University Press Week Blog Tour: Innovate/Collaborate

University Press Week is November 8-12. The UP Blog Tour will feature entries all week long that celebrate this year’s theme, “Keep UP.” This year marks the 10th anniversary of UP Week, and the university press community will celebrate how university presses have evolved over the past decade.  

Honoring today’s theme, Innovate/Collaborate, we post about Temple University Press’ imprint, North Broad Press, a University Press, Libraries, and Faculty Collaboration for Open Textbooks.

For well over a decade, Temple University Press has been reporting to Temple University Libraries, and in 2018 we partnered to launch the collaborative imprint North Broad Press. 

North Broad Press (NBP) publishes open-access works of scholarship, both new and reissued, from the Temple University community. Our current focus is on open textbooks. NBP supports Temple faculty in the creation of a textbook specifically tailored to their course that is free for all students. NBP titles decrease the cost of higher education and improve learning outcomes for students. All books are peer reviewed and professionally produced with print-on-demand copies available at cost.

An important part of the Press’s mission is to educate, and with NBP we are shaping the approach to teaching and learning at Temple through the creation of custom textbooks. Authors write, organize, and present content in a way that aligns with teaching methods they know to be successful. In addition, we hope NBP titles will be used in courses beyond Temple, and peer reviewers are asked to consider this as they assess the projects.

NBP is part of the Libraries’ Center for Scholarly Communication and Open Publishing.  Its creation supports the Libraries and Press in achieving and advancing a strategic action named in the current strategic plan: “Explore new opportunities in publishing and scholarly communication: The Libraries will engage in deep collaboration with Temple University Press, with Temple faculty, and with other organizations and academic institutions to identify and adopt new approaches for sharing scholarly products, for exploring sustainable economic models for university publishing, and for connecting local publishing initiatives with Temple’s faculty.”

NBP’s work is based on the following core principles:

  • We believe that the Libraries and the Press are critical resources for publishing expertise on campus.
  • We believe that the unfettered flow of ideas, scholarship and knowledge is necessary to support learning, clinical practice, and research, and to stimulate creativity and the intellectual enterprise.
  • We support Temple faculty, students, and staff by making their work available to audiences around the world via open access publishing.
  • We believe that the scholarly ecosystem works best when creators retain their copyrights.
  • We believe in experimentation and innovation in academic publishing.
  • We work to decrease the cost of higher education and improve learning outcomes for students by publishing high quality open textbooks and other open educational resources.
  • We believe in the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and promote these values through our publications.
  • We commit to making our publications accessible to all who need to use them.
  • We believe place matters. Our publications reflect Temple University and the North Philadelphia community of which we are a part.

NBP has filled a previously unaddressed need. We issued annual calls for proposals in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and the response from Temple faculty has been enthusiastic. We received 58 proposals over the three calls; 20 were selected for publication, an acceptance rate of 35%. Of these, three titles have been published and 17 are in process.

Temple faculty are committed to  improving student success by authoring  textbooks that are better suited for their courses than what’s currently available. They understand the financial challenges posed by expensive commercial textbooks and they have jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with the Press and Libraries.

Celebrating Open Access Week

This week in North Philly Notes, in honor of Open Access Week, we highlight Temple University Press’s efforts to promote barrier-free access to our books and journals. 

The theme of this year’s Open Access Week is “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge.” Temple University Press is proud to support barrier-free access to a number of titles, expanding their reach, eliminating barriers in resource-poor areas of the world such as the Global South, and supporting our authors in their goal of disseminating their research as broadly and deeply as possible.

From its outset the Press has participated in Knowledge Unlatched, a library-curated and -supported program that allows publishers to make select titles available open access. Publishers submit titles for inclusion in a Knowledge Unlatched collection. A selection committee made up of librarians evaluates the titles and chose those they deem most interesting for libraries and readers worldwide. The library community comes together to collectively fund the “unlatching” process and the titles are made freely available through OAPEN and the HathiTrust Digital Library.

2272_regKnowledge Unlatched launched with a pilot collection in 2014, which included the Press title Constructing Muslims in France: Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship, by Jennifer Fredette. To date, 13 Press titles have been included in Knowledge Unlatched collections with a 14th unlatching later this year.

In 2017, we received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to make a selection of our outstanding out-of-print labor studies titles freely available online as part of the Humanities Open Book Program. The titles were selected based on their impact on and ongoing relevance to scholars, students, and the general public.

As of October 1, 2019, all 32 titles are available here on the Temple University Press website, where they can be read online or downloaded in EPUB, PDF, and MOBI formats. A print-on-demand option is forthcoming. All titles are also freely available on JSTOR and Project MUSE.

These labor studies titles have all been updated with new cover art, and 30 titles feature new forewords by experts in the field of labor studies. The forewords place each book in its appropriate historical context and align the content with recent developments in the field. The selected titles reflect a range of disciplines, including history, sociology, political science, and education.

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In 2018, we announced the creation of North Broad Press, a joint open access publishing imprint of the Press and Temple University Libraries. North Broad Press publishes works of scholarship, primarily textbooks, from the Temple community. All North Broad Press titles are peer reviewed and freely available on our website in PDF and EPUB formats. Faculty responded to our spring 2019 call for proposals enthusiastically; we received 19 applications, from which 4 were chosen for funding with 2 addition open textbooks proceeding without funding.  These include titles in criminal justice, Spanish, physics, economics, and social work, among other areas.

In September the first North Broad Press title was released: Structural Analysis, by Felix Udoeyo, Associate Professor of Instruction in Temple’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The book is designed for upper-level undergraduates studying civil engineering, construction engineering and management, and architecture and can also be used by construction professionals seeking licensure in their field of practice.

The Press is committed to exploring other opportunities for open access publishing  and to working with the Temple community, Temple Libraries, and authors to create sustainable, impactful open works of scholarship.

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