Celebrating University Press Week and What's #NextUP
University presses have a unique identity in the publishing world. They exist at the focal point of intersections of knowledge with their intimate relationships with their home institutions, their dedication to scholars and students alike, and their belief that we are a community that benefits from learning and growing together.
This week we celebrate University Press Week (November 14-18) and explore how this year's theme, Next UP, reflects this commitment to innovation and the possibilities of “what could be”.
For the University of Michigan Press, the future is connected to a sense of openness: open infrastructure, open knowledge, open access. This openness helps create new types of scholarship and uplifts underrecognized voices. It also helps equalize access to knowledge. For presses like us who publish in the humanities and social sciences, subject areas where “the book” is the core workshop for research, openness is essential.
“University Presses are THE future in academic monograph publishing,” said Elizabeth Demers, Editorial Director for UMP. “Michigan's commitment to Open Access publishing on a non-author pay model is a perfect example. UP commitments to accessibility and inclusivity drive our missions to publish scholarship that is truly changing the world. Creating pathways for all scholars to publish Open Access is one of the revolutionary ways that university presses are driving how publishing is done.”
This UP Week is a particularly special one for the University of Michigan Press because this year Charles Watkinson, our Director, is the president of the Association of University Presses. With over 150 members located around the world, the Association of University Presses connects diverse publishing professionals whose work is vital to the cultivation and dissemination of knowledge. As Charles said in his inaugural message as president,
“The works our member organizations publish are more widely read than ever, and our colophons signal trust and integrity around the world in an environment where both are under threat. Take a look at a map of the Association’s ever-growing membership, and you will see pins of light connected in a network of our shared values—truly the “global knowledge ecosystem” that we celebrate in our vision statement.”
So, what is Next UP for university presses? Considering the ingenuity and gumption of this community, anything is possible. Keep an eye on this space, though, because later this week Executive Editor Ellen Bauerle will be sharing her insights about the future.
We can’t wait to see what's Next UP. It's bound to be grand.