How to Publish Scholarly Books and Open Access Webinar

Posted on August 01, 2021

Reflections on a webinar presented by Taylor & Francis on publishing scholarly books

An offer from Rajni Dhingra, Senior Marketing Manager of Taylor & Francis, India, to present a webinar to researchers of the University of Pretoria (UP), was considered and accepted a while ago by Anna Siwela, Deputy Director: Academic Services and a small group of library staff members. The webinar was held on the 24th of August, on the “GotoWebinar” platform. Dr Gangandeep Singh, current senior publisher and editorial team member of Taylor & Francis, India, addressed participants on “How to Publish Scholarly Books and Open Access”. Dr Singh, who has been part of the organisation for close to ten years now, has published up to 300 books in various areas and has signed close to 500 books. He holds a PhD in Forensic Chemistry and a Masters in Forensic Science.

We were fortunate to have close to a hundred participants with a lively question and answer session at the end.

During the introduction of his presentation, it was emphasised that Taylor & Francis was dedicated to following the African Union’s 2063 Agenda to build an innovation-led, knowledge-based economy in the Africa we want for the future.

He encouraged researchers to not only publish research results in journals, but to also consider writing books.

He went through the process of writing a book proposal that consisted of the reason one would want to write a book, a proposal for a table of contents, a proposed title, possible competitors in the market in terms of the topic covered, the type of book (e.g. textbook, monograph or reference work), the deadline and the number of pages planned.

A sample chapter is usually reviewed within 4-8 weeks and, if approved, the author may start writing the manuscript. He emphasised that authors keep their copyright and that the publisher only has publishing rights. He assured authors that the relationship between authors and publishers are more flexible than the contracts signed and that having an ORCID these days is the norm. Submitting to more than one publisher at a time is not encouraged as publishers often make use of the same expert reviewers who may then receive reviewing requests from different publishers for the same book. This negatively affects the relationships between publishers, reviewers and authors.

With regard to open access to books, he mentioned that this is getting more attention these days and that Taylor & Francis already has 752 open access books available. They promise authors flexibility and, apart from complete books, chapters may also be published in open access.

Green open access, where books are archived in institutional repositories, covers approximately 7.1% of their open access books. The record in an institution’s repository appears in the raw version, before publication and is often subject to an embargo period.

Gold open access books require a book processing charge and are published under a creative commons licence and appear in the final book format. Books published in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics areas cost approximately 12,500 GBP for a full book. Publishing a book with delayed open access after 12-24 months will have a discount of 30%. After 24-36 months, the discount will be 50% and after 36 months, 70%. The price structure for Social Sciences or Humanities wasn’t mentioned.

As researchers will continue to strive to improve the visibility and impact of their research, publishing open access books seem to be an attractive option. Although some researchers may be willing to follow the “Book Processing Charge Model” others may question the financial viability thereof and may want to join conversations about the possibility of free open access publishing routes.

 

 
- Author Susan Marsh
Published by Diana Gerritsen

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