Event Reports

This page is a repository of the resources produced as a result of events organised and coordinated by The Academic Book of the Future Project, including reports, presentations, blog posts and other resources. The resources are listed by date order (descending) of their associated event. This page is being continuously updated.


3 & 4 June 2016: The Future Space of Bookselling Conference
Pontio @ Prifysgol Bangor University

The space and place of the bookstore has shifted dramatically over the past fifty years. The traditional physical space of the Indies, chains, market-stalls and superstores now create a common place with virtual stores, eReaders and tablets. This is largely due to digital technologies that have removed problems of distribution and access as well as fundamentally called into question what it is that is being bought and sold and who owns that item being exchanged.

The academic book has always had its own “space”: its own audience, its own distribution networks and its own purposes. Academia depends on the book as a dissemination and teaching medium, yet today many university campuses and towns no longer have bookstores. The academic space of the book has either closed or moved to a new place. This conference considered what these new places may be, the impact this move has had on readers and booksellers, and the changing relationships that have always developed within the space and place of the book.

Conference programme: https://academicbookfuture.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/acfsb_schedule.pdf

Conference presentations: https://padlet.com/ebenjmuse/acfsb

Conference website: http://acbookspace.weebly.com/


23 May 2016: The Audio and Audio-Visual Academic Book of the Future: A Symposium
The British Library

This symposium continued an investigation into the use of audio and audio-visual resources in the academic book, undertaken by The Academic Book of the Future project and the British Library Sound Archive.

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/10/28/audio-visual-resources-and-academic-books-of-the-future/

Event page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-audio-and-audio-visual-academic-book-of-the-future-a-symposium-tickets-24923897047

Background: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/sound-and-vision/2016/05/the-audio-and-audio-visual-academic-book-of-the-future-a-symposium-.html


18 May 2016: ‘Crossing Boundaries, Bridging Divides: Books, Archives, and the Politics of the Digital’: A Public Lecture by Professor Marilyn Deegan
University of York

This lecture discussed the changes wrought to book publishing and dissemination by the digital turn, with particular reference to the situation in the Global South. Deegan also discussed the political and democratic implications of two large-scale digitisation initiatives in Africa that she is involved in: the digitisation of the Gacaca archives in Rwanda (60 million pages of documents relating to the post-genocide legal process) and the digitisation of a range of cultural materials in the Sudan: Digital Sudan.

University of York event page: https://www.york.ac.uk/history-of-art/news-and-events/events/2016/academic-book-future-public-lecture/


17 May 2016: The Academic Book of the Future: Archaeology and Art History symposium
University of York

This symposium provided a forum for articulating academic concerns around the future of book publishing, careers and academic freedom, particularly considering critical issues for the future of book publishing in archaeology and art history. Panelists and chairs included: Marilyn Deegan (King’s College, London); Mike Fulford (University of Reading), Julian Richards (Archaeology department, University of York), Colleen Morgan (Centre for Digital Heritage, University of York), Judith Winters (editor, Internet Archaeology); Tim Ayers, Jeanne Nuechterlein and Michael White (History of Art department, University of York); Julie Allinson (Library, University of York); Martin Postle (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art); Emma Brennan (Manchester University Press).

Event report: https://academicbookfuture.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/abf-archaeology-and-history-of-art-symposium-york1.pdf

University of York event page: https://www.york.ac.uk/history-of-art/news-and-events/events/2016/academic-book-future/


13 & 14 May: May Morris Conference
William Morris Gallery/V&A Clothworkers’ Centre/William Morris Society

The Project’s Research Associate attended this two-day conference on May Morris (daughter of the Socialist and Arts & Crafts Movement activist, William Morris), and gathered views from attendees in this specialist discipline on issues related to the future of the academic book.

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/06/08/independent-researcher-publish-or-be-damned/

Event page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/may-morris-conference-2016-tickets-20273757354


9-13 May 2016: co_LAB Workshop on The Academic Book of the Future
University of Lincoln

co_LAB (The Collaboration Laboratory) undertook an intensive, interdisciplinary workshop that brought together students and staff from across the University of Lincoln, UK to collaborate and innovate in response to a core brief. Participants from Media Production, Psychology, Computer Science, Performing Arts and Games Computing considered the possibilities for the production and dissemination of academic knowledge in the context of the digital age, aiming to challenge/expand current perceptions, and lay the groundwork for a wider view of what might be an appropriate format for the ‘book’ in the 21st Century.

