UC Press announces Luminos/Knowledge Unlatched Partnership

University of California Press is pleased to announce a new partnership between Knowledge Unlatched (KU), whose open access platform works with libraries and publishers to create a sustainable market where scholarly books and journals are freely accessible, and Luminos, University of California Press’s open access program for scholarly monographs in the humanities and social sciences which publishes freely available digital monographs with the same high standards for selection and peer review as the Press’s traditional book program.

Over its first two years of existence, Luminos—which relies on a transformative funding model in which both costs and benefits are shared among all who benefit from publication—has published 38 new open access monographs and edited volumes, including its newest releases Taiwan and China: Fitful Embrace, edited by Lowell Dittmer, and Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France, by Jean Beaman.

“We are delighted to partner with KU to increase our outreach capabilities to libraries worldwide wishing to support open access publishing through the Luminos library membership program,” says Erich van Rijn, Interim Director of University of California Press.

“We believe that it is time to help libraries support Open Access in a more systematic way, and KU is supporting this with one central platform that unites different models for different kinds of content,” says Dr. Sven Fund, Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched.

Read Knowledge Unlatched’s press release.

To keep apprised of Luminos news, subscribe to the Luminos eNewsletter.

Welcome Hypothes.is Project, an Open Access Platform for Collaborative Annotation


Hypothes.is Project is a new open access web platform that enables collaborative annotation across websites. Launching today with a coalition of over 40 scholarly publishers (including University of California Press), along with platforms and technology partners that share the goal of building an open conversation layer over all knowledge, the Hypothes.is Project will allow this coalition to work together to in partnership in order to “define, design and implement a common framework for scholarly collaboration from peer-review through post-publication discussion, all based on open standards…The coalition is open to any publisher, platform, library or technology organization that shares its vision and objectives and wants to participate”.

University of California Press is thrilled to be working with many university press colleagues over the coming years in order to establish Hypothes.is Project’s dynamic, user-friendly collaborative annotation platform. Through the utilization of its interoperable conversation layer that’s set to transform scholarly collaboration, annotation will be facilitated with ease, and can be implemented for all the following functionalities: personal note taking, peer review, copy editing, post publication discussion, journal clubs, classroom uses, automated classification, deep linking, and more to come in the future.

Hypothes.is Project states that “in the last few years a small community has been working to…standardize a model for an “annotation”, the unit of conversation that this paradigm enables, and to build it into the very fabric of the Web. Their efforts led in the fall of 2014, to a formal Working Group within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the standards body for the Web. Much progress has been made, and many implementations are mature enough now to begin deployment.”

Please check out the introductory video Hypothes.is Project created in order to learn more about how this innovative technological platform will push forward the democratization of information on the web.

Hypo Vid


Collabra. Changing the rules of Open Access journal publishing

We are pleased to announce the launch of Collabra, our new Open Access journal. We are now open for submissions in three core fields of study: Life and Biomedical Sciences; Ecology and Environmental Science; Social and Behavioral Sciences. We aim to have a different model, one that gives back to the research community. Here’s a look at the process behind the creation of Collabra:

Why did UC Press decide to get into Open Access? Because the idea of Open Access — making important scientific and scholarly work accessible to anyone — aligns perfectly with our mission. We believe in driving progressive change, and we decided we were in a great position to do something interesting and new.

There are many Open Access journals out there, how is Collabra different? Collabra is the first Open Access journal created to not only share the research but also the value contributed by the research community through the review process. More often than not, all the direct value and revenue in scholarly publishing flows only to publishers. We aim to change that. When people volunteer their time and expertise as an editor or reviewer, their efforts will generate a tangible value, and they can decide what to do with it. We offer the option of either receiving payment for the work provided or paying that value forward to the research community. Importantly, the decision of how the funds will be used is left to the editors and reviewers, not Collabra.

How do you fund these payments to editors and reviewers? Our Article Processing Charge (APC) is $875. Of that sum, $625 goes toward publishing and other operational costs. The remaining $250 is paid into an account from which funds are made available to editors and reviewers for all work on the journal — regardless of decisions to accept or reject articles.

Editors and reviewers can choose to either keep their earnings or pay them forward to the Collabra Waiver Fund or to their institution’s OA APC fund. The Collabra Waiver Fund is there for authors who do not have the funds to pay the APCs, and pays the APC on their behalf. (So it’s really a sponsorship fund.)

