By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Our Commitment to Sustainable Growth’In more academic publishing news of the summer, the Association of Canadian University Presses operating both in French and English has entered a partnership with Germany’s De Gruyter for distribution of the complete book output of all 17 presses in the association.
In terms of title count, this arrangement is expected to see some 650 new titles annually and an archived backlist of more than 12,000 academic ebooks. Once again, an attraction here is the aggregation of multiple university press’ on one digital platform, the company’s University Press Library.
As De Gruyter’s media messaging puts it, “Libraries can now obtain DRM-free, multi-user digital access to this comprehensive and complete collection” of Canadian university press content. The value on the centricity of the offer is easy to understand.
De Gruyter refers to its University Press Library platform as “a community-led ebook distribution model that provides libraries with complete annual digital output from some of the world’s most renowned university presses from the United States, Europe, and Canada, all with unlimited-user access.”
The Association of Canadian University Presses’ self-descriptive material points out that more than 50 percent of the books published by its member-presses “are by authors affiliated with institutions that do not have, or directly support, university presses.”
And what this means, then, that the deal with De Gruyter could be significantly valuable to research writers who haven’t even had university presses on their campuses and were dependent on other schools’ publishers to carry their work. With the De Gruyter partnership, their work quickly becomes available to a much broader potential community of research and publishing reaching far beyond Canada’s borders.
“Through our publishing programs, marketing activities, and distribution networks,” the Association of Canadian University Presses writers, “our members provide broad access to knowledge, which not only to advances the work of researchers and their institutions, but is also instrumental in developing and supporting national and international networks within research and teaching communities.” The De Gruyter link-up then amplifies that effort considerably.
‘To Thrive in an International Market’
The Canadian association’s members publish scholarly titles primarily by Canadian researchers and on Canadian issues and subjects of global significance.
In a prepared statement, Brian Scrivener, director of the University of Calgary Press and president of the Association of Canadian University Presses, is quoted, saying that the De Gruyter collaboration “demonstrates our commitment to sustainable growth and adaptation in an ever-changing industry.
“By embracing creative new approaches and forming strategic alliances, we’re confident in our ability to navigate market challenges, ensuring the longevity and success of our publishing endeavors.”
And Steve Fallon, president of De Gruyter, says, “Sustainability in the health and human services publishing industry has emerged as a significant market concern, particularly for small- to mid-size university presses.
“Recognizing the need for creative solutions to thrive in an international market,” he says, makes the arrangement with the Association of Canadian University Presses, “a groundbreaking agreement.
“This strategic partnership aims to foster growth and expand our network of partners at the regional level while preserving the inherent value proposition of our University Press Library business model.”
A programming note: During Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22), our Publishing Perspectives Forum programming includes a special morning presented in collaboration with Charleston Conference. Discussions include “Research Integrity: Technology, Trust, and Transparency” and “Sustainability and the Future of Scholarly Communication: Looking Forward at Business Models, SDGs, and Beyond.”
To learn more, see our Forum page here, and click on the Friday, October 20 tab.
The program that morning starts at 9:30 a.m. with a networking breakfast and runs to 12 p.m. Speakers include Peter Brantley, Rachel Martin, Vivian Berghahn, Stuart Whayman, Sven Fund, Heather Staines, Rafael Ball, Richard Gallagher, and Leah Hinds, the Charleston Hub executive director.
More from Publishing Perspectives on academic, scholarly, and research publishing is here.