As a not-for-profit scholarly press we can truly give a decisive push in the right direction for first-time authors, early-career researchers and underrepresented voices in the scholarly field.
From Monday November 13 to Friday November 17, members of the Association of University Presses celebrate University Press Week. This year’s theme, #SpeakUP, highlights the ways that university presses amplify their authors, and give voice to ideas that shape conversations around the world. Nienke Roelants, managing director, explains WHO Leuven University Press helps #SpeakUP.
In the case of Leuven University Press, “SpeakUP” equals “OpenUP”. As managing director, I find it important to foster a scholarly publishing culture that combines high-quality and high-impact content with low-threshold access to publishing. Open access and open metadata are the vehicles that help us realize editorial diversity in terms of geography, gender, ethnicity, age and career stage.
Both new and experienced authors benefit from our position as an institutional publisher that offers the possibility to publish gold open access and that is exploring partnerships in the highly dynamic field of diamond open access. While gold fosters inclusiveness on the side of the end user, diamond could even out differences on the editorial side. As a not-for-profit scholarly press we can truly give a decisive push in the right direction for first-time authors, early-career researchers and underrepresented voices in the scholarly field. To them, we are the matchstick that lights the fuse.
To senior authors, having passed the critical stage of tenure, we represent a solid “compagnon de route” and even a sparring partner. Jointly, author and publisher navigate the scholarly publishing landscape. They create and deepen publishing programs and invite promising and field defining scholars to collaborate with them and achieve progress in their respective disciplinary fields.
On a final note, it’s not only our own authors that Leuven UP helps to speak up. Through our open access publishing program and our participation in The Wikipedia Library program - providing free access to Wikipedia editors across the globe -, we fuel intellectual discourse of authors and editors other than our own. Being part of a global chain reaction in knowledge production and dissemination, our authors and editors inspire and empower others to speak up.
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