How do your Article Processing Charges compare to other OA journals?
We’ve made it more affordable. We started from scratch and worked up, covering our costs, rather than matching our APC to what we think the market can bear or matching against what other journals charge. Our APC of $875 USD is one of the lowest in the industry.

Does Collabra have a particular area of focus? Our initial launch will include 3 core fields of study: Life and Biomedical Sciences, Ecology and Environmental Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences. Over the next several years, we plan to expand into disciplines across science, humanities, and other important areas of research.

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer or editor, or would like to submit an article please visit collabraoa.org

Want to know more? We have a video just for you.


University of California Press Announces Plans to Roll Out Two Open Access Products

Oakland – University of California Press is entering into the Open Access space with the launch of two new products: a mega journal focused on three core disciplines (life and biomedical sciences, ecology and environmental science, and social and behavioral sciences) and a monograph program designed to take advantage of rich, digital formats.

This move is part of University of California Press’s mission to bring progressive scholarship forward in ways that continue to meet the academic community’s needs for greater discoverability, accessibility, and audience reach. Rollout for both products is planned for 2015.

“We’ve long known that Open Access would be a part of our future, but wanted to consider all aspects of how we delivered on its promise,” said Alison Mudditt, Director, University of California Press. “We spent a lot of time during our strategic planning phase involving the academic community we serve—researchers, faculty, and librarians—and hearing their ideas on what we anticipate will be seen as different and innovative approaches.”

As part of rollout previews, Mudditt will discuss UC Press’s OA monograph publishing program at a panel discussion co-hosted by the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and the Authors Alliance, Thursday, October 30 at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.This discussion, “Authorship in a Digital World: How to Make It Thrive,” will address challenges and opportunities facing authors in the digital age.

Dan Morgan, UC Press Digital Science Publisher, will be presenting a three-minute “lightning talk” during International Open Access Week. The event will part of the “Bay Area Open Access Week Event for Generation Open,” Thursday, October 23 at Berkeley Skydeck, Berkeley, CA.


University of California Press is one of the most forward-thinking scholarly publishers in the nation. For more than 100 years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. At a time of dramatic change for publishing and scholarship, we collaborate with scholars, librarians, authors, and students to stay ahead of today’s knowledge demands and shape the future of publishing. Each year, UC Press publishes approximately 175 new books and 32 multi-issue journals in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.  www.ucpress.edu


Contact: Lorraine Weston, Associate Director of Publicity | lweston@ucpress.edu


University of California Press partners with online platform Chegg

University of California Press (UC Press) is pleased to announce that it has partnered with student hub, Chegg, to give students digital access to UC Press books. This partnership will make UC Press’s innovative, thought-provoking course books more accessible by allowing students to read them online at any time, from any device.

Speaking of the announcement Alison Mudditt, Director of UC Press, said “UC Press is thrilled to be partnering with Chegg. Through Chegg students can enjoy personal access to thousands of important and popular UC Press books, including, among others, Unequal Childhoods, Righteous Dopefiend, and Promises I Can Keep, choosing to rent or purchase them in accordance with course needs and budget limits.”

Chegg combines rich textbook content with the best study tools for a more productive way to read, learn, and interact with books. Its innovative business model offers students a cost-effective way to access key textbooks that fit with the way study is conducted in today’s digital climate. Books can be accessed across a range of platforms and devices while learning is made easier through tools that facilitate searching, highlighting and note taking. Students can also see highlights made by their fellow students.

More than 1,800 books from UC Press covering humanities, social sciences and natural sciences will be accessible through Chegg. “We are delighted that UC Press is making their extended catalog available to our extensive network of millions of college students,” said Nathan Schultz, Chief Learning Officer at Chegg. “We look forward to working with Alison and her team.”


About University of California Press

University of California Press is one of the most forward-thinking scholarly publishers in the nation. For more than 100 years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. At a time of dramatic change for publishing and scholarship, we collaborate with scholars, librarians, authors, and students to stay ahead of today’s knowledge demands and shape the future of publishing. Each year, UC Press publishes approximately 175 new books and 33 multi-issue journals in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.