Website and proof of concept: https://spark.adobe.com/page/uYSrs/

Workshop Day 1: http://colab.lincoln.ac.uk/workshop-day-1-2/

Workshop Day 2: http://colab.lincoln.ac.uk/workshop-day-2-3/

Workshop Day 3: http://colab.lincoln.ac.uk/workshop-day-3-3/

Workshop Day 4: http://colab.lincoln.ac.uk/workshop-day-4-3/

Twitter: @co_LAB_UL


5 May 2016: Creative Writing Theses Discoverability Meeting
British Library

A meeting at the British Library to discuss the issue of discoverability of creative writing theses. The meeting was organised by Dr Susan L. Greenberg (Senior Lecturer in the University of Roehampton’s Department of English and Creative Writing), and brought together leading academics in the field of creative writing, as well as library staff from the British Library and university libraries. Discussions expanded to reach well beyond the initial sphere of discoverability, touching upon a range of issues. The result of this meeting was the creation of a handout with advice on how to put Creative Writing PhDs on university repositories (available to download below), which has been formally approved by the NAWE HE committee.

NAWE General Guidelines for Lodging an Electronic Copy of Your PhD Thesis: https://academicbookfuture.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/nawe_theses_guidelines.pdf

Introductory blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/09/04/creative-writing-research/

Follow-up blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/08/01/creative-writing-theses-guidelines/


4 May 2016: Sprinting to the Open FuTure: Book Launch and Film Premiere
University of Nottingham

Over three days during the inaugural Academic Book Week, ten students in the School of English created a new book, Insider’s Guide to Starting University: For Students by Students. This lunch event launched the book and was also the premiere screening of a short film about the book sprint.

Short film about the book sprint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUABtFOnx74&feature=youtu.be

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/05/31/booksprint_nottingham_2015/


13 April 2016: What Next for the Academic Book?
London Book Fair

The demise of the academic book has been greatly exaggerated. While sales of print copies may have declined from their heyday, the book is evolving and readership is widening in many different forms. And the recent success of Academic Book Week 2015 – part of The Academic Book of the Future project – is evidence of how dynamic a form the book can still be. But what’s next in its evolution? What impact will the latest trends have on authors, publishers, librarians and booksellers? An expert panel consisting of Dr Samantha Rayner (PI, The Academic Book of the Future Project), Scott Hamilton (Head of Retail Sales, Bookshops and Online, Blackwells), and Jen McCall (Editorial Director, Palgrave Macmillan) undertook an insightful discussion and a little bit of crystal ball gazing.

Event page: http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en/Sessions/23270/What-Next-for-the-Academic-Book

Further resources to be added for this event soon.


13 April 2016: NextGen Needs: What do Young Academics Really, Really Want?
London Book Fair

So much of what scholarly and professional publishers do is tailored to existing habits and patterns of established academics. But what’s changing in the academy and what do the next generation of researchers and teachers really, really want from publishers? Drawing on recent research and case studies, this panel outlined the latest insight into what young academics want from publishers. Featuring Rebecca Lyons (Research Associate, The Academic Book of the Future), Dr Audrey McCulloch (Chief Executive, ALPSP), Elaine Devine (Senior Communications Manager (Author Relations), Taylor & Francis), and Bernie Folan (Bernie Folan Consulting).

Event page: http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en/Sessions/23271/NextGen-Needs-What-do-Young-Academics-Really-Really-Want

Further resources to be added for this event soon.


12 April 2016: Crossover Books: A Panel Debate
London Book Fair

A panel debate on ‘crossover books’: those books that manage to inspire interest not only in their home academic discipline, but also in the wider reading public. These books show the reach that academic research can have, and demonstrate why scholarship is of value, particularly in the arts and humanities. The crossover book is truly fertile ground in which to consider some pressing questions around the academic book.


  • Dr Samantha Rayner (Project PI – Chair)
  • Professor Sarah Churchwell (Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities and a professorial fellow in American literature) School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • Mathew Lyons (Public historian and writer)
  • David Barker (Publisher, Bloomsbury Academic)

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/04/26/away-with-the-monotonous-monograph/

Event page: http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en/Sessions/20358/Crossover-Books-A-Panel-Debate

Further resources to be added for this event soon.


