Calling all professors!

We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for post-secondary instructors to order examination and desk copies from us. Gone are the days of trolling through our site, finally finding that book you want, and then having to fish out an email or a fax number from our contact info. Now, when you land upon that perfect title for your class, it’s one click to our examination copy request form.

You’ll find the link to the form next to the cover image of the book. When you click that link, you’ll be brought to a form that gathers all the information we need from you. The ISBN of the book you want to order is automatically populated into the form so we can find it instantly. You can add the title or the ISBN of one or two other books. (We kindly ask that you request no more than 3 books a term.)

You’ll get a response from one of our staff to let you know the book is on its way. And we may follow up with you in a few months to see what you thought. Pretty easy, eh?

So this is the last in our series on our new website. We touched on the high points and we hope that you’ll check out the site to see what else has changed. Overall, we think we’ve made a much more informative and user-friendly site.

But we what we think doesn’t matter that much – what are your thoughts?


"Stop, that's my X-ray!" The true story behind the discovery of DNA

Interesting find today while looking through the archive of Hark, a Vagrant! a web-comic drawn by Canada’s own Kate Beaton. Here’s the comic: 

Hark, A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton

The comic depicts Rosalind Franklin, James Watson and Francis Crick. Do the names ring any bells?

If they do, it’s likely Watson and Crick, and you are likely remembering a 9th grade science lesson on the men attributed with the discovery of the structure of DNA. They, along with a gentleman named Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this breakthrough in 1962. 

The question some people now ask is – did they deserve it, or should someone else’s name have been included on the list of recipients for the Nobel Prize?

The thing is, their discovery was due in large part to an X-ray belonging to Rosalind Franklin, who was also in the race to discover the structure of DNA. Watson himself attributes his original identification of the of DNA to Franklin’s X-ray. In his autobiography, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, Watson wrote: “The instant I saw the picture, my mouth fell open and my pulse began to rush. The pattern was unbelievable…” (167)

The controversy revolves around how they got the X-ray in the first place. How did Franklin’s research end up in the hands of Watson and Crick? Did they misappropriate it? Was it stolen from Franklin’s lab with the help of Maurice Wilkins, her co-researcher? (Wilkins’ name, you’ll notice, IS on the list of Nobel Prize laureates for 1962.)

Either way, it’s a tragic demonstration of how a woman’s contribution to a major event is often downplayed or completely ignored by the scientific community. And, while the actual event may not have played out exactly as the comic portrays -- it's still pushes us to think about what it would have been like for women trying to make it in a time that was not always kind, or even fair, to women.

Interestingly enough, we recently published a book titled The Bold and the Brave: A History of Women in Science and Engineering which touches on Franklin’s work, as well as on the work of other pioneers in science such as Mileva Einstein and Sophie Germain. If you are interested in learning more about the lives and contributions these women made to science, check it out!


Letting it all hang out (on Google Books)

This being Open Access week, we decided to highlight our Open Access collection. 14 new books are now available through Open Access, which brings the total number of Open Access Books available through the UOP to 50!

The entire collection can be viewed through the University of Ottawa’s institutional repository, uO Research, at the following link: http://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/en/handle/10393/12941 The books are browse-able by title, author and date, and is also fully searchable.

But we also have the complete list on our website, which you can find here: http://www.press.uottawa.ca/open-access

You can browse the books alphabetically by title. For the finished website we will have a design feature to identify the Open Access titles, which will make them easier to browse by subject, collection and author as well. Do you have any suggestions on how we can make these books really stand out?

But let’s cut to the chase: you want to read these Open Access books, don’t you? They are free after all. Click through to the title you want to read and click on the icon for “Google Preview” next to the cover image. BAM! It’s not a preview – it’s the whole book! Read it in the pop-up on our site or click through to Google Books to get a larger screen view.

And we’re also using Google Preview throughout the site to give you a taste of our other books.

