University of California Press Introduces New Open Access Publishing Programs


This is fantastic news.

Originally posted on The Scholarly Kitchen:

collabraYesterday, the University of California Press announced two new open access (OA) publishing initiatives. One (Luminos) will publish scholarly monographs; the other (Collabra) is a mega journal created along lines somewhat similar to those of PLOS ONE, with a couple of important differences—notably, a business model that relies partly on library memberships and that provides payment to peer reviewers and editors, payment which they may opt to accept or to pass along, either to their local institutions’ OA subvention funds or back to Collabra to support its own APC waiver fund.

UC Press director Alison Mudditt graciously agreed to answer some questions about these new initiatives.

Tell us about the process that led up to the establishment of these two programs, Luminos and Collabra. Who participated in the planning, and how did you go about getting input from the communities involved?

Development of these two programs has been germinating…

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Student Tuition now supports Higher Education more than State Governments

From the Washington Post:

It used to be that attending a public university all but guaranteed graduating with little to no debt. State governments funneled enough money into higher education that families could send their kids to a local school without worrying about taking out a second mortgage or private loans to pay their way.

Not so anymore. These days students pay more of the cost of attending public universities than state governments, a shift that is making college less affordable, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.

Researchers found that the money public colleges collect in tuition surpassed the money they receive from state funding in 2012. Tuition accounted for 25 percent of school revenue, up from 17 percent in 2003. State funding, meanwhile, plummeted from 32 percent to 23 percent during the same period. That’s a far cry from the 1970s, when state governments supplied public colleges with nearly 75 percent of their funding, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Is Google Now a Publisher Offering Other Publishers an Inadequate Deal?

Originally posted on The Scholarly Kitchen:

The Barter Network Member Card The Barter Network Member Card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For much of its history, Google has benefited from the understanding that the company is not a publisher, as it has no content of its own. This reputation and Google’s own assertions along these lines have allowed the organization to draw on certain laws protecting intermediaries on the Web from lawsuits claiming liability for what is posted or seen on its sites, while also preventing it from being sued for copyright infringement in many cases.

Because it indexes the content of others, Google has long claimed it is merely an intermediary, connecting users with results and playing no role otherwise. But recent trends in search cataloging and results presentation show Google taking a more controlling position, and seeking some protection by claiming First Amendment rights as a publisher.

More recently, Google and those watching its behavior have been asserting that it is…

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Successful Academic Writing: Make a Plan

If you’re an academic, you know you should complete writing projects during the semester. But too many scholars abandon their writing during the 12-14 week semester, and it’s a big mistake. The most productive scholars are those who write every day and integrate writing into their teaching lives. I found this fantastic article in Inside Higher Ed today. I’ve reposted the first challenge below as a New Year’s suggestion: get started now planning for spring. Make a commitment to yourself that you’ll write every day.


  • Create a list of your writing goals (and the tasks necessary to complete them) for the spring semester.
  • If you are resistant to this task, gently ask yourself “why?”
  • Map the writing tasks you need to accomplish onto each week of the semester.
  • Go through your calendar and block out 30-60 minutes at the beginning of each week day for “writing time.”
  • If you don’t have a calendar, stop reading and go get one.
  • Write every day this week for 30-60 minutes (just try it!)
  • Proactively connect with a community of support that meets YOUR personal needs for writing accountability.

I hope this week brings each of you the clarity to define your writing goals, the persistence to write every day, and the joy that is found in true community!

Getting the University Presses Back in the Game

Originally posted on The Scholarly Kitchen:

Painting of David striking down Goliath David and Goliath, Guillaime Courtois (1650 – 1660)

The “game” in the title of this post is journal publishing. University presses are primarily known as book publishers, as well they would be: the combined output of the university press community monograph programs represents a cornerstone of our civilization. But the presses have long been active in journal publishing as well. By my count about half of the American presses publish journals, for a total of around 200. Add Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press to the mix and the total approaches 1,000. That’s about 4% of the total number of research journals, not a negligible number. For comparison’s sake, open access (OA) publications comprise only about 2.3% of the total spending for journals, and we talk about those OA publications endlessly.

The fact is, though, that the university press world has had a mixed record in recent years…

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