Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Media bias and the climate issue

By Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao
How do individuals manipulate the information they privately have in strategic interactions? The economics of information is a classic topic, and mass media often features in its analysis. The international mass media play an important role in forming people’s perception of the climate problem. However, media coverage on the climate problem is often biased.

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Why we love libraries: the Aussie way

This week is National Library and Information Week in Australia — a week-long celebration of library and information professionals across the country. To celebrate the wonderful work of Australian libraries and librarians, here are a few thoughts on why libraries are so important, from those at the very heart of them.

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The best and worst things about journalists

By Tony Harcup
Journalists are heroes to some and scumbags to others but the truth is that most are somewhere in the middle, trying to do as good a job as they can, often in difficult circumstances. That, at least, is the view of Tony Harcup, author of A Dictionary of Journalism. We asked him to tell us about some of the good – and not so good – things that journalists do.

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Dante and the spin doctors

By Matthew Flinders
First it was football, now its politics. The transfer window seems to have opened and all the main political parties have recruited hard-hitting spin-doctors – or should I say ‘election gurus’ – in the hope of transforming their performance in the 2015 General Election. While some bemoan the influence of foreign hands on British politics and others ask why we aren’t producing our own world-class spin-doctors I can’t help but feel that the future of British politics looks bleak. The future is likely to be dominated by too much shouting, not enough listening.

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New perspectives on the history of publishing

There is a subtle shift occurring in the examination of the history of the book and publishing. Historians are moving away from a history of individuals towards a new perspective grounded in social and corporate history. From A History of Cambridge University Press to The Stationers’ Company: A History to the new History of Oxford University Press, the development of material texts is set in a new context of institutions.

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An interview with Brian Hughes, digital strategist

This week is National Library Week in the United States. Oxford University Press is celebrating the contributions of these institutions to communities around the world in a variety of ways, including granting free access to online products in the United States and Canada.

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What is academic history for?

By Paula A. Michaels
Writing on Saturday in The Age, popular historian Paul Ham launched a frontal assault on “academic history” produced by university-based historians primarily for consumption by their professional peers.

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How much could 19th century nonfiction authors earn?

By Simon Eliot and John Feather
In the 1860s, the introduction of its first named series of education books, the ‘Clarendon Press Series’ (CPS), encouraged the Press to standardize its payments to authors. Most of them were offered a very generous deal: 50 or 60% of net profits. These payments were made annually and were recorded in the minutes of the Press’ newly-established Finance Committee. The list of payments lengthened every year, as new titles were published and very few were ever allowed to go out of print.

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The Press stands firm against the French Revolution and Napoleon

By Simon Eliot
With the French Revolution creating a wave of exiles the Press responded with a very uncharacteristic publication. This was a ‘Latin Testament of the Vulgate Translation’ for emigrant French clergy living in England after the Revolution. In 1796, the Learned (not the Bible) side of the Press issued Novum Testamentum Vulgatae Editionis: Juxta Exemplum Parisiis Editum apud Fratres Barbou.

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Family photos and the spectre of global leadership

By Michael Foley
The ‘family photograph’ is the visual climax of each G8 summit. Each is designed to portray world leaders earnestly engaged with global problems on behalf of a presumptive international constituency. These pictures have a high symbolic value in that they are designed not only to demonstrate that individual leaders can operate in conjunction with one another but also to infer the existence of an upward trajectory of global governance.

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What price books?

By Simon Eliot
For most readers at most times, books were not essential. They were to be bought, if they were to be bought at all, out of disposable income. For most families in the nineteenth century, if they were lucky enough to have any disposable income, it would be a matter of two (10p) or three shillings (15p) a week at best.

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Oxford University Press faces up to the Nazis

By Simon Eliot
Ever since the end of the First World War Oxford University Press had been keen to re-establish some sort of presence in the German book trade. Germany had been a significant market for its academic books in the nineteenth century, and a number of German scholars had edited Greek and Roman texts for the Press. Nevertheless the depressed state of the German economy and the uncertainty of its currency had made this impossible in the first few years after 1918.

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How electronic publishing is changing academia for the better

By Hannah Skoda
When I started in my current post, one of my students, off to a nightclub, very cheekily asked me whether when I was young, they were still called discos. The same sorts of feelings are coming to characterize attitudes towards books – our students find it hard to imagine a time when nothing was available electronically.

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Going local: understanding regional library needs

By Anne Ziebart
As a marketer you spend a lot of time hidden behind your screen. At least it feels like that sometimes. Conferences and the occasional external meeting offer a welcome excuse to step into the picture and finally meet the people you market to. So I was excited when there was talk of setting up regionally focussed “library advisory councils”, and a German-speaking was one under consideration.

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Letters, telegrams, steam, and speed

By Simon Eliot
Oxford was finally linked to the rail network in June 1844. Within a decade or so the railway had become part of the way in which Oxford University Press at all levels conducted its business and its pleasure. One such pleasure was a wayzgoose.

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