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New digital publishing platform for HE

White Rose universities' new platform will highlight academic excellence

Posted by Hannah Oakman | January 11, 2016 | Technology

Three of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities have joined forces to set up a new open access digital platform to publish scholarly articles across the academic disciplines.

Established by the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, the White Rose University Press (WRUP) recently opened for submissions.

It will publish peer-reviewed academic papers, books, textbooks, and conference literature from across the academic community both in the UK and internationally. Online access to all the published material is free to all readers.

A partnership of the three Universities' libraries developed WRUP with three key objectives: 

•   Supporting open access: With its output free to readers in digital form, WRUP hopes to reach a global audience, some of whom may have hitherto faced challenges accessing scholarly materials behind subscription paywalls.

•   Ensuring academic quality: WRUP’s distinguished editorial board, drawn from academics across the three universities, will oversee a rigorous process of peer-review and quality control - ensuring that intellectual quality is paramount.

•   Creating new opportunities for publishing: As well as publishing traditional books and journals, WRUP intends to support scholars working in specialist areas, or publishing in non-traditional forms such as short-form monographs, data journals, or interactive ebooks, which have been overlooked by commercial publishers.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: “As the first jointly run university press in the UK, this will be a genuinely innovative free access platform, showcasing the output of some of the world’s most talented researchers to a global audience.”

The Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, added: "The White Rose Universities Consortium combines world-class scholarship from Yorkshire's three leading research-intensive universities. Making this resource available to academics and other partners in the UK and around the world will remove barriers to sharing knowledge and the work which can grow from this, which is good news for education and for wider society."

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, Professor Koen Lamberts, said: “The White Rose University Press will be emblematic of our shared commitment to the unfettered exchange of ideas and knowledge. We believe it will provide a vibrant, compelling and intellectually robust new conduit for academic discourse.”

White Rose University Press has partnered with established open access publisher Ubiquity Press to offer a fully-fledged publishing service. This includes a comprehensive production infrastructure providing copy-editing, typesetting, design and layout, marketing, print-on-demand, and a suite of related services.

These are available through an intuitive, user-friendly platform which helps both readers to access and engage with the scholarship, and authors and editors-in-chief to manage the submission, peer-review, and production processes.

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