Author: Publishing Manager

University of Westminster Press to partner with Michigan Publishing Services and Janeway Systems for Open Access Journals

University of Westminster Press to partner with Michigan Publishing Services and Janeway Systems for Open Access Journals

London, UK and Ann Arbor, MI, USA – 10 December 2020

The University of Westminster Press and Michigan Publishing Services working with Janeway Systems digital journals publishing platform have reached an agreement whereby they will partner to publish UWP’s six scholarly journals from January 2021.

Andrew Lockett, Press Manager (University of Westminster Press) warmly welcomed the new arrangement: ‘Michigan are at the forefront globally of the innovation and development of academic library publishing services and together with Janeway represent an exciting opportunity for UWP’s activities to be part of the development of sustainable public open source scholarly communication infrastructure. We are excited at the prospect at learning from and working with two innovative teams that share our values and to further enhancing the impact, reach and quality of our new and established journals’.

Jason Colman, Director of Publishing Services (Michigan Publishing) said: “We’re delighted to form this new partnership with the University of Westminster Press and Janeway, who share our commitment to an open and community-owned future for scholarly publishing. We look forward to seeing UWP journals made available to readers on Janeway very soon.”

“We’re very excited to be working with the University of Westminster Press” added Andy Byers, Senior Publishing Technology Developer at Birkbeck, University of London, “and look forward to expanding our existing relationship with Michigan Publishing.”

Additional Information
As one of the UK’s first fully open access university presses, the University of Westminster Press has been publishing open access journals since 2015 and open access books since 2016 achieving 850,000 views and downloads thus far for its publications in the process across its books and journals. It has published 170 new journal articles with an archive of 719 articles publishing 33 new books and 6 policy briefs launching the new journals Silk Road – A Journal of Eurasian Development, Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman and (forthcoming in 2021), Active Travel Studies. Its 2020 catalogue recently released was its third and its book publishing and general website continues in its current form with Ubiquity Press.

Michigan Publishing Services is a team of librarians and publishing professionals offering a suite of publishing services to the University of Michigan community and several other partners in the UK, US and worldwide. Its Fulcrum platform offers infrastructure and services that enables the full richness of author’s research output to be published in discoverable, durable, accessible and flexible form. From 2021 Michigan Publishing Services will migrate its own, more than 40 mostly open access journals, to the Janeway Digital Platform.

Janeway is a digital platform designed for publishing scholarly research material. Launched in 2017, the platform provides a workflow for the submission, processing and presentation of scholarly materials. It was developed by Professor Martin Eve, Mauro Sanchez and Andy Byers at the Centre for Technology and Publishing, Birkbeck, University of London, and the Open Library of Humanities, UK. Janeway is currently used by many publishers and libraries including Michigan Publishing Services, UCL Press, the Open Library of Humanities, Huddersfield University Press, Iowa State Digital Press, the University of Essex, the University of West London and California Digital Library to host its recently launched Preprint service Eartharxiv.

New Law for Intellectual Commons Needed – Broumas

New Law for Intellectual Commons Needed – Broumas

Released this week the latest title in the CDSMS series edited by Christian Fuchs by lawyer and activist Antonios Broumas makes the case for a new body of law to harness the potential and social value of the intellectual commons. Using case studies of cultural commons initiatives it clearly articulates why the commons have intrinsic value deserving of legal protection. At the heart of these new proposals is a recognition and expansion of the public domain and the need for greater personal and social rights and freedoms for individuals to properly participate in the realms of culture and science.

Extracts from the book titled Intellectual Commons and the Law: A Normative Theory for Commons-Based Peer Production follow:

[T]he intellectual commons are suppressed by the dominant value system of commodity markets and its universal equivalent of value in the form of money upon the intellectual commons. Such pressure, which may even lead to the extinction of intellectual commons communities, comes into contradiction with the overall conclusion regarding their social value and potential. Even though such communities may as a rule not be as productive as corporations in terms of money circulation, profits, jobs and taxes, this does not make them unproductive in terms of social value. On the contrary, the communities of the intellectual commons contain and emanate a wealth of social values, which ought to be protected through legal means.

***

Rather than proposing reforms within the property-oriented framework of contemporary expansive intellectual property laws, the current book advances a normative line of argumentation in favour of an independent body of law for the regulation of the intellectual commons, i.e. both the open access commons of the public domain and any other type of regime oriented towards the shared use of intellectual works. The appropriate protection and promotion of these two sectors of our intellectual commonwealth aspires to construct a vibrant non-commercial zone of creativity and innovation in parallel to intellectual property-enabled commodity markets of intellectual works.

***

Following the above, it is held that states are morally committed to respecting, protecting and fulfilling the freedom to contribute to the intellectual commons, thereby abstaining from its restriction through intellectual property laws, which are not compatible with international human rights treaties. In addition, the critical normative theory of the intellectual commons holds that the freedom to contribute to the intellectual commons ought to acquire statutory content substantive enough to give commoners the ability for its meaningful practice.

UWP has published several book titles all available open access including Peer to Peer (Bauwens et al), Incorporating the Digital Commons by Benjamin Birkinbine, The Commons: Economic Alternatives in the Digital Age (Vangelis Papadimitropoulos). Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory also discusses the ‘Communication Society as a Society of the Commons’.

Intellectual Commons and the Law was published on the 25 November 2020.

