Tag: Open Access

New Joint Editor-in-Chief for Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman Announced

Angela Last, Lecturer at the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment at the University of Leicester, has joined David Chandler and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos as joint Editor-in-Chief of the University of Westminster Press journal, Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman.

Dr Last is an interdisciplinary scholar who started off in Fashion, where she became interested in environmental and social justice issues in relation to design.  After working outside academia for several years, she subsequently completed a PhD in Geography at the Open University, UK. Her research focuses on human-environment relations, and specifically the politicisation of these relations. This research necessitates continued interdisciplinary work, whether in teaching, research or outreach, and she will bring this experience to her work for Anthropocenes. For example, Angela has been working on environmental sound art events, fashion workshops, and taught on the MA in Art & Science at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.

Her main aim in joining the journal is to forward the idea of ‘anthropocenes’ as a multiplicity of relations that humans have with their environment, kin, cosmos, or however they frame their relation, and not simply as ‘Anthropocene’ according to the current (still relatively ambiguous) geological interpretation. She notes, ‘the current planetary emergency requires many of our relations to change, which needs urgent discussion, and for this to be as geographically wide as possible.’ While traditional academic journals have some obvious limitations in terms of reach and economics, Dr Last envisages that Anthropocenes can make creative contributions to the debate by staging interdisciplinary conversations and publishing these in a variety of formats.

Anthropocenes is a fully open access journal, with no fees to authors or readers.  It launched in 2020 and has readers in over 130 countries. Articles publish as they are ready to avoid delays in making work publicly available, and the journal actively encourages multimedia and non-traditional submissions including creative writing, audio and visual work.  The journal is currently open for submissions – find out more at anthropocenes.net.  You can follow Angela Last’s work on her blog Mutable Matter.

Call for Editors – Journal of Deliberative Democracy

The Journal of Deliberative Democracy is pleased to invite expressions of interest for the editorship of the journal. The new editorial team is expected to serve from April 2023 to April 2026. Multi-institutional and multi-country bids are encouraged but not required.

Established in 2005 (originally as the Journal of Public Deliberation) the journal is a forum for the latest thinking, emerging debates, alternative perspectives and critical views on deliberation. It publishes on all theoretical and methodological traditions and aims to broker knowledge between scholars and practitioners of citizen engagement.  Supported by the NewDemocracy Foundation, the International Association for Public Participation and the University of Westminster, the journal is fully open access, with no fees for authors or readers.  Articles are made available as soon as they are ready to publish in order to prevent delays in making content publicly available, and the journal also publishes themed Collections. 

The journal also publishes The Deliberative Democracy Digest blog.

Published by the University of Westminster Press, the journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, EBSCO and the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, and is included in Science Open.  It has a global audience across 190 countries and achieves average usage figures of over 16,000 per month.  This is an opportunity to oversee the next stage of development of this established and respected journal on a topic of increasing importance internationally.

General responsibilities of the Editor include:

  • Assisting in the peer review of scholarly submissions via the Janeway manuscript submission system
  • Overseeing new Collections
  • Being the focus of editorial activity in their speciality, working to enhance the journal’s visibility and reputation in the field
  • Actively recruiting authors to contribute to the journal
  • Assisting in the framing of journal editorial policy and development of the journal
  • Assisting in the appointment of other editorial team members, ensuring members reflect the diversity of the field and the range of perspectives within the community
  • Attending Editorial Board Meetings
  • Representing the journal and promoting it wherever possible

EOIs should not be more than 500 words and should cover the following topics:

  • Names and institutional affiliations of the proposed editorial team
  • Reasons for editing JDD
  • Priorities for the JDD in the next three years
  • Plans for the Deliberative Democracy Digest
  • Institutional resources available to support the journal (JDD is funded by the newDemocracy Foundation, IAP2 and the University of Westminster Press but identify possible support from your institution/s like teaching relief, financial and other in-kind resources).

The journal invites EOIs to be submitted on/by 30 October 2022. 

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in November.  

All enquiries and EOIs should be directed via email in the first instance to:

Philippa Grand

Press Manager

p.grand@westminster.ac.uk

<strong>‘ORIGINAL AND TIMELY’ UWP TITLE SHORTLISTED FOR MAJOR ACADEMIC BOOK PRIZE</strong>

‘ORIGINAL AND TIMELY’ UWP TITLE SHORTLISTED FOR MAJOR ACADEMIC BOOK PRIZE

University of Westminster scholar Pieter Verdegem’s edited book AI for Everyone? Critical Perspectives has been shortlisted in the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association’s annual Outstanding Achievement Awards in the Edited Collection of the Year category. Judges noted that the book is ‘an original and timely collection that, in analysing discourses surrounding AI challenges notions of technological determinism and highlights the enduring importance of concepts of power within mass communication’. 

