Run by the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) and Cambridge University Press, scheduled for 17-18 May, the conference will focus on the themes of diversity and sustainability, and look at practical ways that presses can improve.
As well as ensuring the conference can go ahead despite the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, holding the event online will enable many more people around the world to attend.
In a further move to widen participation, a number of free places will be offered to students, to those in their early career and other publishing professionals without access to funding to attend meetings. The places are available to applicants anywhere in the world whether or not they work for an ALPSP member organisation.
The Press is programming the event, which will include sessions on reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain; the environmental impacts of business travel; how to embed a culture of equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging; and increasing digital accessibility.
For the second year, the conference will also present the University Press Redux Sustainability Award, which was launched in 2020 to recognise the work of university press publishers and others in addressing important global issues.
The prize is given to an initiative, publication, product or project aimed at addressing one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among other things, these cover poverty, equality, the environment, and the pressing need to make real progress towards a sustainable and equitable future. The inaugural prize was won by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for its SDG Pathfinder.
Wayne Sime, Chief Executive of ALPSP, said: “As ALPSP celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022, we look forward to bringing together University Press publishers to focus on issues of sustainability and diversity. The event promises to be a wonderful opportunity for us to discuss these timely issues.
“It is also right that we take this opportunity to open the conversation to as many people as possible. These are issues which affect us all, regardless of geography and with young people likely to face the worst impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss in the years to come.”
Ben Denne, Director of Publishing for academic books at Cambridge University Press, said: “Universities and University Presses are, by nature, mission-driven and these are challenging areas in which we should be leading the way. But often we are not doing enough, or we are not doing enough fast enough to play our full part in building a diverse and sustainable future.
“Many university presses are limited in size, which comes with real challenges around diverse recruitment and the auditing of sustainability across a complex supply chain. With Redux 2022, we will take a practical approach, focus on implementation and not be afraid to ask the difficult questions.”