UWP, #openaccessweek2020: a raincheck

UWP, #openaccessweek2020: a raincheck

At the end of #openaccessweek2020 honoured to reflect that since September 2015 open access imprint @UniWestPress has published 254 unique editor/authors in our journals and books from 34 countries. That’s 32 books (incl. edited), 6 policy briefs and 5 distributed titles; 131 new journal articles also making available 719 archive journal articles.  

Today we have just had certain confirmation that we have hit over 750,000 views and downloads for our publications already, close to a 50% increase in less than a full year. Over 20% of UWP’s unique authors are University of Westminster authors with on the other hand 58% of contributions originating from outside the UK. Many authors (75) have worked with us more than once. One of our journals Silk Road is based at Westminster International University in Tashkent.

It’s not all about quantities. Our books have been translated into Spanish, Chinese and (shortly) Turkish; one has won a Latin American prize. We’re proud of our diverse range of authors from the global south, Europe, from all corners of the English-speaking world, feminist writers and early career research authors, the academic stars of the future as well as – Jurgen Habermas, Antonio Negri and Jean-Luc Nancy contributors to our list.   

It would not have been possible without support of our authors and editors @UniWestminster @UniWestLib @ubiquitypress the Research Environment and Knowledge Exchange Team at Westminster and the UWP editorial board.

Democracy without Shortcuts Debated

Democracy without Shortcuts Debated

A new special issue of the Journal of Deliberative Democracy is out now. A star line up of scholars considers the arguments of Christina Lafont’s new book Democracy without Shortcuts: A Participatory Conception of Deliberative Democracy discussing topics such as minipublics, assemblies, blind deference, everyday publics and several others in the fields of public participation and deliberative democracy. Christina Lafont responds. Contents follow.

CONTENTS

Democracy without Shortcuts: Introduction to the Special Issue
Nicole Curato,  Julien Vrydagh,  André Bächtiger, University of Canberra,Vrije Universiteit Brussels, University of Stuttgart

Commentary on, Cristina Lafont, Democracy Without Shortcuts
Jürgen Habermas, University of Frankfurt

A Citizen-Centered Theory
Jane Mansbridge, Harvard University

Between Full Endorsement and Blind Deference
Robert E. Goodin, Australian National University

Towards a More Robust, but Limited and Contingent Defence of the Political Uses of Deliberative Minipublics
André Bächtiger,  Saskia Goldberg University of Stuttgart

It’s Not Just the Taking Part that Counts: ‘Like Me’ Perceptions Connect the Wider Public to Minipublics
James Pow,  Lisa van Dijk,  Sofie Marien, Queens University Belfast, KU Leuven, KU Leuven

The Derailed Promise of a Participatory Minipublic: The Citizens’ Assembly Bill in Flanders
Ronald Van Crombrugge, KU Leuven

Citizens Without Robes: On the Deliberative Potential of Everyday Politics
Simone Chambers, University of California, Irvine

Participatory Deliberative Democracy in Complex Mass Societies
Mark E. Warren, University of British Columbia

Another Way for Deepening Democracy Without Shortcuts
Tetsuki Tamura, Nagoya University

Against Anti-Democratic Shortcuts: A Few Replies to Critics
Cristina Lafont, Northwestern University

What Are the Commons? What Could They Be?

What Are the Commons? What Could They Be?

Vangelis Papadimitropoulos in a new open access book just published (The Commons: Economic Alternatives in the Digital Age) surveys theories of the commons: liberal, reformist and anti-capitalist. Discussing these three viewpoints, the book contributes to contemporary debates concerning the future of commons-based peer production (see also UWP’s Peer to Peer) and makes the case in the conclusion for a post-capitalist commons-orientated transition that moves beyond neoliberalism.

This title is the in the University of Westminster Press‘s Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series. All previously published titles are available open access via a variety of channels including OAPEN, JSTOR and DOAB. Other titles discussing the Commons published by UWP include Incorporating the Digital Commons by Benjamin Birkinbine and Communication and Capitalism by Christian Fuchs.

IT professionals – a pervasive lack of control?

IT professionals – a pervasive lack of control?

In an extract from a new book that looks at Marx’s theory of alienation and Information and Communication Technologies, author Mike Healy outlines an agenda for future research on the key occupation of IT professionals and why it would need to consider workers’ alienation, not narrow job satisfaction. Marx and the Digital Machines: Alienation, Technology, Capitalism was published on 16th October, available open access.

Issues such as the application of project methodologies, the control the professional (and indeed the profession as a whole) has over the industry, the rapid commodification of skills such as programming, software maintenance and testing, and business processes, could all benefit from using Marx’s theory of alienation. Research that takes as its focus the role of the ICT professional in promoting the ethical use of ICT could benefit from a shift of perspective that sees the professional as one in command to a view of the professional as someone who is powerless and who cannot determine what they make, nor for whom or how it gets made. Research could also investigate what coping and resistance strategies they employ to deal with their alienated condition. Further research using theories of alienation and PAR [Participatory Action Research] would provide deeper insights into the problems ICT professionals face such as, for example, the contradiction discussed … between what they feel about their occupations and what they would do if given the opportunity to quit their jobs. Research on ICT professionals vigorously embracing Marx’s theory of alienation would enable it to move beyond the straitjacket of, and the inadequate categories associated with, job satisfaction thereby offering a greater explanation for, rather than a description of, the conditions in which ICT professionals work.
(From Chapter 8: Critique and Conclusion p. 126)