In September 2020, the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) announced the launch of Ask UP, an online resource devoted to demystifying how university presses work. Its collection of frequently asked questions details common scholarly publishing practices as undertaken by university presses around the globe, although specific procedures and policies may vary from press to press. Created and fueled by the AUPresses Faculty Outreach Committee, the site also offers illustrations of the lifecycle of a book and suggests further reading on such topics as academic career advancement, writing and style, publishing and scholarly communication, and copyright and intellectual property.
Visitors are invited to pose their own questions, which are then selected and answered by publishing professionals at a host AUPresses member press, and added to the site quarterly. NYU Press served as inaugural host last fall and provided 10 new or expanded FAQs which were posted during UP Week 2020, supporting the event’s theme of Raise UP by demonstrating the community’s commitment to informing and engaging new authors. Michigan State University Press and Fordham University Press hosted the site in subsequent quarters, with the Modern Language Association of America set to host in summer 2021.
During the past year, the Faculty Outreach Committee has also worked to establish relationships with scholarly associations, facilitating the creation of publishing sessions at these national conferences:
- American Sociological Association (organized in 2020 by Ilene Kalish, NYU)
- Modern Language Association (organized in 2021 by Anne Donlon, MLA)
- Urban Affairs Association (organized in 2021 by Fred Nachbaur, Fordham)
Sessions are being planned at an expanded list of disciplinary conferences and virtual workshops in the coming year.
Other Author Resources
A revised resource at the new www.aupresses.org offers a selection of Association materials and tools for authors seeking publishers, in addition to helpful tools such as the Permissions FAQ, the Peer Review Best Practices Handbook, and Digital Art Submission Guidelines. The Association also offers a discount code for the annual AUPresses Directory that members may distribute at campus and society informational events.