There’s a new university-press association in town. The Association of European University Presses made its official debut at the Frankfurt Book Fair earlier this month. Ten presses are founding members of the group: Amsterdam University Press and Leiden University Press (the Netherlands), ENS Editions and Fondation Maison Sciences de l’Homme (France), KIT Scientific Publishers (Germany), Leuven University Press (Belgium), and Northumbria University Press and Nottingham University Press (Britain). A number of other presses, representing 10 countries, have expressed interest, according to the organizers.
In a statement posted on the group’s Web site, Marike Schipper of Leuven University Press laid out some of the challenges facing scholarly publishers today. Many of them are familiar to anyone who works with or follows scholarly publishing in North America, but Schipper said that European scholarly publishing has its own context and problems to confront and therefore needs its own association.
“By finding each other and getting to know each other and our businesses, however variable, we may share information and best practices and work together to increase our presence on a European level,” Schipper wrote. “We can help each other to define the concept of university press publishing in this digital era, and we can share ideas on how to (re)invent ourselves.”
The new group is almost certain to find opportunities to work with the AAUP as well. Peter Givler, the executive director of the Association of American University Presses, was on hand in Frankfurt to mark the new association’s debut. “I’m delighted that this new association for European university presses is up and running,” Givler said via e-mail. “They are a welcome ally on many issues facing scholarly publishing on both sides of the Atlantic, and we are already having discussions about possible joint programs.”—Jennifer Howard