11 April 2016: Musical Scholarship and the Future of Academic Publishing: A Workshop
Goldsmiths, University of London

Music publishing and writing about music have always pushed at the boundaries of publishing technology. And the dissemination of music documents often challenges our notions of authorial ownership. As digital technology increasingly dominates the production and dissemination of scholarly content, including original writing, critical editions, and creative practice, how will music research rise to the challenges it poses?

This one day event explored how digital production and dissemination will impact on music publishing and scholarship in the coming years. Topics covered included: what will be the best practice for encoding, dissemination, and preservation of music notation? How will online collaboration affect the production and ownership of digital music editions? How can the narrative structures and arguments of scholarly discourse and of music editions be preserved in a context of ‘random access’ (from search engines, etc.)? Should scholars and artists publish their work (writing, editions, compositions) as Open Access, and should they carry out their drafting processes in public, making early editions and edit histories available online?

Workshop page: http://www.transforming-musicology.org/events/musical-scholarship-and-the-future-of-academic-publishing/

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/05/16/musical-scholarship-and-the-future-of-academic-publishing/


16-17 March 2016: University Press Redux Conference (#UPRedux)
Liverpool University Press

The first UK conference on the state and future of university presses, with 150 delegates representing nearly 40 university presses. Hosted by Liverpool University Press in association with The Academic Book of the Future project.

Many of the conference presentations are available below:

See also the storify of the event and the following companion blogs:

11 March 2016: UKSG 39th Annual Conference

Michael Jubb (of Jubb Consulting, formerly of RIN) delivered a presentation entitled: ‘Open Access in the UK: how far have we got and what have been the costs and implications?’

Video recording of Michael’s presentation: https://tv.theiet.org/?videoid=8257

Michael’s presentation slides (PDF): https://academicbookfuture.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/michael_jubb_oa_uksg_11apr16.pdf


7 & 8 March 2016: The Academic Book in the South Conference
British Library

A two-day conference organised by the British Library in collaboration with Professor Marilyn Deegan (The Academic Book of the Future project) and Dr Caroline Davis (Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, Oxford Brookes University). The conference is a partnership between the British Library and the Academic Book of the Future project.

Speakers including publishers, librarians, scholars and authors, addressed the production, dissemination, reading and reception of the academic book with specific focus on Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. The conference considered, among other things, how scholars’ ability to access and produce knowledge is facilitated by digital technology and how academics can play a more active role in the creation of, and access to, books in the Arts and Humanities, both printed and digital.

Conference report (pdf): https://academicbookfuture.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/the-academic-book-in-the-south-conference-report-180416-md_sk_final.pdf

Blog Post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/04/05/academic-book-in-africa/

Conference Programme: https://academicbookfuture.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/acbooksouth_programme_final.pdf

Conference website: http://www.bl.uk/events/the-academic-book-in-the-south#

25 & 26 February 2016: Quadrivium XI (Academic Book of the Future: Identity, Use and Creation of Academic ‘Books’ for Medievalists)
De Montfort University, Leicester

Medievalists as a scholarly group have a very specialist set of research requirements – often studying content that can only be found in ancient manuscripts, or in archaic languages such as Latin or Old English. This specialism raises specific issues around the academic book, which the Project is keen to investigate. Quadrivium is an annual research, careers, and skills training event for postgraduates and ECRs of medieval and early modern textual studies, with Quadrivium XI funded by The Academic Book of the Future project.

Blog posts:



February 2016: International Arthurian Society Blog Post Competition

The Project put out a call for short pieces from International Arthurian Society (IAS) members, written informally, that show their reading influences

and detail their iconic texts. The entries were judged by Professor Peter Field and Bangor University’s Director of Libraries and Archives, Sue Hodges, with the winner receiving a week as Visiting Fellow at the new collection of Arthurian books housed in Bangor University Library. The prize also consisted of a week’s accommodation at the

Management Centre in Bangor, and a £100 contribution towards travel costs to get there.

Competition details: https://academicbookfuture.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/acbookfuturearthuriancomp.pdf

Winning blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/02/17/iasbb-competition-winner/

Runner-up blog posts: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/03/02/international-arthurian-society/


6-8 Jan 2016: BSECS 45th Annual Conference
St Hugh’s College, Oxford, UK

The Project took part in a panel at the 45th annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Chaired by Professor Matthew Grenby (Newcastle), the provocatively-titled round table ‘What’s the Point of the Academic Book?’ included views from Project Research Associate Rebecca Lyons, Professor Tim Hitchcock (Sussex), and Mari Shullaw (Boydell & Brewer). Each speaker’s paper has been published in its own blog post, below.

