Feeding the City Unglue Campaign
Posted: 01/03/2013

Last Summer we made Oral Literature in Africa by Ruth Finnegan available for free, with donations from supporters reaching our target figure of $7,500 in only a few weeks. This spring we are again hoping to reach our $7,500 target to "unglue" our new book: 'Feeding the City: Work and Food Culture of the Mumbai Dabbawalas' by Sara Roncaglia.

If you aren't familiar with Roncaglia's study of the fascinating inner workings of the main food delivery co-operative in Mumbai, it was originally published in Italian and we have translated, revised and updated it. The next step is to make it freely available to everyone around the world.  You can read the first chapter here: d/0B- 3GWh2BytCxOXZJb3pyc0RoZjg/ edit?usp=sharing

Every day in Mumbai 5,000 dabbawalas distribute a staggering 200,000 home-cooked lunchboxes to the city's workers and students. Feeding the City is an ethnographic study of the fascinating inner workings of Mumbai's dabbawalas. Giving employment and status to thousands of largely illiterate villagers from Mumbai's hinterland, this co-operative has been in operation since the late nineteenth century. It provides one of the most efficient delivery networks in the world: only one lunch in six million goes astray.

Cultural anthropologist Sara Roncaglia explains how they cater to the various dietary requirements of a diverse and increasingly global city, where the preparation and consumption of food is pervaded with religious and cultural significance. Developing the idea of "gastrosemantics" - a language with which to discuss the broader implications of cooking and eating - Roncaglia's study helps us to rethink our relationship to food at a local and global level.

We want to make this book freely available to as many people as possible, and we are therefore organising a campaign whereby people who think the book should be available to read for free will donate. People can pledge as little as $1 (the typical donation is around $20) and all pledges are collected only when the target amount is reached. You can read more about Feeding the City here,

Polonsky Grant
Posted: 19/02/2013

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Polonsky Foundation for their generosity in contributing a new grant towards technical developments.

Editorial Intern
Posted: 05/02/2013

Open Book Publishers is looking for an Editorial Intern. This is an exciting opportunity to gain first-hand editorial experience for an innovative and fast-growing academic publisher.

Based in Cambridge, we are a not-for-profit, Open Access publisher of high-quality textbooks and monographs in the humanities and social sciences. The position would be ideally suited to a Master’s or PhD student in the humanities or social sciences, either currently studying or recently graduated. S/he must have a passion for academic publishing, a good eye for detail and a willingness to lend a hand in all aspects of the organisation. Knowledge of the Microsoft Office package, InDesign and Photoshop would be an advantage, although not essential. Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate an interest in Open Access publishing.

Duties will include:

- Editing/proofreading manuscripts
- Liaising with authors
- Creating and maintaining metadata records
- Supporting marketing duties   

Starting date: end of February 2013

Based in our Cambridge office, the voluntary internship will be 2 or 3 days per week for 3 months. Supervision and support will be provided during the internship as well as career advice along the way. Our previous interns have gone on to work for Cambridge University Press, Routledge and the BBC.

To apply, please email a CV and covering letter to Alessandra Tosi (

Times Higher Education story
Posted: 12/10/2012

Open Book Publishers featured in Times Higher Education

Paul Jump speaks very highly of Open Book Publishers in an article in Times Higher Education. Here's an excerpt:

Dr Gatti and fellow Cambridge academic Alessandra Tosi, a Russianist from Clare Hall, decided to set up the non-profit company after tiring of "moaning" to each other about the long lead times and lack of exposure offered by traditional monograph publishing routes.

"There is all this great stuff going on in universities, and nobody gets to read it because of an archaic dissemination model," Dr Gatti said. This, he added, was particularly galling with respect to research germane to topical debates. Books on such subjects that came out three years after they were written were already irrelevant, he complained, while the lack of public access to research meant that some economic arguments that had been discredited in academic circles "40 years ago" were still being commonly espoused.

