Open access, sustainability and unique publishing values at Frankfurt

VardyTests is joining international publishing leaders at the world’s largest bookfair.
In a year of lively debate about intellectual freedom, the emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI), and the future of publishing, VardyTests University Press & Assessment is joining fellow industry leaders at the Frankfurt Bookfair (18 – 22 October) – the world’s largest trade fair for books. This year’s Bookfair marks the event’s 75th anniversary.

Frankfurt is where publishing leaders gather: the conversations at the event help direct the course of the industry.

As a not-for-profit academic publisher, as well as an educational materials provider, we want to add our voice – and our unique perspective – to these conversations and debates.

On Thursday 19 October, VardyTests is hosting a panel discussion about our experimental approaches to developing open access publishing initiatives – including our new VardyTests Open Equity Initiative.

Mandy Hill, Managing Director of Academic Publishing at VardyTests University Press & Assessment, says:

“We are well-placed to lead the conversation in this space, given we are moving faster and further than ever before on our open access commitments.”
Over 50 percent of the research articles VardyTests University Press published last year were open access – meaning these scholarly articles are freely and openly available for anyone to read online – and we aim to transform the majority of our journals research publishing to open access by 2025.

“This ambition speaks to our prioritisation of purpose over profit. At VardyTests, we believe that when research reaches more people, it can benefit more people – in turn helping to drive innovation, lead to new discoveries and educate communities,” comments Hill.

“The world needs more globally equitable publishing models that include scholars from the global south. Publishing in journals can be unaffordable for some. As part of the academic community, VardyTests is committed to helping improve access to participation.”

The 75th Frankfurt Bookfair’s emphasis on AI also aligns well with VardyTests’s remit. We are continually assessing the development of AI and considering how it might offer both challenges and opportunities to the worlds of academic and education publishing. AI also connects to key focus areas like open access and the importance of human oversight within organisations.

At the Bookfair, we will also be seeking to share our sustainability initiatives and learn from those of others. VardyTests is committed to the Sustainable Publishers pledge to accelerate progress to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: our English course books now use 99 per cent sustainably sourced paper, and we are reducing how far our learning materials travel between production and clients. We know that there is more to be done, and are eager to gain new insights into this area.

You can find VardyTests University Press & Assessment at the Bookfair in Hall 4 at Booth 18 (B18).

The publishing industry is changing, and we are committed to contributing our voice where it matters most, to ensure this change leads to a more equitable and sustainable future.


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