Academic newsletter - July 2017

Alastair Horne
Opinion - Academic Thursday, 20 July 2017

Alastair Horne, in association with the London Book Fair, on OUP's results, a key PA appointment, and other news

Profit, turnover up at Oxford
Oxford University Press has released its annual report for 2016/17. In figures necessarily adjusted to allow for fluctuations in exchange rates, total turnover rose 3.3% to £847m, with the academic division posting a 2.4% increase in turnover, despite what the report describes as "challenging" market conditions for academic and research publishers; the academic books division also returned to growth. Overall, the press's trading surplus was £124m, up 16% when adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations, and its financial contribution to the University of Oxford was £40m. Among the highlights emphasised by the report were the launch of a new online academic platform, Silverchair, which now hosts all of OUP's journal content; new and extended agreements with both Google and Apple; and the creation of a single global technology organisation, with responsibility for some technology support services transferred to Cognizant.

Publishers Association appoints Bowes
The Publishers Association (PA) has appointed William Bowes of Cambridge University Press to the post of general counsel and director of policy. In the latter role, he replaces Susie Winter, who recently joined Springer Nature. For the past few years, Bowes has combined his position as general counsel and company secretary at Cambridge with roles at the PA, first as chair of its Academic, Professional and Learning Publishers Council, and more recently of its International Board. A strong advocate of copyright, Bowes spoke at this year's London Book Fair on the history of the subject, and its enduring importance in encouraging learning; in his opening statement for the PA, he continued to stress this theme, emphasising the need for the industry to "explain the benefits of copyright" and expressing enthusiasm for "helping publishers tell their story to decision makers and opinion formers".

Liverpool's Cond shortlisted for award
Liverpool University Press md Anthony Cond, recently appointed associate editor for ALPSP journal Learned Publishing, has been shortlisted for this year's Young Stationers' Prize, awarded to someone under 40 who has made an outstanding contribution to the sector. In Cond's time in charge at LUP, the press has increased its output by a factor of 10 while maintaining profit levels. The other shortlisted candidates include Alice Curry of Lantana Publishing, Ian Buckley of Prima Software, and John MacPherson of Scottish educational publisher Bright Red Publishing. The winner will be announced at a dinner at Stationers' Hall on 24 July, and the award presented by the 2016 winners, literary agents Ella Kahn and Bryony Woods.

Expansion for Knowledge Unlatched
Knowledge Unlatched has made a couple of announcements. New partnerships with LM Information Delivery and iGroup will see the former representing KU in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, and South Africa, and the latter in Asia and Oceania. The organisation has also announced that from Q1 2018 it will be accepting submissions of both books and journals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, expanding from its initial focus on the humanities and social sciences. Pledging on this first STEM collection will begin in mid-2018.


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