Scholarly Presses Meet to Discuss Future of Academic Publishing

2008 Annual Meeting of the Association of American University Presses Gathers in Montreal

June 18, 2008: The Annual Meeting of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) convenes in Montreal June 26-29, 2008. Changes brought about by an emerging digital publishing culture will inform many of the panels, as well as the conversations among more than 500 attendees from around the world.

Open access (OA) is one of the hottest topics in scholarly communications, and at the 2008 AAUP meeting. Stevan Harnad (Canada Chair in Cognitive Science at the Université du Québec à Montréal) and Stanley Katz (Director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University) will speak on Saturday at a plenary about the implications of open access for scholarly publishing.

Another plenary discussion intersects with many OA concerns, focusing on "Reaching out to University Press Partners." How can university presses establish effective partnerships with libraries, learned societies, and other organizations invested in scholarly communication? Moderator and panelists Philip Cercone (Executive Director and Senior Editor, McGill-Queen's University Press), Andrew Abbott (Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago), and Chad Gaffield (President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) will discuss the role of scholarly publishers in the university research system.

The three-day conference is packed with more than forty scheduled sessions and roundtables. Panels will cover a wide array of pertinent topics, including the benefits of XML, the challenges of environmentally responsible publishing, and the future of peer review. In addition, the annual series of book design panels and lectures will accompany the premiere exhibit of the 2008 AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show, featuring design excellence from university presses.

Thursday night's opening banquet will feature the presentation of the Constituency Award in honor of service to the university publishing community, followed by an address from noted Montreal-based author and journalist Mark Abley.

While the Annual Meetings are always a time to share expertise on how the university publishing industry operates in the present, the opportunity to look into the future is equally valuable. The 2008 gathering at Le Centre Sheraton is an opportunity for the association to assess the ongoing implementation of the recently drafted strategic plan. Outgoing AAUP president Sanford Thatcher (Director, Penn State University Press) and President-Elect Alex Holzman (Temple University Press) will discuss the current status of the scholarly publishing community and the changes it will face in the coming year at luncheon talks.

Formally established in 1937, AAUP promotes the work and influence of university presses, provides cooperative marketing opportunities, and helps its 128 member presses fulfill their common commitments to scholarship, the academy, and society. AAUP members are active across many scholarly disciplines, including the humanities, the arts, and sciences, and are innovators in the world of electronic publishing.

For more information about AAUP, the 2008 Annual Meeting, and AAUP members, please visit us on the Web at

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