About Chegg

Chegg puts students first. As the leading student-first connected learning platform, the company makes higher education more affordable, more accessible, and more successful for students. Chegg is a publicly-held company based in Santa Clara, California and trades on the NYSE under the symbol CHGG.


SCMS 2014: Tiny Screens, Post-Broadcast TV, and More

Mary Francis, Acquisitions Editor, reports back from the Society of Cinema & Media Studies annual conference, held this year in Seattle.

I’ve been going to this conference for more than a decade. The society was previously called the Society for Cinema Studies; the ‘M’ for “media” was added to reflect the wide range of topics that are now part of the society’s remit: cinema of all sorts (commercial, documentary, experimental, industrial), television, radio, games, social media and personal tech, surveillance technology, and much more.  This expansion into new areas of scholarly inquiry is driven by the many changes in contemporary media industries, consumer behavior, the economy, government regulation of media, etc.  This is a very exciting time to be publishing in this field, and I am working to shape our list to reflect the best and most dynamic work in these new areas.

Acquisitions Editor Mary Francis (R) with UC Press author Richard Abel (L)
Acquisitions Editor Mary Francis (L) with UC Press author Richard Abel (R)

As with all academic conferences, having so many researchers together  (this year there were more than 1800 scholars, grad students, and writers in attendance) makes is easy to take the pulse of a field: what are the hot trends and new ideas for research, what are the topics that people are teaching new classes on, where are new departments and degrees being offered.  News of the field also comes via checking out what other publishers are doing.  Checking out the new books from our competitors is a great way to suss out what is happening in the field: I am aware of what competing publishers tend to specialize in, but publishing is very dynamic these days, so I pay close attention to shifts in the types of topics and products that our competitors are working on.

But the bulk of my time is dedicated to one-on-one meetings with scholars. We have been publishing in this area longer than any other academic press, and so there are always many authors who have an existing relationship with the press to check in with about their latest projects.  But I spend a great deal of my time talking with people who are not yet working with the Press.  I target new authors whom I want to woo, people who are writing on topics I think are crucial to the field.  Some are very established scholars who might produce a “Big Book” that defines a subfield; some are productive mid-career scholars with proven track records or up-and-coming stars working in new areas that I want to bring to our list. I always keep my eyes and ears (and schedule, when possible!) open for entirely unplanned encounters. Great ideas for projects that I didn’t have on my radar always come up at these conferences.

UC Press author Dan Herbert at SCMS
UC Press author Dan Herbert at SCMS

I’m there to acquire the best scholarship and to keep my list healthy and active, I have to think about short, medium, and long-range projects.  I look for cutting edge projects that ought to be published in a timely way, within a year.  But I also have to keep the three-to-five-to-seven year plans in mind as well.  Different types of books take different amounts of time to research and write—not to mention the fact that every author has their own pace and style of work. You certainly need a nimble mental calendar!

The many changes in cinema and media mean that the field is growing fast. It can be difficult to stay on top of fast-moving trends, but also exciting.  Scholars are talking a lot more about television, for example. It’s ironic in some ways, because television literally isn’t what it used to be. With the exception of live sports or breaking news, the old version of television—a few large networks, shows tied to certain time frames and eight or nine month seasons—that’s largely gone.  But television is thriving as it never has before. There’s a lot of creative energy (particularly among writers) and a lot of financial resources are being pushed towards post-broadcast television.  Programming is very different from what it used to be, with the advent of so-called reality TV, shorter seasons for dramatic series, etc.  The way people watch television is changing too.  Not only can you watch on a range of devices, but you can choose when and how much of your favorite TV shows to watch—for example “binge watching” where you watch an entire season of your favorite show over one weekend. Almost every aspect of television is in transition right now—it’s crazy.

Acquisitions Editor Mary Francis (L) and Journals Publishing Manager Hannah Love (R) at the Film Quarterly reception
Acquisitions Editor Mary Francis (L) and Journals Publishing Manager Hannah Love (R) at the Film Quarterly reception

When it comes to cinema, there are a lot of changes as well.  If television is like a serialized novel, film is more like opera. It takes more resources than television, it’s on a larger scale, it is very international nowadays, it has different storytelling and genre conventions. But personal tech and consumer behavior have changed how commercial films are made nowadays.  In particular, people are watching film on smaller and smaller screens: most films are no longer being watched on a large-scale screen in a theatre, but on a domestic screen like a flat screen TV, a laptop screen, or a little smartphone screen. If you’re directing a film to be shown on the big screen you can do certain things that will not work if someone is watching on a smaller screen—and many directors readily admit that this is changing the way they shoot.

