This page is an archive of project news.

Events that were organised by the Project are listed on the Events page. 

16-17 March 2016: The University Press Redux, hosted by Liverpool University Press

Although the Association of American University Presses has held an annual conference for several decades, this will be the first event to focus on the university press in a UK context. There are at present more than twenty university presses in the UK, for whom this event will be an essential forum to benchmark existing practices and map out possible future developments. The two-day conference will also provide a useful primer for the increasing number of UK universities that are considering the launch of their own imprints through library repositories, corporate communications departments or as discrete entities. The UK offices of American presses, university presses in mainland Europe, and publishing studies scholars will also find this an important forum for the discussion of the university press.

Hosted by Liverpool University Press, The IPG Frankfurt Book Fair Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year 2015, and The Bookseller Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year 2015, as part of The Academic Book of the Future project.

Visit the conference page for the programme and a full list of speakers:


7-8 March 2016: The Academic Book in the South

This two day conference discusses how profound changes in publishing will affect the Academic Book of the Future in the South. Organised by The British Library in collaboration with Professor Marilyn Deegan, Kings College London and Dr Caroline Davis, Oxford Brookes University.

Conference dates:  Monday 7 – Tuesday 8 March 2016

Times: 09.30 – 17.30

Speakers will address the production, dissemination, reading and reception of the academic book with specific focus on Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. The conference will consider, 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. It will appeal particularly to scholars and practitioners with interests in authorship, publishing and librarianship and the history of the book. See the provisional programme for the event [PDF].

Keynote Speakers:

Walter Bgoya, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania

Sukanta Chaudhuri, Jadavpur University, India

Abhijit Gupta, Jadavpur University Press, India

Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut

Shamil Jeppie, University of Cape Town

Padmini Ray Murray, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, India

Noureldin M Satti, Sudanese Association for the Archiving of Knowledge

The Academic Book of the Future is a research project funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in collaboration with the British Library, and is concerned with how scholarly work in the Arts and Humanities will be produced, read, and preserved in coming years. The context of the project is one of rapid change: change in the educational landscape in the UK and elsewhere, change in academic careers and promotion structures, change in the political landscape and the funding models for education and learning, change in technology. The project is as inclusive as possible in its reach and has a special interest in the book in the South.

Organised by the British Library in collaboration with Professor Marilyn Deegan, 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.


Name: The Academic Book in the South
Where: Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: Mon 7 Mar 2016, 09:30 – 17:30
Price: Full Price: £30.00
Senior 60+: £15.00
Student: £15.00
Registered Unemployed: £15.00
Under 18: £15.00
Friend of the BL: £15.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546

– See more and register at: 


7 Jan 2016: The Project consults with eighteenth-century scholars

The Project was invited to speak at the BSECS 45th Annual Conference,which took place on Thursday 7th January 2016 at the University of Oxford. The British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) is soon to launch its own book series, in association with Boydell & Brewer, and wanted to consult with its community on the form that this new series should take. 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,Mari Shullaw (Boydell & Brewer), and Professor Tim Hitchcock (Sussex). The views given by each speaker have been published in their own blog posts, linked to here:


Dec 2015: Project launches new collaboration with UCL Press

The Project will be working with UCL Press on a new publication in 2016 – a BOOC (Book as Open Online Content) – title to be finalised. Further updates will be posted here as more is announced.


13 Nov 2015: The first Project publication is launched – The Academic Book of the Future, a Palgrave Pivot!

Amazon_coverThe project teamed up with Palgrave Macmillan and 13 expert contributors across academia, publishing, libraries, and bookselling to produce this Open Access publication tackling some of the major issues and questions around academic books in current and emerging contexts.

The book published on Friday 13th November in both ebook and hard copy format, and was launched at a Showcase Event at the British Library that evening

Download it as a free ebook or order a hard copy here: 

The book has been reviewed on the LSE Review of Books.


Nov 2015: The inaugural #AcBookWeek is a huge success!