Read the full article here -

We are recruiting - again!
Posted: 11/07/2012

Business Development and Technical Support Manager

Company Information

Open Book Publishers is a non-profit and Open Access academic publisher of high quality and rigorously peer reviewed research in the humanities and social sciences. Founded by Cambridge academics 3 years ago, we now have over twenty titles by some of the world’s most respected scholars, including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen (Harvard), Caroline Humphrey (Cambridge), Lionel Gossman (Princeton) and Ariel Rubinstein (NYU and Hebrew University).

All our titles are available to read online for free in their entirety. Access to our free digital editions is growing rapidly, with over 30,000 distinct users from 127 countries collectively viewing over 400,000 pages during June 2012 alone. Our titles are also available in traditional hardback and paperback editions together with digital and e-book editions, all of which retail at low prices from our own website and through major retail outlets internationally.

We are spearheading innovative production, distribution and retailing techniques and have been involved in the launches of several important new international Open Access publishing initiatives such as the Directory of Open Access Books,, and OpenEdition. Cambridge based, we have a small number of highly motivated staff, all with post-graduate qualifications and academic backgrounds.

Job Description

This is an exciting time to be involved in Academic publishing and Open Book Publishers (OBP) is at the vanguard of changes in the industry. Having established a strong reputation for the academic quality of our publications, our commitment to ensuring free access to their publications, and our willingness to introduce innovative publication methods and practices, OBP is now looking to expand the scale and range of its operations.

The Business Development and Technical Support Manager will be responsible for implementing, refining and extending OBP’s ambitious development program, as well as identifying and developing new Open Access publishing opportunities and partnerships as they emerge. S/he will also have responsibility for the management of all the non-academic components of the company, which include: maintaining and developing OBP’s website, digital products and social network presence; managing the sales, revenue generation, marketing and distribution of titles; creating and updating usage statistics and altmetrics; overseeing accounting, employment, legal and business reporting activities; and providing technical and IT support to the Academic Editors.

Starting Date: September 2012, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Location: Cambridge, UK.

Salary: In the range of £25-35,000 pa - depending on experience and qualifications.

Person specification

The position will be particularly suitable for a person with good IT skills and experience in web and software development, possessing an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to reform academic publishing. It would be desirable for the candidate to have completed a graduate research degree such as a PhD or MPhil. Experience in areas such as Digital Humanities, Digital Publishing or Open Source software development would also be an advantage.

Applications and Closing Date

Applicants are requested to submit a CV and covering letter by email to Rupert Gatti (

Interviews for this position will commence on 30 July, and the position will stay open until an appointment is made.

Further Details

Please contact Rupert Gatti (, tel: +44 (0)1223 339929) with any questions or for further information about this position.

Thanks to all our readers who helped "unglue" Ruth's book
Posted: 21/06/2012

We are delighted that Ruth Finnegan's Oral Literature in Africa has now successfully been "unglued". You can read about the campaign here. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed - every dollar has helped make this classic book freely available to readers everywhere. The book should be out some time in late summer/early Autumn 2012.

New interactive edition of Cicero
Posted: 14/02/2012

Our friends at The Classics Library have created a free, fully interactive edition of Ingo Goldenhard's Cicero, Against Verres. The edition is open to teachers in secondary or tertiary institutions, and enables users to leave comments on specific sections of text. Professor Gildenhard will also be commenting and responding to questions and ideas. It's like a text book only better! For further details and to access the edition, click here.

We are recruiting!
Posted: 23/01/2012

Part-time IT specialist sought.
2 days per week for 8-12 weeks. £20-30k pa pro-rata.

We are seeking an energetic IT and digital media specialist to help us develop and improve our website and the digital delivery of our publications and associated material.

Click here for more information.

Open Access success stories
Posted: 01/11/2011

Open Book Publishers has been featured on a brilliant new website that tells Open Access success stories from across Europe. You can read about us here, and make sure you check out some of the other fascinating stories from innovative researchers.

New book on apocalypse
Posted: 11/10/2011

Our latest book, Maria Manuel Lisboa's The End of the World: Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture, has been featured on the University of Cambridge's website. You can read their summary of the book with quotes from the author here.

