July 1 – July 6, 2006 Edition

University Presses

Ponder Challenges

of New Digital Age

NEW ORLEANS, LA/6/19/06—More than 500 people attended the American Association of University Presses annual meeting June 15-18 in New Orleans. The focus of this year’s conference was Transformational Publishing: Lessons, Tools, and Strategies for Scholarly Publishing in the 21st Century.

In the opening session, Stephen Rhind-Tutt, president of Alexander Street Press which develops electronic collections for universities and libraries, told attendees that University presses must deliver more material faster to scholars. He encouraged publishers to embrace rather than fight digital programs by Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, and he pointed to tremendous value in licensing and linking. He bluntly told the audience that they would be shut out of the future if they don’t license to digital concerns.

A number of sessions provided examples of successful electronic programs such as AnthroSource, a popular site for anthropologists, which was developed jointly by the University of California Press and the American Anthropological Association.

Attendees also studied some of the issues facing presses in making the transition to the digital world, including recovery of up-front costs, and on-going maintenance.

AAUP members can get more information on the e-publishing workshop as well as meeting sessions by visiting the new AAUP wiki. Login and password can be obtained from the members-only site.

In addition to the educational sessions, highlights included the presentation of the AAUP Constituency Award to Jennifer Crewe (Columbia) and presidential talks at group meals.