Nearly 80 events and activities took place all over the UK as well as internationally during the inaugural #AcBookWeek (9-16 November 2015), including seminars, workshops, debates, symposia, exhibitions (both physical and virtual), writing sprints, competitions, promotions, offers, and others. All the events were organised by our coalition communities across libraries, publishing, academia, bookselling, as well as some in collaboration with other associated communities, including Frequency Festival, TCCE’s Inside Out Festival, and NEoN Digital Arts Festival.

The Project’s aims for Academic Book Week were:

  • To increase awareness of the variety and accessibility of the academic book (particularly the arts and humanities academic book), engaging media and alerting policy makers to its importance as part of the intellectual eco-system of the UK
  • To make the academic book more accessible to a wider general audience
  • To promote the skills and services of bookshops and libraries to readers of the academic book
  • To promote the processes and skills of creating an academic book via both academics and publishers
  • To open up opportunities for conversation and collaboration between publishers (via the PA, the ALPSP), booksellers (via the BA), librarians (via RLUK and CILIP) and researchers (via the AHRC, British Academy, Jisc, Hefce, and the Wellcome Trust).
  • To extend the debate about the Academic Book of the Future for the AHRC/ BL Academic Book of the Future Project
  • To enhance the wider debate about the value of arts and humanities research in the UK

The week was a resounding success in achieving these aims, especially in terms of community engagement and collaboration, impact, publicity, and most crucially the exploration and discussion of our key project research questions, and the indication of other key areas of concern and interest for our associated communities.

For more detail on the events, activities, and emerging themes during Academic Book Week, see the following posts on the project blog, written and submitted by event organisers and rapporteurs:

#AcBookWeek snapshot:

  • 78 events and activities in 21 locations across the UK, as well as in Mexico and the USA .
  • Visitors from 113 countries to the two Project websites during 9-15 November 2015.
  • Coverage in 189 online articles with a maximum potential reach of 425,684,521 readers across 21 countries (stats from Midas PR)


12 Nov 2015: Launch of Lund University Press: A joint initiative between Manchester University Press and Lund University

Manchester University Press announces the launch of Lund University Press, a new Open Access imprint that will publish peer-reviewed books in the Humanities and Religious Studies. The imprint will focus on monographs, with some collections of essays. The works published will in some cases be brand-new titles, and in others will make world-class research previously published only in Swedish available to an international audience in English.

Each book published will be free to access online via the OAPEN platform, with print editions available for purchase. Lund University Press aims to publish between two and three books a year initially, building up to ten books a year over time. Manchester University Press will provide publishing and distribution services for the Lund UP titles, including North American distribution via Oxford University Press.

The project will begin in late 2015 with the aim of making works available beginning in early 2017.

Lund press release Nov 15


29 July 2015: Project Activity Snapshot

A huge amount of activity and planning has taken place already, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of our Community Coalition, Project Partners. Here the Project Team celebrates all that has happened, and looks forward to what is still to come:

20-24 July 2015: Oxford Digital Humanities Summer School

PI Dr Sam Rayner and Simon Tanner attended on 21 July.

Further details here:

20-21 July: AHRC Digital Transformations Theme

The Project was invited to attend this Large Grants Meeting in Oxford. PI Dr Sam Rayner and Simon Tanner went on behalf of the Project.


16 July 2015: First events for Academic Book Week (9-16 November) revealed

The Bookseller announced the first round of events to be launched on the new #AcBookWeek website. See the press release here:

15 July 2015: New website launches for Academic Book Week (9-16 November)

#AcBookWeek now has its own website. To view and register for events during the week in November visit:

30 June – 2 July 2015: Project meetings at MAMO conference

PI Dr Sam Rayner met with Sarah Barrow (Lincoln), Elaine Treharne (Stanford), and Caroline Palmer (Boydell & Brewer) to discuss further involvement in the Project. Watch this space!

16 June 2015: Project meets with Wellcome Trust

PM Rebecca Lyons met with Chris Hassan and Valerie Brown at the Wellcome Trust, and started conversations around #AcBookFuture events in their newly refurbished Reading Rooms.

