University presses launch EvenUP initiative

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The UK and Ireland’s major university presses have announced the launch of a new framework for collaboration. 

EvenUP is aimed at demonstrating the commitment of UK and Irish university presses to ‘equity, diversity, inclusivity and belonging in our workplaces, in who we work with and in what we publish’.  Recognising that different presses and parent institutions have their own EDI initiatives but eager to collaborate in order to amplify them, the group undertakes to:

  • Share best practice for EDI across presses;
  • Commit to using either the AUPresses survey tool to collect demographic data, or its own surveys of comparable quality, in order to assess and understand areas in which presses can improve, benchmarking across presses where appropriate;
  • Create and share an ongoing programme of training and events, such as guest speakers, webinars, online symposia;
  • Promote and demonstrate transparency and equal opportunity in recruitment and career progression processes in university presses, including paid internships, 
  • listing salaries/salary bands on all entry level roles and on all recruitment advertising, subject to commercial or confidentiality requirements, inter-press career mentorship for colleagues from under-represented groups;
  • Work together to raise awareness of career opportunities in our presses with groups that are currently underrepresented in scholarly publishing; and
  • Have a designated lead for equality, diversity and inclusivity in our organisations and have those leads meet regularly.

The University Presses involved in this initiative are: Bristol, Cambridge, Cork, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, Harvard (International office), Liverpool, University of London, Manchester, MIT (UK office), Oxford, Princeton (European office), University College Dublin, University College London, The University of Wales Press, University of Westminster and Yale University Press London.

EvenUP complements the work of the Association of University Presses, (AUPresses) and the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC).

Peter Berkery, executive director, Association of University Presses, said: ‘The Association of University Presses applauds the creation of the EvenUP initiative by 17 university presses in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion in scholarly publishing is of paramount importance because it is essential to the continued increase and advancement of knowledge. AUPresses members’ worldwide stand ready to support and learn from this dedicated group of publishers as we all proceed in this much-needed work.’

Anthony Cond, chief executive, Liverpool University Press, added: ‘As mission-driven publishers it behoves all university presses to strive for greater equity in the scholarly and publishing ecosystems. Individually we can all play our part but by working together we can amplify our efforts and hasten change.’

Mandy Hill, managing director at Cambridge University Press, said: ‘As university presses we are committed to supporting greater equity across academia through more diverse and inclusive academic publishing. These principles are a starting point for each of us to make tangible and positive changes that welcome diversity of thought, perspective and approach to our publishing as well as creating an inclusive environment for our own teams. This need not be an area where we compete: instead, we can achieve greater progress through open collaboration.’

And Paula Kennedy, head of publishing at University of London Press, said: ‘Recent years have shown more than ever that real change within publishing is needed to support greater equity and diversity within organisations and publishing practices alike. We look forward to participating in this collaboration with colleagues from other university presses, and these initial commitments are a welcome first step in our journey to facilitate change within academic publishing.’