The Sword of Judith celebrated at the British Museum
Posted: 21/07/2011

(L-R) Editors of The Sword of Judith: Kevin R. Brine, Henrike Lähnemann and Elena Ciletti

On July 13th, Open Book Publishers joined the second Re:Enlightenment Exchange in London to celebrate our new digital archive of Judith-related images (see below). Our Chairman William St Clair presented editor and Re:Enlightenment founder Kevin R. Brine with a gift of a rare Victorian print of Judith.

Judith images online
Posted: 13/07/2011

We are delighted that our image gallery to accompany The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies Across Disciplines is now live. The collection contains nearly 300 images of Judith-related artworks, including painting, sculpture, textiles and stained glass. You can view the gallery here.

Times Higher on Open Access publishing
Posted: 29/06/2011

There was an article in Times Higher Education (23 June 2011) on how the digital age has changed academic publishing. Our Chairman William St Clair offered his thoughts in relation to Open Book Publishers. You can read the full article here.

Amartya Sen's new book available as an ebook
Posted: 21/06/2011

We are very excited that Peace and Democratic Society, edited by Amartya Sen, is our first title to be available as an ebook. You can order your ePub version (for iPads, Sony Readers, Android devices, etc) or your mobi version (for Kindles) here.

Why Do We Quote? Press Release
Posted: 28/04/2011

You can read all about Ruth Finnegan's brilliant new book and find out how to order your review copy here.

Spring Newsletter
Posted: 28/04/2011

It's Spring! And our latest news, reviews and forthcoming titles are all here.

Rupert Gatti on academic copyright
Posted: 15/03/2011

Our own Rupert Gatti has written an opinion piece for the latest Cambridge Alumni Magazine (vol. 62) which argues that academic copyright no longer serves scholarship. You can read the full article here.

The Sword of Judith described as "a quantum leap forward"
Posted: 19/02/2011

Lawrence M. Mills, Professor of Biblical Studies at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge MA, has given The Sword of Judith a rave review in the Journal of Biblical Literature:

This was a truly collaborative project with very impressive results. In a review of a collection of essays it is customary to say that some are more successful than others, but since these essays cover different aspects of the Judith tradition in a thoroughly complementary way, they all contribute [...] The essays brim with new examples, new insights, new comparisons. For those of us who have been scouring the literature for years looking for scholarship on the shifting interpretation of Judith, it is a quantum leap forward.

You can read Mills' full review here.

Brownshirt Princess praised in Modern Language Review
Posted: 07/01/2011

Lionel Gossman's Brownshirt Princess - A Study of the 'Nazi Conscience' is favorably reviewed in the latest Modern Language Review (Vol. 106, Part 1, Jan, 2011).

Daria Santini commends the title: informed and highly readable depiction of a cultural landscape in which contrasting political and artistic currents often converged....this study is in many respects original and inspiring.

The Sword of Judith reviewed in the TLS
Posted: 07/01/2011

In the TLS (10 December, 2010) The Sword of Judith. Judith Studies Across the Disciplines is reviewed (p. 27).

Ruth Morse comments on the scope of the title: a guide to a subject, however, it is rich beyond what a single printed book can contain. Its parallel existence [in extra resources] is fascinating, useful and potentially endless as a wiki... The essays are by authors learned in fields of unusual variety (hence the subtitle), who write informatively about a small number of characters who have offered material for retelling and ethical argument for over 2,000 years.

Privilege and Property recommended by Times Higher Education
Posted: 08/11/2010

Privilege and Property. Essays on the History of Copyright is recommended by the Times Higher Education textbook guide (Nov 4, 2010).

Open Book is delighted that the book has been endorsed by this publication.

Copyright event at the Royal Society
Posted: 05/11/2010

Listen again to an event hosted by the British Academy at the Royal Society (27 October, 2010) about Creativity and Copyright. Privilege and Property contributor, William St Clair, FBA, FRSL, is part of the panel discussion.

Click here to access the recording.

