Academic newsletter - August 2017

Alastair Horne
Opinion - Academic Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Alastair Horne, in association with the London Book Fair, on CUP and Taylor & Francis reports, key appointments, and other news from the academic sector


Cambridge and Taylor & Francis issue reports
Cambridge University Press has published its annual report for the financial year 2016/17, showing an increase in turnover of nearly 14% to £306 million, and a sharp rise of almost £10 million in operating profits to £16.3 million. In his overview to the report, chief executive Peter Phillips draws attention to the launch in September last year of Cambridge Core, which brought the Press's academic books and journals together on a single platform for the first time, suggesting that it demonstrated Cambridge's commitment both to investment in digital solutions and to consultation with its users. A successful year for journals, particularly in law, saw the number published by Cambridge rise to just under 400, though the academic book market continued to be difficult, so far as print was concerned. Across the entire business, digital products now account for 36% of Press sales.

Taylor & Francis has issued its report for the first six months of 2017, as part of its parent company Informa. Revenues rose 11% to £239 million, and profits 17% to £86 million, though in both cases the underlying increases were around the 1% mark. Journals saw continued growth, while monographs and reference performed steadily. The report notes the appointment in May of Annie Callanan as the new chief executive for the academic publishing division, and the positive effect of combining T&F's British and American books businesses in 2016, generating both operational efficiencies and greater flexibility.

Elsevier's Clark appointed new Oxford Academic md
Oxford University Press has announced that the new managing director of its Academic Division will be David Clark, currently senior vice president for health and medical sciences at Elsevier. He will succeed Tim Barton, whose departure after 25 years at OUP was announced in February; Barton leaves next month, and Clark will take over in January. After joining Elsevier as social and behavioural sciences publisher, Clark led three divisions (physical sciences, life science and social sciences), and finally health and medical sciences. The move to Oxford will mark something of a return home for him, since he took his undergraduate degree in history at the university.

Bristol University Press, launched last year to build upon the success of the university's existing academic publisher, Policy Press, continues to fill its new posts. Jo Greig has been appointed sales and marketing director across both BUP and Policy, joining from Macmillan Education, where she was international marketing director and western european sales director. And Harvard University Press has announced that George Andreou, currently vice president and senior editor at trade publisher Alfred A Knopf, will take over next month as director, succeeding William P Sisler, who recently retired after 27 years in the post.

JISC report on new kinds of academic publishing
JISC has issued a report on two of the more striking developments in academic publishing in recent years: the rise of new kinds of university press and publishing ventures led directly by academics. Written by Janneke Adema of Coventry University and JISC's own Graham Stone, formerly collections and scholarly communications librarian at the University of Huddersfield, Changing publishing ecologies: A landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing can be downloaded from the JISC website, and combines an overview of the current landscape with recommendations for how it might further be developed.

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