News: Academic Publishing Weekly

Streaming media trends, free speech attacks in higher ed, and the push for open research

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

Acquisition, Agreement, Distribution

First up, investment firm Cambridge Information Group (CIG) has acquired independent academic publisher the Emerald Group. Of the deal, Emerald said it allows “opportunity to accelerate growth, particularly in response to the evolving open research landscape.” Next, SAGE Publishing and the University of California system reached an agreement that will “provide funding for UC researchers to make their SAGE research articles free and openly available to the world.” UC Libraries will help cover article processing charges (APCs) for UC authors, allowing publication in SAGE’s hybrid and select gold open access journals. Last, Indiana University Press announced that starting in November, Hopkins Fulfillment Services will handle its distribution and sales. Dave Hulsey, IU Press associate director, stated, “As a publisher of both scholarly and trade books, we feel Hopkins offers us the expertise needed to reach the readers of our books.”

Library Budgets: Streaming Media Investments Expected to Soar

Ithaka S+R released a new report on trends in streaming media, predicting budget allocation in that area to double in the next five years. Working with over 20 institutions in the US and Canada, the survey interviewed library stakeholders on purchasing patterns, licensing agreements, and popular platforms for video and media content. In addition, the report covers librarians’ satisfaction with certain products, the impact of the pandemic on spending, and the decision-making process prior to investing. Among key findings, Ithaka S+R stresses the recent emphasis on video content in the classroom, which in particular influences library spending patterns. [Ithaka S+R]

Our findings ultimately suggest that neither libraries nor vendors have fully realized the opportunities for integrating streaming within the teaching and learning space of higher education.

Ithaka S+R

Free Speech Bans in Higher Ed

PEN America and the American Association of Colleges and Universities spoke out against the increase in “educational gag orders” in higher education. The two organizations released a joint statement, surfacing legislative efforts around the country that “infringe upon freedom of speech and academic freedom, constraining vital societal discourse on pressing questions relating to American history, society, and culture.” As the statement notes, discussions on race, racism, and gender are key areas under attack. University leaders are also speaking up and encouraging education for students and faculty on the right to free speech. [Inside Higher Ed]

New Trends in Scholarly Dissemination and Audiobooks

The Guardian spotlights “rebellious research”—unique methods of scholarly dissemination that go beyond the typical academic conference or publication route. The article highlights a forthcoming title from Brill, which features case studies on how researchers work to connect with wider, non-academic audiences through slam poetry, hip-hop workshops, magic shows, podcasting, and circus acts. Also on the subject of new media, the Audio Publishers Association announced a “decade of double-digit growth”; in 2021, US audiobook revenue rose 25 percent to $1.6 billion. Additional survey results track listenership age, narration preferences, and membership trends.

European Push for Open Research

Publisher Frontiers has joined the Stick to Science campaign, which “calls for an open, inclusive, and collaborative research and innovation landscape in Europe that is free from political barriers.” Frontiers is the first publisher to sign the initiative, adding to the list of universities, political organizations, academic societies, and research institutes. Frontiers’ head of public affairs Stephan Kuster commented, “As the third most-cited publisher, Frontiers’ mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making science open and we stand firmly for open and barrier-free collaboration among Europe’s research and innovation actors.” [Research Information]