From Lisbon to Charleston, Cabells has you covered

This week, Cabells is fortunate enough to connect with colleagues and friends, new and old, across the globe in Lisbon, Portugal at the GBSN 2019 Annual Conference, and in Charleston, South Carolina at the annual Charleston Conference. We greatly value these opportunities to share our experiences and learn from others, and both conference agendas feature industry leaders hosting impactful sessions covering a vast array of thought-provoking topics. 

At the GBSN conference in Lisbon, Simon Linacre, Cabells Director of International Marketing and Development, is co-leading the workshop, “Research Impact for the Developing World” which explores ideas to make research more impactful and relevant in local contexts. At the heart of the matter is the notion that unless the global business community is more thoughtful and proactive about the development of research models, opportunities for positively impacting business and management in the growth markets of the future will be lost. We know all in attendance will benefit from Simon’s insight and leadership in working through this important topic.

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At the Charleston Conference, a lively and eventful day at the vendor showcase on Tuesday was enjoyed by all and our team was reminded once again how wonderful it is to be a part of the scholarly community. We never take for granted how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to share, learn, and laugh with fellow attendees. 

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We are always excited to pass along news on the projects we are working on, learn about what we might expect down the road, and consider areas we should focus on going forward. Hearing what is on the collective mind of academia and how we can help move the community forward is what keeps us going. And things are just getting started! With so many important and interesting sessions on the agenda in Charleston, our only regret is that we can’t attend them all!

Bringing clarity to academic publishing

How do you know if a journal is a good or a bad one? It is a simple enough question, but there is a lack of clear information out there for researchers, and often scams that lay traps for the unaware. In his latest post, Simon Linacre presents some new videos from Cabells that explain what it does to ensure authors can keep fully informed.


On a chilly Spring day in Edinburgh, myself and one of my colleagues were asked to do what nobody really wants to do if they can help it, and that is to ‘act natural’. It is one of life’s great ironies that it is so difficult to act naturally when told to do so. However, it was for a good cause, as we had been asked to explain to people through a short film what it was that Cabells did and why we thought it was important.

Video as a medium has been relatively ignored by scholarly publishers until quite recently. Video has of course been around for decades, and it has been possible to embed video on websites next to articles for a number of years. However, embedding video into pdfs has been tricky, and as every publisher will tell you when they ask you about user needs – academics ‘just want the pdf’. As a result, there has been little in the way of innovation when it comes to scholarly communication, despite some brave attempts such as video journals, video abstracts and other accompaniments to the humble article.

Video has been growing as a means of search, particularly for younger academics, and it can be much more powerful when it comes to engagement and social media. Stepping aside from the debate about what constitutes impact and whether Altmetrics and hits via social media really mean anything, video can be ‘sticky’ in the sense that people spend longer watching it than skipping over words on a web page. As such, the feeling is that video is a medium whose time may have yet to come when it comes to scholarly communications.

So, in that spirit, Cabells has shot a short video with some key excerpts that take people through the Journal Whitelist and Journal Blacklist. It is hoped that it answers some questions that people may have, and spurs others to get in touch with us. The idea of the film is the first step towards Cabells’ development of a number of resources in lots of different platforms that will help researchers drink in knowledge of journals to optimize their decision-making. In a future of Open Access, new publishing platforms, and multiple publishing choices, the power to publish will increasingly be in the hands of the author, with the scholarly publishing industry increasingly seeking ways to satisfy their needs. Knowledge about publishing is the key to unlocking that power.

Cabells is proud to be COUNTER Release 5 Compliant

Cabells is excited to have passed an independent COUNTER audit, the final step to being deemed fully compliant with the COUNTER Release 5 Code of Practice.

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COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) is a non-profit organization that helps libraries from around the world determine the value of electronic resources provided by different vendors by setting standards for the recording and reporting of usage stats in a consistent and compatible way. The COUNTER Code of Practice was developed with the assistance of library, publisher, and vendor members through working groups and outreach.

By implementing the Code of Practice, publishers and vendors support their library customers by providing statistics in a way that allows for meaningful analysis and cost comparison. This allows libraries to closely asses user activity, calculate cost-per-use data, and make informed purchasing and infrastructure planning decisions, ensuring limited funds are spent in the most efficient way possible.

For more information, check out the COUNTER website which includes their Registries of Compliance.

Book review: Association of University Presses 2018

In his latest post, Simon Linacre reviews Associaton of University Presses Directory 2018 and deems it an essential tome for the future of scholarly publishing


Many of you will be plowing through ‘Best Books of 2018’ reviews at this time of year, as is traditional in the media as time is short before Christmas, but pages still have to be filled. This will then give way to ‘Best Books of 2019’ reviews written sometime in October. Even journalists deserve some sort of break over the holidays.

As a change to this format, we at Cabells wanted to highlight a book that is neither the best nor worst but will stand you in good stead in 2019, whether you are an academic author, publisher or librarian. So, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Most Useful Book of 2019… (drum roll, please)… The Association of University Presses Directory 2018!

Now, the latest editions of directories rarely get much of a fanfare, so what makes the AUPresses book any different. Well, the book (printed by Thomson-Shore and available through University of Chicago Press) has been released at a time when there is much anticipation among publishers and librarians alike about the role university presses are likely to play in the years ahead. The cards seem to be falling, finally, in their favor after years of dominance by large commercial publishers. With Open Access driving the agenda, barriers to entry are falling as technology gets better and cheaper, and funding mandates potentially disrupting the marketplace, the opportunities are there for universities and their presses to effectively take ownership of research content supplied by academics.

The book itself will expertly guide anyone interested in these developments. The meat of the text includes details of scores of university presses globally which are members of AUPresses, from Abilene Christian to Yale University Press. Each press has a wealth of information on it included in the entries – address, phone numbers, distributors, online details, and most impressively of all staff registers with numbers and email addresses for every person listed. These people are also included in pages of names in an index at the back.

Even more useful, there are other sections to help those with an interest in publishing understand more deeply the university press environment. There is a sub-list of those presses who publish both books and journals, and a robust guide defining what university presses do, how to go about submitting a book manuscript, and for publishers, a smaller directory of AUPresses Association Partners who support presses in their distribution and sales.

Overall, the book has something for everyone. For publishers, it is a treasure trove of information to seek out publishing partnerships; for librarians, it is an essential listing of everyone they could ever think of contacting from university presses about their content. And for authors, it is invaluable in offering direction when it comes to that dreaded time of finding a publisher for their work. And here we find perhaps the most useful section of all – a 10-page grid that lists every university press and each subject they publish in. So, that manuscript you have in your bottom drawer on Australasian history? Better keep Athabasca and Cambridge university presses on your radar. It is hard to imagine any other resource listing that information for authors. How very useful.