Privilege and Property in the TLS
Posted: 12/08/2010

In the TLS (August 6, 2010) Jonathan Bate discusses the 'myths and ambiguities of copyright law'. The article entitled 'Fair enough?' (p. 14-15) includes a discussion of Open Book's Privilege and Property. Essays on the History of Copyright Law.
Bate notes of the volume:

Copyright is clearly demonstrated to be not an inalienable right of individual authors but a shifting concept that is socially, historically and geographically determined. Many fascinating issues are raised, notably the nature of copyright in works of visual art: in a particularly interesting contribution concerning the radical nature of the 1862 Fine Arts Copyright Bill, Deazley reflects on the anomaly whereby for 130 years in British law copyright existed in engravings but not in the original works from which engravings were copied...

Privilege & Property promoted in copyright blog
Posted: 25/06/2010

Our new publication, Privilege and Property. Essays on the History of Copyright has received a glowing endorsement by a copyright blog. The blogger is also supportive of our publishing model. Click here to read the full post.
Access the blog here for further discussion on all things copyright.

Coleridge's Laws - Publication of the Week
Posted: 30/04/2010

Buckingham University has awarded Barry Hough's and Howard Davis's Coleridge's Laws. A Study of Coleridge in Malta their 'publication of the week'.
The book's contribution to studies of Coleridge, Malta and British history is recognised by this recent accolade.

William St Clair to give seminar: Viewing the Acropolis through the ages.
Posted: 09/04/2010

Open Book Publishers is pleased to announce details of a forthcoming seminar by William St Clair, author of That Greece Might Still Be Free. Please see below for further details, and we hope to see you there.
'Venerable monitors.' Viewing the Acropolis of Athens through the ages.
William St Clair. Tuesday 18 May 2010; 6.30 pm.
Room G22/26 Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet St., London. WC1E 7HU.
Joint seminar by the Institute of English Studies and Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
In this illustrated talk, William St Clair will discuss the viewing conventions of three main constituencies, the people of Athens, visitors from abroad, and those who saw Athens only in their imaginations. Starting with the Enlightenment, when modern genres of viewing were formalised, and going back through chronological layers, he suggests how his approach can help reconstruct how the Acropolis was viewed in antiquity.
His starting point is that it was the viewers who made the meanings.
The talk will include images never previously shown.
All welcome free of charge. Please contact events officer Jon Millington ( if you would like to attend or would like further information; you may also contact marketing manager and research assistant Georgina Hill ( or William St Clair (

Partnership with World Oral Literature Project at Cambridge University
Posted: 10/11/2009

Open Book Publishers is very pleased to have commenced a partnership with the World Oral Literature Project, based at the University of Cambridge, in the creation of an Oral Literature Series.
The Oral Literature Series will work to preserve and promote the oral literatures of indigenous people by publishing materials on endangered traditions in innovative ways. Lying at the intersection of anthropology and linguistics, the study of oral genres is an exciting and developing field, but one with few publishing outlets. While linguists may relegate their textual corpus to an appendix, anthropologists similarly harvest elements of oral literature to make comparative or theoretical points. The richness and contextual meaning of oral narratives is thus often lost in the process. Combining print-on-demand technology with online delivery of multi-media content, the innovative publishing practices adopted by Open Book Publishers make the dissemination of such unique literary traditions possible for the first time. The World Oral Literature Project is committed to supporting the publication and dissemination of transcribed narrative works which have been collected, analysed and glossed by ethnographers, field linguists or local researchers, Open Book Publishers is proud to be working with them to achieve this.

Partnership with Re:Enlightenment Project at NYU and NYPL
Posted: 07/10/2009

Open Book Publishers is very pleased to be involved with the newly established Re:Enlightenment Project. This is an innovative new research project involving New York University, New York Public Library and a number of other research institution, including the University of Cambridge. The project aims to both facilitate and analyze the creation of new knowledge in the digital age - taking the period of the Enlightenment as a historical reference point. See the project website <> for more details.
The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies Across the Disciplines, imminently due for publication, will be the first title to emerge from this partnership.