University Press won the prestigious R.R. Hawkins Award. [The Association of American Publishers]

The Future of Digital Book Lending

UC Davis Library and the California Digital Library introduced a project that will investigate the possible expansion of lending digitized books. Due to the increased demand of digital materials in the past few years, the project will explore key topics like scalability, long-term implementation, and legal issues. The undertaking will also look into the potential impact on academic librarianship and research opportunities for scholars. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support the project, and results will be published in a white paper. [Library Technology]