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The last few months has seen a range of events in the world of scholarly publishing. Here, we catch up with some of the key discussions

Teachers, IT managers, librarians, lecturers and research managers from across the UK were given the chance to discuss the positive impact of technology on further and higher education and discover new tools and approaches to its use at this year’s Jisc Digital Festival.

Held in Birmingham, UK, in March, the largest Digital Festival yet presented the best digital talent under the theme of ‘connect more’ and featured a diverse line-up of digital innovators and leading technology organisations, including internet giant, Google.

During his keynote speech on day one, Simon Nelson, chief executive of the UK MOOC platform FutureLearn, announced that the platform will be making some units from its courses available openly online – without the need to register.

Carole Goble, professor in the school of computer science at the University of Manchester called for research to be reusable and shareable during her talk on day two. Carole highlighted the ‘research object’ work she is doing to ensure research can be created faster and is replicable.

Bob Harrison, chair of the Teaching Schools New Technology Advisory Board, called for a significant shift in the culture of the further education sector, to not only survive but to thrive in this technology driven era. He said that the further education model is no longer fit for purpose.

Martyn Harrow, chief executive at Jisc, said: ‘How we connect technology and education is a journey that we’ve only just started. The Digital Festival has demonstrated just how important this is to institutions and has really celebrated all the great digital developments that are happening in the sector. We’re looking forward to continuing to develop ideas and help institutions to use the best technology in the most effective way, now and in the future. This will all help the UK retain its position as the world’s most digitally advanced education and research nation.’

Other sessions throughout the two-day event included how to effectively use augmented reality in the classroom, how to implement BYOD (bring your own device) policies, internet safety and why open access research data is important.

In January, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities hosted APE (Academic Publishing in Europe) 2015, bringing together more than 200 professionals from around the world to hear a series of talks on subjects as diverse as research excellence, peer reviewing, use of information, content innovation, funding and investing, business models, new types of information, enabling technologies, repositories, search engines, dissemination, access, and sharing of knowledge.

The official theme of the event, Web25: The Road Ahead was reflected in a series of keynote speeches. First was Phil Archer, of W3C who outlined the challenges that publishing data in support of academic papers presents to publishers – not least how to establish a sustainable business model. ‘Enrichment, linkage and visualisation are the key – and the web is pretty good at that, said Archer.

‘The Changing Environment for University Presses’ was on the agenda for the second keynote, by Peter Berkery, executive director at The Association of American University Presses, New York, who stated that while university presses have faced claims of ‘crisis’ for well over 40 years now, both the scope and velocity of the changes they currently face are in many ways unprecedented. Berkery gave an environmental scan of the current state of university press publishing, focusing on the challenges unique to this segment of the scholarly communications ecosystem.

The British Dental Association in the heart of London was the venue for ALPSP’s Scholarly Book of the Future event in February. While book programmes have suffered declines in recent decades, a growing number of publishers are affording them increasing importance in their digital strategies.

Delegates heard an array of speakers explain the recent resurgence of book programmes, showcasing initiatives in the sciences and humanities while investigating business models and new developments in the world of book publishing. Chaired by Ciber Research’s Anthony Watkinson, the event also featured presentations by Julia Mortimer of Policy Press, Jon Walmsley of John Wiley and Sons, Liz Martin of Institute of Physics Publishing, and Richard Fisher, former managing director of Cambridge University Press’ academic division. For a full review of the event visit www.alpsp.org.