Conference programme: https://www.bsecs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/BSECS-Annual-Conference-Programme-FINAL.pdf

Rebecca Lyons: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/01/25/the-point-of-the-academic-book-part-one/

Mari Shullaw: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/01/26/the-point-of-the-academic-book-part-two/

Professor Tim Hitchcock: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/01/27/the-point-of-the-academic-book-part-three/


4 Dec 2015: FutureBook Conference
The Mermaid Conference and Events Centre, London, UK

Project PI Dr Samantha Rayner chaired a panel titled ‘The new publishing: the academic book of the future’, including the following speakers:

  • Richard Fisher (Formerly of CUP)
  • Suzanne Kavanagh (ALPSP)
  • Lara Speicher (UCL Press)
  • Anthony Cond (Liverpool University Press)

All speaker presentations are available below.

Programme: http://www.thebookseller.com/futurebook-conference/programme

Speaker presentations (PDF format):


17 Nov 2015: UKSG One-Day Conference
London, UK

Project PI Dr Samantha Rayner, and Michael Jubb delivered a project update to the conference.

Video recording: https://tv.theiet.org/?videoid=7540

Project presentation (PDF): http://www.uksg.org/sites/uksg.org/files/PresentationRayner.pdf

Conference programme: http://www.uksg.org/event/NOVCONF2015


Academic Book Week (#AcBookWeek 9-16 November 2015)

Selected publicity:

The Bookseller, Academic Book Week set for 2015: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/academic-book-week-set-2016

BookBrunch, Academic Book Week launches in November: http://www.bookbrunch.co.uk/pid/article/academic_book_week_launches_in_november

The Bookseller, First events for Academic Book Week revealed: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/first-events-academic-book-week-307427

The Bookseller, Academic Book Week: trade and academy join for seven days of debate and discussion: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/horizon-scanning-abw-316071

Events occurring before #AcBookWeek and/or spanning the duration of the week

20 Academic Books That Changed The World

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was voted the most influential academic book from 20 academic books that have changed the world, as voted for by leading academic booksellers, librarians and publishers. Spanning subject areas as varied as science, feminism, politics, evolution and philosophy, the top 20 list of academic books that changed the world includes titles by authors as diverse as Stephen Hawking, Germaine Greer, Plato and Charles Darwin, as well as more surprising inclusions like William Shakespeare and George Orwell.

Webpage: https://acbookweek.com/20abcworld/

Selected publicity

The Guardian, Public vote for academic book that changed the world: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/14/public-vote-for-academic-book-that-changed-the-world

BookBrunch, Academic books – booksellers’ all-time top 20: http://www.bookbrunch.co.uk/article.asp?pid=academic_books_booksellers_all_time_top_20

TES, Have you read the 20 books that changed the world?: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/have-you-read-20-books-changed-world

THE, The top 20 academic books that changed the world: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/carousels/top-20-academic-books-changed-world

The Bookseller, Darwin’s ‘Origin’ voted Most Influential Academic Book: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/darwins-origin-voted-most-influential-academic-book-316099

CNN, Poll says Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ is most influential book: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/11/world/charles-darwin-irpt/

The Washington Post, Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ tops list of most important academic books: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/11/darwins-origin-of-species-tops-list-of-most-important-academic-books/


12 October – 27 November 2015: An Exhibition of ‘Curious Books, University of Sheffield Library

An exhibition of quirky and unusual items from the University Library’s Special Collections department.

Part of the White Rose Consortium’s ‘Debating the Book’ series of events: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/homepage/521/debating_the_book


20-23 October 2015: Research in ‘Odd’ Shapes, Inside Out Festival strand

Three performances and a panel debate were selected by the Inside Out Festival organisers (The Culture Capital Exchange: http://www.theculturecapitalexchange.co.uk/) in collaboration with The Academic Book of the Future Project to provoke questions around the form of academic research and its outputs.

