The British Book Design and Production Awards took place on 20 November 2012 at a glittering event at the prestigious Grange St Paul's Hotel. The evening’s speaker was journalist, editor, media commentator and novelist, Eve Pollard, who has been dubbed ‘the first lady of Fleet Street’.
As one of the most prestigious and popular literary events of the year, the British Book Design and Production Awards recognize the excellence of the British book design and production industry by celebrating the year’s best books. The awards are designed to represent everything that is best in British book design and are seen as the flagship event in the industry’s year. The event is supported by the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), Oxford Brookes University, and the Publishers Association.
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The recently published 2013 Sunday Times University Guide has ranked the Publishing programmes at Oxford Brookes number one across all British universities in the category of Communications and Information Studies.
On learning of the Sunday Times ranking Angus Phillips, Head of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, said, ‘It is wonderful to receive recognition like this. We have a very talented and dedicated team of staff in the Centre who work very hard to create an exciting and stimulating experience for our publishing students. As well as teaching, they also engage in a thriving training and consultancy programme, lecture around the world, and find time to write books too. This year alone, for example, we are celebrating the publication of several books by members of the Centre. With so much going on here, it’s really lovely to be recognized by such a prestigious university guide - we are all delighted’.
The recent publication of the 2012 National Student Survey highlights the excellent standard of the publishing programmes at Oxford Brookes. The overall satisfaction figure for Publishing was 95 per cent, as compared to the national average for all courses of 85 per cent. The figure for the quality of the teaching was 96 per cent satisfaction: 100 per cent of students said that the staff are good at explaining things to their students; 98 per cent thought that the staff make the subject interesting; and 95 per cent said the course is intellectually stimulating.
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Chris Jennings, Senior Lecturer in Publishing, has published in September 2012 a new ebook entitled eBook Typography for Flowable eBooks. Designers who work within publishing companies are often frustrated with the results when their beautifully crafted print books are converted into ebooks. This is particularly true of flowable ebooks, which can have their viewing modes and fonts changed by the user. Chris’s ebook focuses on revealing some features that can be implemented in flowable ebooks, in order to improve the aesthetic qualities of the juxtaposition of text and image on the page.
The book is available from the iBooks store here.
Research activity in the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies has grown fast in recent years, and below are some highlights from the last few months. We have a number of new PhD students starting with us this September, as well as a new cohort of students on the MA in Book History and Publishing Culture.
Lydia Lantzsch, a PhD student at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, joined the first ever summer school course run by the Centre for the Study of the Book at the Bodleian Library. With the title, ‘Bibliography and the study of paper’, the course took place in July 2012. Ten participants from seven different countries spent five intensive days exploring the evidence that paper can provide and how that evidence can be used to date and investigate manuscripts and early printed books.
Lydia wrote a piece about the course for the Bodleian newsletter, Outline, and a PDF of her article is available.
UKSG* is an international association with the mission to ‘connect the information community’ and to ‘encourage the exchange of ideas on scholarly communication’. It consists of 500 member organizations uniquely spanning the information community of librarians, publishers, information suppliers, intermediaries and technology vendors.
UKSG runs a prestigious annual conference and exhibition, which this year was held in Glasgow in March. It also publishes a peer-reviewed journal Insights. Every year the group sponsors up to four students enrolled in Publishing or Library Studies to attend the conference and exhibition in exchange for a review of the event. This review is later published in an edition of Insights. This year two students from Oxford Brookes University, Jennifer Lovatt and Lydia Lantzsch, attended. You can read more about their impressions on the conference and the exhibition´s activities, in the following review:
*Originally UKSG stood for the United Kingdom Serials Group. Now that its geographic appeal has grown beyond the UK, and its scope has broadened to include ebooks, elearning and other e-resources as well as serials and ejournals, it has stopped expanding the acronym.
Jane Doe was the professional name used by Nettie (Ada) Lewis (1891–1979) whilst working as a journalist in the 1920s and 1930s. She wrote a regular column ‘Through the Glad Eyes of a Woman’ for the Daily Chronicle and Sunday News. Later she wrote a Health and Beauty page for Woman’s Own. She was a protegée of the socialist journalist and writer Robert Blatchford. Her articles were collected into book format. She also wrote The Enchanted Duchess, a bodice-ripper novel.
The Jane Doe Collection has just been given to the Library at Oxford Brookes and we are very grateful to Jon Korndorffer and Jacques St Clair for donating their grandmother’s papers. We are also indebted to Jon and his wife Mary for a very generous donation of money to pay for cataloguing and conservation.
The English and Science digital projects scooped the Pearson Education epublishing prizes this year. Students taking the epublishing module, an option of the MA publishing course, were fortunate to have Dr Liz Marchant, Head of Publishing - Science and ICT at Pearson Education, judge their work at the end of the semester.
Jill Bentley, an MA in Publishing student, writes about the course trip to the children’s book fair in Bologna (March 2012).
At the start of the Publishing MA, I considered all the book fairs and decided that, as I had little interest in Children's publishing, I would attend Frankfurt and London but give Bologna a miss.
I'm so glad I changed my mind! Bologna was a wonderful experience, particularly as my interest in rights had developed over the course of the MA. Bologna is ideal for learning more about how rights are negotiated and sold - I actually found it easier to chat to people and network, as although everyone is still incredibly busy, there seems to be a slightly more relaxed atmosphere than Frankfurt.
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