News: Academic Publishing Weekly

Current views on academic publishing, "nutrition labels" on journals, and STM Trends 2028

Academic publishing weekly graphic. Reads "the latest curated news from around the industry." Dark purple background with geometric shapes.

New Academic Publishing Imprint, Sustainability Book Award, and Clarivate Enters the SDG Publishers Compact

Washington State University (WSU) Press launched Pines Press, a new imprint with Whitworth University. The press will publish works from Whitworth faculty with the aim to release its first publication next year. Next up, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries announced an annual book award, the Penn Libraries Book Prize in Sustainability. The prize “acknowledges outstanding contributions to the global discourse on environmental sustainability,” and is accepting English-language nonfiction books published in 2023. Submissions are open through April 30. Last, Clarivate entered the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Publishers Compact and shared how its initiatives including the annual Drugs to Watch report and partnerships with public and academic libraries align with the SDGs.

Making a Case for Journal and Article “Nutrition Labels” and BTAA Commits to Diamond OA

In response to the Global Summit on Diamond Open Access, the Big Ten Academic Alliance Libraries (BTAA Libraries), California Digital Library (CDL), and Lyrasis are doubling down on their support for equitable OA. The organizations will build on their current collaborative efforts to further the adoption of diamond OA, and will be releasing a list of corresponding activities later this year with an aim to “develop this model at a national scale within the US as an equitable, robust, and values-driven pathway to open access.” In other news, a Public Knowledge Project team is working on creating a “publication-facts label,” modeled off of nutrition facts on food packaging. John Willinsky, head of the project, explained that the labels would include information such as the publisher’s name, journal acceptance rate, and where a journal is indexed in an effort to “inform readers on how strictly a paper meets scholarly standards.” The team currently has a prototype in the works and plans to release a pilot project later this year for journals using the Open Journal System. The team aims to eventually standardize the labels across journals and is using an open source plug-in adjustable for multiple platforms.

Current Views on Scholarly Publishing

A recent survey of readers of the academic newsletter, The Geyser, revealed little trust in AI and strong support for peer review. In particular, over half of the 249 respondents to the “sentiment survey” agreed with the statement that “Peer-review and Editorial Review Help Authors and Improve Papers” and believe that “gatekeepers who are expert, dispassionate, and professional remain necessary.” On the flip side, respondents showed low confidence in open access and the impact of preprints during the pandemic. Overall, respondents expressed concern over the future of scholarly publishing, and subscribers to The Geyser can view a comparison report to see how the results break down by job category. [The Geyser]

AI in Academic Publishing Study and STM Trends 2028

Ithaka S+R and STM Solutions announced a study on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on academic publishing. The study will consider AI’s influence on publishing infrastructure, the risks the technology poses, and how AI may change the role of publishers. Survey results will be revealed in an issue brief and webinar this summer. Next up, the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM) released STM Trends 2028, a visual prediction of opportunities and challenges facing the scholarly community in the latter half of the 2020s. Scholarly Kitchen chef Todd Carpenter had coverage, highlighting the three key themes of human-machine interaction, sources of trust, and maintaining cohesion. Carpenter also considered how STM Trends approaches the research knowledge graph and the threat of papermills, underscoring that in the future, “Tools and people will coexist, working together to register, validate, disseminate and archive knowledge.”

April Releases and PEN America Cancels its Literary Awards Ceremony

After releasing the longlists earlier this month, PEN America has canceled its 2024 Literary Awards Ceremony following dozens of author withdrawals from consideration due to the organization’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. PEN America shared that the winners were determined prior to the withdrawals, and the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel and PEN Award for Poetry in Translation will still be conferred. The PEN/Jean Stein Book Award will be donated to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and winning titles that have been withdrawn will not be awarded. As for new releases, Literary Hub highlighted several works of nonfiction, poetry, and memoir. Susan Tomes’s Women and the Piano: A History in 50 Lives from Yale University Press is included, with Booklist underlining that, “Anyone interested in learning about these hidden musical figures will find much to appreciate in this concise and carefully composed work.”