Pandemonium! The Industrial Revolution: http://www.insideoutfestival.org.uk/2015/events/the-industrial-revolution-empowered-by-the-world-of-water-and-steam-technology/

Bloodlines: http://www.insideoutfestival.org.uk/2015/events/bloodlines/

The Art of Living: http://www.insideoutfestival.org.uk/2015/events/the-art-of-living/

Dance Umbrella – Body Politic:



31 October 2015: [im]Possible Constellations: Publishing in the digital age

This symposium considered possibilities for the circulation, publication and exhibition of new ideas in the digital age, aiming to challenge and expand current perceptions of what high quality research outputs might look like in the 21st century, particular for those working in media subjects.

The keynote speaker was Catherine Grant (University of Sussex), a highly respected champion and producer of the video essay format. She established (and continues to curate for) the open access campaigning website Film Studies For Free, and the Audiovisualcy video group, and is also founding editor of the academic digital publishing platform REFRAME.

In her presentation, ‘MONOGRAPHIC? VIDEOGRAPHIC? PLURIGRAPHIC? TOWARDS (AN) ENRICHED MEDIA STUDIES’, Catherine Grant examined current multimodal approaches to research and digital publishing in film and media studies. She focussed on two recent examples of audiovisual essays published online alongside written texts to argue that not only would film and media studies benefit from moving “Beyond the Book” as a presentational mode, but also from embracing the new networked and digitally enriched research methods and processes that lead to these enriched scholarly media forms, too.

Webpage: http://frequency.org.uk/uol-symposium-impossible-constellations-publishing-in-the-digital-age/

Full video of Catherine Grant’s presentation coming soon


9-15 November 2015: Baxter 400 – Baxter Quatercentenary Exhibition (online event)

This online exhibition marks the 400th anniversary of Richard Baxter’s birth. It profiles a selection of his correspondence from 1657-59 focusing on both literary and material aspects. It is the result of a collaboration between Dr Williams’s Library, Early Modern Letters Online, and The Correspondence of Richard Baxter (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

Online exhibition: http://emlo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/exhibition/baxter/


9-15 November 2015: Modern Languages Open: Writing Sprint, University of Liverpool

During Academic Book Week, colleagues in Modern Languages at Liverpool coordinated a Writing Sprint, which drew together experts in Modern Languages from around the UK and beyond to focus around the key topic of Modern Languages and the Digital, and to explore how digital technologies are changing the shape of Modern Languages research and publishing. The form of a Writing Sprint allowed for new ways of thinking about not just the content of what is written, but also the process, as well as new ways of thinking about the peer review process and the writing processes take place.

Writing sprint blog: https://modernlangdigital.wordpress.com


9-13 November 2015: Vulpes Libris Academic Book Reviews

Many of us Bookfoxes at Vulpes Libris are keen on academic books, because they can be splendidly entertaining, admirable, stirring, and change how we think. They deliver a shot of intellectual adrenalin that fuels the mind and recharges the spirit, and they are not all written in show-off clever-clever language. We hope to persuade you that the academic books we review this week – chosen for their re-readability, not because they make us sound intellectual –  are worth your consideration too.

Monday 9 November: Kate recalls the game-changing experience of reading John Carey’s The Intellectuals and The Masses.

Tuesday 10 November: Simon warmly recommends Nicola Humble’s excellent The Feminine Middlebrow Novel.

Wednesday 11 November: Kirsty M reflects on the business of studying theology.

Thursday 12 November Hilary puts the case for the importance of What Nuns Read, by David Bell.

Friday 13 November: Jackie will be reflecting on Practicing History by Barbara Tuchman.

See Vulpes Libris Book Reviews

9-12 November 2015: Tweet Your Academic Book (online event)

During Academic Book Week 2015, Liverpool University Press (LUP) invited academics at universities throughout the UK to be creative and to tweet, in a maximum of 140 characters, the essence of their recent or forthcoming book. At the end of the week the best entry will win. Congratulations to Mary O’Connell, who won this competition and £100 worth of LUP books with the tweet summary of her book Byron and John Murray: A Poet and His Publisher:


LUP Twitter: @LivUniPress

Daily events for #AcBookWeek 

Monday 9th November 2015

Keynote: Simon Tanner (KCL), Academic Book Week launch, University of Liverpool

Simon spoke on ‘Investigating the REF 2014 as another means of understanding academic books: Focus on Modern Languages, English, and History.’

