News: Academic Publishing Weekly

AI Act receives approval, publishing skills survey results, and the winner of the International Booker Prize

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AI Act Moves Forward, Colorado Introduces AI Guardrails, and a Global Study on AI Safety

The AI Act has received official approval from the European Council (EC). As explained by the EC, “…the legislative act will be published in the EU’s Official Journal in the coming days and enter into force 20 days after this publication. The new regulation will apply two years after its entry into force, with some exceptions for specific provisions.” Publishing Perspectives detailed several governing bodies developed by the EC to oversee implementation and the hefty financial penalties for violating the act. Turning to the United States, Colorado Governor Jared Polis passed Senate Bill 24-205, becoming the first state to impose AI guardrails. Beginning in 2026, “Developers and deployers will have a responsibility to avoid algorithmic discrimination and report any instances to the attorney general’s office.” Lastly, more than 30 countries and members of the European Union and the United Nations released the International Scientific Report on the Safety of Advanced AI. The report offers several recommendations for global policymakers and encourages taking a collaborative approach to mitigating the risks of using advanced AI. The final version of the report is set to publish by the end of this year. 

DeltaThink Assesses Diamond OA, Journal Trouble for Wiley, and Journal Home Partnership 

Scholarly communication consultancy firm Delta Think published a new analysis of scholarly journals, revealing a departure from diamond open access (OA). Assessing journals that are fully OA and haven’t used article processing charges for three or more years, Delta Think found that “under one fifth of journals are now sponsored, down from just over 25% a few years ago.” Delta Think also looked at how usage breaks down based on society ownership, finding that a larger percentage of society-owned journals are diamond OA despite being on the decline. In other news, ResearchGate and PLOS are teaming up, with “More than 300,000 full-text articles for all of PLOS’ 14 journals” added to ResearchGate’s Journal Home. Scholars will benefit from increased research visibility and author profiles on ResearchGate. Finally, 38 editors of Wiley’s journal Philosophy & Public Affairs resigned. The editors cited concerns over high APCs and monopolization by for-profit publishers and announced plans to create a new diamond OA journal with the Open Library of Humanities.  

Which Skills Should Publishing Professionals Prioritize? 

The Society for Scholarly Publishing Career Development Committee released its fourth annual Professional Skills Survey, analyzing key skillsets for those working in the publishing industry. Respondents spanned various sectors including publishing, scholarly societies, and libraries, and provided insights on essential personal, interpersonal, and technical or knowledge-based skills. Being detail-oriented was favorably rated across career levels, and the newly added category of adaptability/flexibility also ranked highly. In addition, respondents shared where they see room for growth, with the report highlighting that when it comes to evolving interpersonal skills for career advancement, “networking, coaching, leadership, and strategic planning are top responses for all levels of decision-makers.” [Scholarly Kitchen

An Overview of ASU’s Partnership with OpenAI and Clarivate’s Academic AI Platform  

Earlier this year Arizona State University (ASU) became the first institution to partner with OpenAI, founder of ChatGPT. Inside Higher Ed’s Lauren Coffey caught up with several members of the university to see how the partnership has evolved, finding that ASU has since seen more than 400 proposals from faculty. That said, Coffey found that not all faculty and students are supportive of the agreement, noting the union’s formation of an AI Concerns Subcommittee and anxieties around becoming overly reliant on the technology. Next, Clarivate rolled out its Academic AI Platform, which uses Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) and “serves as a technology backbone, enabling accelerated and consistent deployment of AI capabilities across our Academia & Government portfolio of solutions.” Clarivate highlighted several facets of the Platform, mentioning how it tests for accuracy, oversees a variety of AI assistants, and provides a “consistent user experience.”  

Industry Sales, Booker Prize Winner, and New Report on E-book Publishing  

Ithaka S+R will embark on a new study on scholarly monograph publishing in the US, UK, and Europe. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the report will “analyze the market fit of various models within the academic e-book sector to understand how these models are functioning for their consumers.” Ithaka S+R explained that the study will also consider print and hybrid models, along with perspectives from librarians and authors. The final report is expected in spring 2025. Next up, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) released the first quarter results of its StatShot report, revealing that higher education material sales were up 11.5 percent compared with the first three months of 2023. Of interest, compared to 2023’s first quarter, Inclusive Access numbers rose 25.9 percent and print sales rose 16 percent. Last, Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Michael Hofmann and published by New Directions, took home this year’s International Booker Prize