Our Reach Is Far and Wide

Thirty-seven presses have united for the Association of American University Presses annual University Press Week blog tour, which concludes today.upweek-logo-2013 Individual presses blogged on a different theme each day, writing posts that profiled university press staff members, discussed the future of scholarly communication, spotlighted different subject areas, argued for the importance of regional publishing, and delved into the global reach of university presses.

Today, we are joined by colleagues at Columbia University Press, Georgetown University PressIndiana University Press, New York University Press, Princeton University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, and Yale University Press in discussing the global reach of university presses.

A global footprint comes naturally at the Johns Hopkins University Press. We felt like this topic fit most naturally for the University Press Week blog tour because it pretty much defines what we do. We cross borders all the time through our books, journals, and electronic products, but each area of our business has a different story to tell.

by Michele Callaghan, Senior Manuscript Editor

As I go down the corridor on our main floor I am met by an array of books and journals, some old and some new, many prize-winning. But the ones that catch my attention the most are the Johns Hopkins titles translated into other languages. The 36-Hour Day, our best-selling book ever, is in German; The Isaac Newton School of Driving is in Italian (of course); Am I a Monkey? replicates our cover of a banana skewered on a fork, but replaces the English title with Greek letters; and The Quantum Frontier, our book explaining particle physics, is in Polish. Our reach extends past Europe with translations into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

This global reach of Press authors into Asia and Europe—and other parts of the globe—is only one part of the equation. We bring books from outside the country to an American audience. My experience of this process was a two-way street of pop culture icons. I edited Hergé, Son of Tintin, which gave readers here insights into the creator of perhaps the most famous cartoon hero in Northern Europe. Turning the tables, I then edited The Myth of the Superhero, an Italian scholar’s take on why superheroes had to be invented in the United States.

Daniel Coit Gilman, first president of Johns Hopkins University, wanted knowledge advanced at Hopkins not only to be available to students at the university but to be diffused both “far and wide.” I wonder whether he imagined just how far and wide the knowledge would go!

by Brian Shea, Public Relations and Advertising Coordinator

On its face, the June 2013 issue of the journal Partial Answers looks relatively straightforward. We published the issue here at the JHU Press in Baltimore after an editorial team at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem put together the manuscripts.

But the global collaboration required to produce this issue went far beyond that simple connection.

For starters, the journal has an international advisory board which contains scholars from Israel, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, England, and Malta. The kind of oversight and counsel this board provides helps inject a truly global perspective.

The most recent issue took that global outlook even further, however, thanks partially to a special section of papers focused on “Translating Philip Roth.” Papers from authors in Italy, Spain, France, and Poland, all of which which came from presentations at an Italian conference, examined the work of the Jewish American author.

Partial Answers does not stop the globe-trotting there. The other four essays in the issue come from writers in Germany, Israel, Finland, and Lithuania. They examine the writing and thinking of Americans, South Africans, Germans, the French, and more.

The printed issue was then mailed around the world to subscribers in Hong Kong, Norway, and Japan. Of course, our partners at Project MUSE expand that reach even further, allowing articles from this issue to reach subscribers in India and Ireland; Sussex, England, and Shippensburg, Pennsylvania; Barcelona and Berlin.

This covers just one issue of one journal. We publish more than 80 journals—all of them available electronically through the global reach of Project MUSE—to a nearly endless audience across the world.

We see this every day in our work in the Journals Division at JHU Press. We go from helping to publicize a journal issue in China to solving a customer’s problem in Austria to confirming manuscript edits with authors in England.

We celebrate the global reach of university presses because it’s the only way we know how to do business.

Project MUSE
by Tashina Gunning, Sales Coordinator

Since its founding in 1995, Project MUSE has been committed to the broad dissemination of high-quality scholarly content to scholars throughout the world. Just two years shy of MUSE’s 20th birthday, 58% of its subscribing and purchasing institutions are from outside of North America.

IntlAccessProject MUSE journals are accessible to scholars in 78 countries outside of the US and Canada. Although the UPCC Book Collections on Project MUSE is still a young initiative, institutions in 25 countries—including Egypt, Rwanda, Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh—have purchased books.

For international customers, MUSE book and journal pricing is tiered based off the World Bank World Development Indicators, recognizing the unique needs of libraries in economically disadvantaged countries. Project MUSE has partnered with a number of organizations that strive to make scholarly knowledge more widely available to libraries in developing and transitional countries.

More than 655 institutions in countries including El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, and Zambia, have access to MUSE through INASP, an international charity that works to improve access, production, and use of research information and knowledge, so that countries are equipped to solve their development challenges. Through eIFL, institutions in the transitional economies of Eastern Europe, including Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, and Serbia, now have access to Project MUSE. And in the Middle East, more than 40 Iraqi institutions have free, full-text access to MUSE journals through the Iraq Virtual Science Library.

Beyond partnering with these organizations, Project MUSE works hard to ensure that access to content remains readily available. Developing and transitional nations often have intermittent electricity, out-of-date technology, and low-bandwidth internet. To accommodate the customers who regularly experience these challenges, MUSE’s technical team has designed a simple, straightforward website that is compatible with as wide a range of browsers and technology as is realistic.

Project MUSE actively seeks to lessen the global digital divide among scholars—and help its more than 200 publishers reach new audiences by putting their content in places they might not have been able to reach independently.