Slide presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/KDCS/focus-on-modern-languages-and-linguistics-investigating-the-ref-2014-as-another-means-of-understanding-academic-books

AcBookWeek at the University of Liverpool (website): http://www.liv.ac.uk/histories-languages-and-cultures/research/academic-book-week/


Where will the academic book of the future ‘live’? Stationer’s Hall, London

This workshop brought together representatives from the publishing industry to discuss where the book of the future might be created, discovered and consumed, providing a view from the publishing industry on where and how books might exist in relation to authors, libraries and other discovery mechanisms going forwards.

Resources to be added soon


Tuesday 10th November 2015

The Academic Book of the Future: Formats, Access and Opportunities, University of Bristol

A panel debate featuring Professor Helen Fulton (Chair in Medieval Literature, University of Bristol), Damien McManus (Subject Librarian at the University of Bristol for Classics and Ancient History, English, French, German, Linguistics and Russian Studies), and Katharine Reeve (Subject Leader in Publishing at Bath Spa University, and formerly the Editorial Director and Senior Commissioning Editor for History and Visual Arts at Oxford University Press), and chaired by Dr Leah Tether (Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities – English at the University of Bristol).

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/11/27/bristol-debate/


Interdisciplinary Research and Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities, Rowman & Littlefield International Publishers

A panel discussion on interdisciplinary research and publishing, including some tips on how to get interdisciplinary work published, to alternative modes of research and publishing, right through to very practical advice for early career researchers.


  • Sarah Campbell, Editorial Director, Rowman & Littlefield International
  • Gary Hall, Professor of Media and Performing Arts, Coventry University
  • Laurence Hemming, Professor, Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University
  • Danielle Sands, Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Culture, Royal Holloway
  • David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/12/12/acbookweek-interdisciplinary-research-and-publishing-challenges-and-opportunities/

Video recording of Sarah Campbell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRY0deRkdHE

Video recording of Gary Hall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_Y551Es1Lk

Video recording of Laurence Hemming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY7szuOGhYU

Video recording of Danielle Sands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wqJ5G_FChg

Video recording of David Chandler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O89z-cn4x4


Wednesday 11th November 2015

The Academic Book Of The Future: Evolution Or Revolution? University of Cambridge

A one-day colloquium, organised by Jason Scott-Warren (Centre for Material Texts, University of Cambridge), and featuring:

  • Rupert Gatti, Fellow in Economics at Trinity and one of the founders of Open Book Publishers, explaining ‘Why the Future is Open Access’
  • Alison Wood, Mellon/Newton postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities in Cambridge, reflecting on the relationship between academic publishing and the changing institutional structures of the university
  • David Robinson, the Managing Director of Heffers bookshop, focussed on the extraordinary difference between his earlier job, in a university campus bookshop, and his current role
  • Samantha Rayner (Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at UCL and ‘Academic Book of the Future’ PI), described the progress of the project to date
  • Richard Fisher, former Managing Director of Academic Publishing at CUP, spoke about the ‘invisibles’ of traditional academic publishing — all the work that goes into making the reputation of an academic publisher that never gets seen by authors and readers
  • Peter Mandler, Professor of Modern Cultural History at Cambridge and President of the Royal Historical Society, sang the praises of the academic monograph
  • Danny Kingsley, Head of Scholarly Communication at Cambridge, discussed the failure of the academic community to embrace Open Access, and its unpreparedness for the imposition of OA by governments
  • Anne Jarvis, Cambridge University Librarian, offered ‘The View from the UL’
  • Abigail Brundin, from the Department of Italian, insisted that the future is collaborative
  • Matthew Champion, a Research Fellow in History, drew attention to the care that has traditionally gone into the production of academic books
  • Liana Chua reported on the situation in Anthropology
  • Orietta da Rold, from the Faculty of English, questioned the dominance of the book in academia
  • Michael Cahn (read in his absence by Gemma Savage), offered the view from Plurabelle Books – a second-hand academic bookseller based in Cambridge

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/12/02/acbookweek-the-academic-book-of-the-future-evolution-or-revolution/


What is the Future of the Academic Book? University of Sussex

The University of Sussex hosted two events; one was specifically aimed at doctoral researchers called ‘Alternatives to the monograph: new ways of publishing for doctoral researchers’; the other was a more general discussion called ‘What is the future for the academic book?’