Film Quarterly
Film Quarterly

Another very interesting topic is the place of film and video in the art world now.  The moving image has had a presence in the gallery for many decades. But that has exploded in recent years. There is a lot of fruitful crossover between cinema studies and art history nowadays, and since we publish in both fields, this has been a very welcome development that has guided my work in parallel with that of our art editor.

Film and television as an area of study is becoming more interdisciplinary. For instance the overlap between art history and cinema studies is clear, and those scholars are pretty fluent in each other’s languages.  Discussions of economic and industrial developments, trends in technology and government regulation, etc. compel an interdisciplinary approach, because to understand what’s happening you can’t just look at what’s on the screen. You have to explore historical issues like how the federal government regulates the media; economic issues such as the finances of shorter television seasons or the challenge of declining audiences for theaters; and the ever-challenging changes in consumer behavior. There is still a lot of fine scholarship on the content and its artistic merits. But things are changing and the range of topics in the field is wider than ever.


University of California Press to partner with HighWire

University of California Press (UC Press) is pleased to announce that beginning in mid-2015 its journal content will be hosted on the HighWire Open Platform from Stanford University’s HighWire Press.

Speaking of the move, UC Press Director Alison Mudditt commented, “As the ways in which students and researchers consume information evolve, UC Press felt it critical to seek a long-term hosting partnership that will allow us to take full advantage of new avenues to make scholarly work accessible and relevant in an increasingly dynamic digital space of our own. We believe that our collaboration with HighWire will support us in this.”

The flexible HighWire Open Platform technology infrastructure is increasingly becoming the platform of choice for social sciences and humanities publishers. HighWire’s collaborative environment and evidence-based product development process provide unique opportunities for its publishing partners to share and learn from each others’ experiences.  As Mudditt further commented, “Our partnership with HighWire will enable us to deliver new and innovative products and services essential to our publishing strategy. HighWire’s capabilities in social media, community-based services, and alternative metrics will allow UC Press to develop new ways of sharing and delivering content to our user communities.”

Read more

Harvard Becomes Accessible to All with New Online Course in Global Health

Global Health: Case Studies from a Biosocial Perspective is a Harvard course that is free and open to anyone who seeks to develop an interdisciplinary view of global health. It develops a toolkit of analytical approaches and uses them to examine historical and contemporary global health initiatives with careful attention to a critical sociology of knowledge. The teaching team, four physician-anthropologists, draws on experiences working in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Americas, to investigate what the field of global health may include, how global health problems are defined and constructed, and how global health interventions play out in expected and unexpected ways.

Two of the course’s instructors, Arthur Kleinman and Paul Farmer, are co-authors of Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction, which serves as a foundational text for the course.

Watch the course intro video below to learn more!

Bow Down to Google? Not So Fast, Says Siva Vaidhyanathan

Do you ever get the feeling Google is ascending to technology overlord status? Siva Vaidhyanathan raises that troubling possibility in a New York Times’ Bits Blog piece about Google’s ever expanding reach and the backlash it now faces from some activist groups. He says,

We’ve been perfectly happy to let Google be the benevolent dictator of our web experience. It has made the web pleasant and usable as well as navigable, making things like malware and pornography less obvious. We should be happy with Google becoming the operating system of our phones as well. But now it is striving to become the operating system of our lives.

Vaidhyanathan is the author of The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry), a book that examines the ways we have used and embraced Google and exposes the dark side of our Google fantasies.

Head over to the New York Times Bits Blog to read more about the growing resistance to Google and Vaidhyanathan’s advice for how the company can better engage with its community.


From our Journals Division: The NEW Gastronomica.org!

University of California Press and Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture are pleased to announce the all-new Gastronomica Website! With free articles, Web-exclusive content, and an expanded Chef’s Page—featuring interviews with notable chefs from around the world—never before have you seen so much great writing on food, all in one place.

So visit today, and come back often as we continue to add new content to the all-new Gastronomica.org!