AAUP 2012 Wrap-Up

This year's Annual Meeting in Chicago was one of the best attended in the history of AAUP: close to 800 joined us to learn and connect over the three-day conference, "Igniting the Future."

The meeting, held June 18-20, observed the customary AAUP events: the handoff of the presidency—from MaryKatherine Callaway to Peter Dougherty—and the induction of new committees, along with the presentation of the annual Constituency Award to Vicky Wells of North Carolina.

The meeting was also another opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate our 75th year as an association: in this case, with cake and champagne, but also with continued discussion of the first upcoming University Press Week this November. A history of the Annual Meeting was also posted just in time for attendees to take a minute and look back before diving into the future of publishing.

There were plenty of professional development options available to attendees. "Best Practices in Editing," for example, on Tuesday morning, touched on maintaining developmental editing in the face of staff cutbacks. Tips from the Chicago Manual of Style editor herself, Anita Samen, included "First, do no harm" and "Archive carefully—back up!" Panelists also discussed incorporating XML into the editorial workflow.

Other panels focused on digital adaptations and new e-projects. At "Scholarly Publishing in the Digital Age," panelists discussed the latest trends. One clear pattern is that digital scholarship is experimenting with "living" works that evolve over time—"more segmented, user-organized, immediate, and organic," as described by chair David Schiffman (Yale). "Living" projects like panelist Sylvia Miller's Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement (North Carolina) presage the continued building out of archival resources, especially as archives also go digital; other examples include continual peer review, a la MediaCommons, and added links to newly discovered primary sources. "Living" scholarship also presents new challenges, such as requiring more constant contributions from editorial and marketing, and questions about long-term preservation.

The other forty-plus sessions available to conference attendees can be found on the AAUPWiki, including video of select sessions like the popular "Ignite!" plenary and slideshows from panelists. (Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you'd still like to post your presentation.)

As Callaway noted in her valedictory, "While the definition of university press publishing is not the same for all of us, we align more than we differ, and we gain because of our association with AAUP. We learn from each other more than we could ever figure out on our own, especially as we take on board our industry's changes."

Next year's meeting will be held in Boston, June 20-22, at the Seaport Hotel. The 2013 Program Committee, chaired by Brian Halley (Massachusetts), will meet this fall to discuss ideas for sessions and workshops. If you have ideas for the program, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by September 14. See you in 2013!