Live notes by Dr James Baker: https://gist.github.com/drjwbaker/a263692a00414fecc90b

Blog post: https://sussexresearchhive.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/acbookweek-what-was-it-all-about/

Video: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/research/seminarsandevents/acbookweek


Opening the Book: The Future of the Academic Monograph, University of Manchester

The John Rylands Library, Manchester, played host to the Manchester Great Debate, a panel discussion dedicated to addressing the future of the academic monograph, featuring:

  • Dr Frances Pinter, Knowledge Unlatched
  • Emma Brennan, Editorial Director and Commissioning Editor at Manchester University Press
  • Sandra Bracegirdle, Head of Collection Management at the University of Manchester Library
  • Francesca Billiani, Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Arts and Languages (CIDRAL) at the University of Manchester
  • George Walkden, Lecturer in English Linguistics at the University of Manchester
  • Chair: Professor Marilyn Deegan, Co-Investigator of The Academic Book of the Future project
  • Organiser: Dr. Guyda Armstrong, Lead Academic for Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/11/26/manchester-great-debate/


The Future of the Art History Book, The Courtauld Institute of Art

From Lives of the Artists, to The Story of Art, and Differencing the Canon, the discipline of art history has been defined by its books (Hyde Minor 1994; Macartney 2011; Shone and Stonnard, 2013). The art history book remains the standard of professional validation and knowledge transfer within the discipline. Yet, with the arrival of the internet and digital publishing technologies, the limiting nature of traditional academic publishing and the potential for alternative models have been exposed (Hall, 2008; Fitzpatrick, 2011; Frosio, 2014). Academic presses have sought to augment and re-engineer the academic text by exploring new systems for aggregation, annotation, collaborative writing, data visualisation, open access and peer review. But art history is seriously behind in developing robust publishing models for the future (Ballon and Westermann, 2006; Evans, Thomson and Watkins, 2011; Zorich, 2012).

In this talk, Charlotte Frost regards the art history book as the site of contention in the quest to historicise emerging (and often technologically-rich) art forms. She asks ‘what should the art history book of the future look like and what should it do differently for the discipline to evolve?’

Charlotte Frost’s slides: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B58JIugj8WHHSTFKZ2NybDI3clk/view


Thursday 12th November 2015 

The Future of the English PhD, De Montfort University, Leicester

A dozen PhD students working in literary and creative writing areas came together to consider the future of the PhD in English from as many different angles as possible. This guest post, written by Richard Vytniorgu (English PhD candidate, DMU), captures the day’s main points of discussion.

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/02/08/acbookweek-future-of-english-phd/


Using Primary Sources e-textbook: institution partnership publishing to support the student experience, University of Liverpool

This session focused on how academics, librarians and a university press can work together to create an open access academic book that supports the student and adds value to their learning experience. ‘Using Primary Sources’ is a JISC funded e-textbook project currently being worked on by the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, University of Liverpool Library and Liverpool University Press. This session discussed how the project started, its progress to date and how this model can be developed further to offer more open access publications for the student.


  • Andrew Barker (Head of Academic Liaison, Special Collections & Archives, University of Liverpool Library)
  • Dr Jon Hogg (Senior Lecturer, Department of History)
  • Alison Welsby (Editorial Director, Liverpool University Press)

For updates on the forthcoming publication of the e-textbook: https://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/Institution-as-E-textbook-Publisher/Programme/Participating-institutions/


Sprinting to the Open FuTure, University of Nottingham

This panel discussion explored questions around how students and staff publish, and the challenges they face. How do postgraduate research students find a publisher for their book? How do early career researchers contact editors, either online or at events? How are students inspired to write the academic books of the future? Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeremy Gregory introduced the event, and Professor Sharon Monteith chaired the discussion, and the panel included:

  • Dr Linda Bree, Editorial Director, Arts and Literature, Cambridge University Press
  • Andy Redman, Editorial Director – Law, Oxford University Press
  • Paul De Jongh, General Manager, Brepols
  • Professor Patrick McGuinness, University of Oxford

As part of #AcBookWeek the University of Nottingham also undertook a book sprint, with ten undergraduate students collaborating to write a book in just three days. The event was a huge success, with a book being completed in that time.

