The IUCr/OUP Book Series: overview and update

John R. Helliwell
[IUCr-OUP books]

I am glad of the opportunity to highlight details of the IUCr/Oxford University Press (OUP) Book Series in the IUCr Newsletter. I presented a poster at the BCA Spring Meeting in Warwick, UK, in April 2018, and a talk in the Education Microsymposium at ECM31 in Oviedo, Spain, in August 2018. The slides for my talk can be found at the IUCr website here.

First and foremost let me say that the IUCr/OUP Book Series Committee warmly welcomes proposals for new publications and makes its recommendations to the IUCr Executive Committee and to the Delegates of the OUP (the body responsible for approving all publications handled by the OUP).

The 60 books published within the Series stretch back about 20 years, and around 60,000 copies have been sold. They are now commissioned in two categories:

  • Monographs on Crystallography
  • Texts on Crystallography

A diverse, highly experienced membership of the Committee has recently been assembled:

  • J.R. Helliwell (Chair, UK)
  • G. Chapuis (Switzerland)
  • J. Gulbis (Australia)
  • R. Herbst-Irmer (Germany)
  • H. Maynard-Casely (Australia)
  • P. Mueller (USA)
  • M. Nespolo (France)
  • N. Yagi (Japan)
  • X. Zou (Sweden)
  • K.A. Kantardjieff (USA; ex officio as Chair of the IUCr Commission on Crystallographic Teaching)
  • S. Adlung and H. Konishi (ex officio representatives of OUP)

The procedure to submit a proposal is described here and basically involves providing:

     (a) a presentation of the motivation, aims, scope, level and readership of the proposed volume;
     (b) a detailed Table of Contents (with subheadings);
     (c) a short CV of the author(s);
     (d) a sample chapter or part of a chapter;
     (e) a list of related books and brief comments on how they differ from that proposed.

[muller-lattman]The book covers show a consistent and distinctive style, with that on the right showing the latest addition to the Series.

My talk in Oviedo generated an interesting point of discussion regarding our crystallography teaching texts: if a class of students wishes to access simultaneously, e.g. via their University Library, the electronic version of the book, or specific chapters, was that possible? Of course a class might mean, say, 30 students or 200. Does each student need to buy the book (in their preferred format, print or electronic)? I said I would find out .... Our IUCr/OUP Book Series Committee Member Harriet Konishi looked into it. She stated The answer to your question is not very straightforward. Libraries don’t purchase ebooks in the way that you would on Amazon. Instead, at least with OUP, they purchase a subscription to an online offering of our books, which is called Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO). This subscription varies depending on the library, e.g. which kind of or set of books they wish to subscribe to. The library can also choose the level of concurrency (so how many users can access the site at once) at the point they decide to subscribe to or purchase content. One of those options is an unlimited number, which most large universities tend to go for (for obvious reasons), so any number of students can access the content at once. But it’s up to the individual library to decide that. Individual chapters or the entire book may be viewed through your library’s catalogue if they have a subscription.”

25 October 2018

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