More on the Reading Rooms here:

12 June 2015: Project awarded more funds!

The Project has been awarded further funds from the AHRC to assist with costs for Academic Book Week. This is wonderful news, and will undoubtedly help to make the week a huge success!

4 June 2015: UCL Press launch

PI Dr Sam Rayner attended this event, launching the UK’s first fully Open Access University Press:


May 2015: Project attends AHRC events

PI Dr Sam Rayner attended an AHRC Digital Transformations day, and an AHRC Commons Workshop.

24 April 2015: HEFCE and OA Monographs

PI Dr Sam Rayner took part in a HEFCE workshop on OA Monographs.

More here:


23 April 2015: The Project + Pivot

Rebecca and Sam met with Palgrave Macmillan to discuss an exciting collaboration between the Project and their innovative Pivot short-form monograph series.


16 April 2015: Project meetings in North Wales

Sam and Rebecca held meetings at Bangor University on several Project strands:  The Academic Bookshop of the future (with Eben Muse and John Smiths bookshops); Welsh medium research, and Arthurian special collections with the Library and Raluca Radulescu.


April 2015: The Project Comes to Brown

Marilyn Deegan (KCL) and Guyda Armstrong (Manchester) speak about the Project at Brown University, Rhode Island.

25 March 2015: Project presentation to staff at the British Library

Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education at the British Library invited Rebecca Lyons to give an introductory overview to the Project to interested members of staff during a lunchtime event. Rebecca invited comment on and participation in the Project, and the talk sparked several interesting debates and new avenues of inquiry.

25 March 2015: REFlections: Evaluation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 and a look to the future

Project team member Simon Tanner attended this HEFCE event reflecting on the most recent REF exercise. The Project’s findings may help to inform REF 2026, so this was a very useful day.

See the event page here, including presentations from the speakers, and a link to the Impact Case Studies database.


20 March 2015: Simon Tanner attends CILIP event

‘The Total Archive: Dreams of universal knowledge from the encyclopaedia to big data’ – full programme available here:

17 March 2015: Simon Tanner talks about the Project at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London

In this seminar Project Team member Simon Tanner asked the question “what do scholars want from the academic book?” He explained the Project’s research plans for the coming year, highlighting some of the key issues and inviting comments and engagement from the floor as part of that planning.

See the event’s Facebook page here.

9 March 2015: EEBO-TCP Hackfest at the Bodleian Libraries

PI Dr Sam Rayner and PM Rebecca Lyons took part in this dynamic one-day event, bringing together web developers and arts and humanities scholars to celebrate the release of over 25,000 texts from the Early English Books Online project into the public domain. Find out more about the event here.

March 2015: Project opens discussions with two publishers

Project Team member Nick Canty and PM Rebecca Lyons visited Palgrave, and Nick also met with Sage to begin discussions about how the two publishers can get involved with the Project. Lots of exciting ideas were suggested, and there is great enthusiasm on all sides about working together. Watch this space for news and developments! The Project is very keen to get involved with smaller/independent publishers too, so if that’s you then please get in touch with the Project Manager:

19 Feb 2015: Talks begin with British Library about upcoming #AcBookFuture Digital Conversations event

Project Manager Rebecca Lyons attended Digital Conversations at the BL on the 19 Feb – one of a series of quarterly events on digital topics. This one, organised by curator in digital research James Baker, was called ‘A Web of Rights’, and involved three panellists and a chair discussing internet rights, privacy, open access, and related topics. Bex is now organising an #AcBookFuture Digital Conversations event to take place at the BL on the 24 Sept 2015. Watch this space for more news on that event!

14-23 Feb 2015: Prof. Marilyn Deegan talks about the Project in Sudan

Project Team member Prof. Deegan was invited to give a paper on the project at Alzaim Alzazhari University in Khartoum North, organized by the Sudanese Library Association. See her blog post about it here.


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