The book, published by University of Westminster Press, as part of the Critical, Digital and Social Media Studies  book series, edited by Christian Fuchs, is an open access publication with an international line-up of scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, setting out the need for critical perspectives on artificial intelligence in an era where AI is assumed to be inevitable and is seemingly ubiquitous.  Debate, the book argues, is urgently needed, especially regarding fundamental questions related to power.  Divided into three Parts, the book addresses critical perspectives on human-machine dualism, asks what makes for ‘desirable’ AI and what conditions makes this possible, and concludes by examining power and inequalities to explore how the implementation of AI creates important challenges that urgently need to be addressed. 

In short, the book offers a vital intervention on one of the most hyped concepts of our time. 

Available to download in digital versions here, here and here, it is also available to purchase in print here and at other online bookshops. 

The Awards will be announced during the MeCCSA annual conference held in Aberdeen from 7-9th September. 

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.

Setting up a University Press in the Digital Age Revisited

Setting up a University Press in the Digital Age Revisited

One of the questions we have been asked about establishing a new university press is ‘how long does it take’? So we have recently reviewed on our history and experience detailing the University of Westminster Press timeline below. Here was the view in September 2015, four months after UWP’s website launch about what might be involved, which seems a lifetime away now that our second and rather substantial 2019 catalogue has recently been released in April 2019.

Some tentative conclusions to the question are presented below – based also on anecdotal evidence from our peers – as well as UWP’s experience. They suggest some pointers for others considering setting up a comparable operation and one overall conclusion: early stages take a long time (and the wheels can grind a bit here) but then momentum grows.

  1. The early stages of a new UP tend to take a long time. We’d hazard a guess that 18-21 months+ would not be unusual.
  2. Governance and internal procedures may need to be reconsidered at an early stage and then clarified again in the light of actual experience.
  3. There should be alignment between budgets and academics’/stakeholder expectations and that relevant linkages between the two (ideally) should be clearly made at operational and strategic levels, not just one of those.
  4. It is useful to have publisher and librarian experience to tap into but harder to ensure in practice that both are available in one person or across a team.
  5. Universities (like all operations) frequently restructure and this can affect (2) or be really crucial in moving things forward (in our case) or holding them back.
  6. Once out of first gear where considerable push may be needed, progress can be rapid.
  7. Never underestimate the importance of tangible products (aka books) in manifesting a presence that colleagues and external parties see. Not even a gleaming and functional website can do this.
  8. Plans need to be revised on a regular basis. And even six months is currently proving to be a long time in the world of scholarly communications and digital-first open access publishing.

7 May 2014. University agrees basic arrangements to establish a new open access digital press.

10 September 2014 A University Steering Group approves the governance structure and principles for operation of the University of Westminster Press including peer review protocols and the composition and remit of its Editorial Board. UWP is founded as a department within the University.

23 February 2015 UWP’s first and only employee starts.

12 May 2015 UWP’s website goes live for the first time.

15 September 2015 First journal issue from UWP published, Vol 10.1 of Westminster Papers in Communication.

10 October 2016 UWP publishes first book title: Critical Theory of Communication

14 November 2016 UWP becomes part of a new Research and Scholarly Communications team; on 1 August 2018 this with UWP becomes part of Library and Archive Services, within the Student and Academic Services directorate in the university’s new structure.

17 November 2017 UWP issues first catalogue. 

14 December 2017 Revised terms of reference for the UWP board and governance of UWP are tabled and shortly after formally approved.

8 October 2018: 250,000 views and downloads of books, chapters and journal articles reached.

8 April 2019 UWP issues 2019 catalogue with 19 books and 11 journal issues published and with 15 new titles forthcoming previously unannounced . By this time over 350,000 views and downloads had been achieved.

UWP – a timeline in figures

UWP – a timeline in figures

Reaching 300,000 views and downloads on 18th of January 2019, UWP has grown its readership briskly in the last two years across books and journals. Here are the landmarks as they were recorded.

18 January 2019: 300,000 views and downloads reached

8 October 2018: 250,000 views and downloads reached

5 March 2018: 200,000 views and downloads reached

29 March 2017: 100, 000 views and downloads reached