Video of the book sprint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUABtFOnx74&feature=youtu.be

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/05/31/booksprint_nottingham_2015/


Friday 13th November 2015

The Academic Book of the Future. Rebecca E. Lyons and Samantha J. Rayner, eds. Palgrave Macmillan: London, 2016. 120pp. eBook ISBN: 978-1-137-59577-5. Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-59576-8.

Launched at a showcase event at the British Library on Friday 13th November 2015 for Academic Book Week, this Palgrave Pivot (short-form monograph) took just eight months to complete from concept to publication. Featuring the expert views of thirteen professionals across publishing, academic, libraries, and bookselling, it provides a valuable snapshot of the academic book in its current and emerging contexts.

Download the book (free – open access): http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137595768

Blog post: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2016/03/23/feature-the-academic-book-of-the-future-practice-as-research-by-rebecca-lyons/

Review: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2015/11/09/book-review-the-academic-book-of-the-future-edited-by-rebecca-e-lyons-and-samantha-j-rayner/

Jen McCall on the Palgrave Pivot format: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/06/12/format-flexibility-and-speed-palgrave-pivot/


The Changing Face of Academic Research and Publishing: Creating a Dialogue around the Book, Wellcome Collection, London

New forms of interdisciplinary research and changing publishing models and formats – including Open Access – present new challenges and opportunities for academic researchers, publishers, and funders. What role does the academic book continue to play, and how is this changing in humanities and science, technology and medicine (STM) publishing? A panel of publishers, researchers, and funders from across STM and humanities research discussed the issues facing academic book publishers and authors. The panel addressed approaches for maintaining and expanding the relevance of the academic book, and explored similarities and differences between the role of the book, the researcher-author, and the book publisher in STM and the humanities.


  • Des Fitzgerald, Lecturer in Sociology, Cardiff University, and Collaborator in Hubbub (the first residency at The Hub at Wellcome Collection).
  • Amy Bourke-Waite, Senior Communications Manager at Palgrave Macmillan
  • Nisha Doshi, Senior Commissioning Editor, Medical Books, Cambridge University Press
  • Cecy Marden, Wellcome Library Open Access Project Manager, Wellcome Trust
  • Dr Felicity Callard, Reader in Social Science for Medical Humanities, Durham University, and Director of Hubbub (the first residency at The Hub at Wellcome Collection)
  • Chair: Rebecca Lyons, Research Associate (UCL) The Academic Book of the Future Project)

Resources to follow soon


16th November 2015

The Academic Book of the Future: A Panel Discussion at Brown University, USA

The discussion was moderated by Sheila Bonde, Brown University Professor and Chair of History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World. The publishers and editors that participated in the panel discussion were:

  • Amy Brand, Director of the MIT Press
  • Anne Brackenbury, Executive Editor, Higher Education Division, University of Toronto Press
  • Robert Harington, Associate Executive Director for Publishing, American Mathematical Society
  • Sarah Lippincott, Program Director, Educopia Institute

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/01/08/academic-book-future-usa/

Full video recording of the panel discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl7O7DUB__8&list=PL2PwShbFBf4Bk6AaDM2mGixpS_7TYasyT


23rd November 2015

Ecologies of Publishing Futures, The Royal College of Art

A symposium to ask: ‘How do designers engage in new ecologies and what is the future of publishing?’ Academics, designers, storytellers, publishers, and students spoke about this from international perspectives and debated over the book and its lifecycle, as well as the role of writing, designing, and the processes of mediating, distributing, and reading, featuring Professor Andrew Prescott (University of Glasgow and AHRC Digital Transformations Theme Leader) and Dan Franklin (Digital Publisher at Penguin Random House).

Andrews’s talk (write-up): https://medium.com/digital-riffs/are-we-doomed-to-a-word-of-pdfs-11f57edaf926#.9r1w3lyh2

Dan’s talk (write-up): https://medium.com/@PRHDigital/an-earthquake-in-the-petrified-forest-86f6ffa5c85d#.jpyxy6pmq

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2015/12/07/acbookweek-ecologies-of-publishing-futures/


1st December 2015

Knowledge production in contemporary societies, Guadelejara International Book Fair

Simon Mahony (Department of Information Studies, UCL), spoke about The Academic Book of the Future at the 2015 Guadalajara International Book Fair.

Blog post: https://academicbookfuture.org/2016/02/03/acbookweek-guadalajara-international-book-fair/

 Other #AcBookWeek blog posts