If a book doesn’t have a Google Preview icon on its page, check back soon – we’re always adding more titles to Google Books.


uOttawa celebrates Open Access Week!

The University of Ottawa community is celebrating Open Access this week, as we come together to highlight the benefits of Open Access and its importance in the dissemination of research.

If you're looking for a bit of a backgrounder on Open Access and what this is all about, the Open Access Week website, located at http://www.openaccessweek.org/ is a great resource. According to the site,

"Open Access Week is a global event now entering its fourth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. [...]

This year’s Open Access Week (October 18 – 24) will highlight the collaboration and collective action that have heightened the momentum behind Open Access and showcase a broad range of initiatives around the globe. Participation by hundreds of universities, research facilities, and other sites worldwide will illustrate the depth and breadth of support for Open Access and demonstrate the real impact of unfettered access on advancing discovery across disciplines."

Check out the video below to learn more about how the University of Ottawa is participating. The best part is that around the 15 minute mark, the UOP is mentioned!

Open Access Week 2010 from SPARC on Vimeo.


So you want to be a UOP author…

Our editor, Eric Nelson, had a big influence on our new website. He wanted to see more information available for people interested in publishing with us. Well Eric, you got what you wanted!

A comprehensive submission guide is now found in the “Info” section of the site, complete with standard editorial schedules, documents for download and contact information.

If you’ve ever wondered whether you could publish with the UOP, you can find answers here: http://www.press.uottawa.ca/info/submissions

I can’t imagine we missed anything (I think we went through eight drafts of that page!) but on the off chance that we have, let us know and we’ll fill in the gaps.


Officially unpacked (almost)

It's official: the renovations at 542 King Edward are complete, we have moved back from our temporary offices, and we have unpacked 99% of all our things. After approximately 500 boxes, 3000 Post-Its, 10 rolls of packing tape and a whole lot of work later, we're done. Almost. But, I have a feeling the last few boxes will take a *long* time to unpack.

Here are some pictures of the completed renovations and the people around the press. Everyone would like you to know that their bulletin boards are usually much more crowded, in case they gave off the impression that they weren't busy.

Also note - the photographs are blurry and horrible because they had to be taken on the sly.

The UOP entry, as seen from above.
The entry, as seen by someone entering UOP, and Marie trying to hide in plain sight.

New kitchenette

Rebecca (left) and Mariam hard at work.

Mireille pretending to work

Marie, Managing Editor

Eric, Aquisitions Editor, embarrassed.

Mike, our Director, caught unawares.

Lola, working hard.

A serious conversation.

Marketing office

Jessica, smiley as ever.

Photos from the launch of Sofia Tolstoy's memoirs

Here are some great pictures that were taken Wednesday evening during the launch of My Life, the memoirs of Sofia Andreevna Tolstaya. Thanks to Peter Thornton for providing us with the photographs.

Front row, left to right: François Houle,Vice-President Academic and Provost; Andrew Donskov, Editor of My Life; Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, uOttawa student.

Back row: Dmitry Avdeev, First Secretary to the Russian Ambassador; Antoni Lewkowicz, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa; John Woodsworth, Translator of My Life; Michael O’Hearn, Director of the University of Ottawa Press; Roman Shevchenko, Third Secretary to the Russian Ambassador, Arkadi Klioutchanksi, Translator of My Life.

Michael O’Hearn, Director of the University of Ottawa Press

Andrew Donskov, Editor of My Life

Unknown attendee

Unknown guests

Arkadi Klioutchanski, Translator of My Life

Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, student; Arkadi Klioutchanski and John Woodsworth, Translators of My Life

John Woodsworth, Translator of My Life

Antoni Lewkowicz, Dean, Faculty of Arts; Dmitry Avdeev, First Secretary to the Russian Ambassador; crowd


UOP Renovations at Home and Online

You may have heard that our offices underwent renovations not that long ago. At the same time, we were renovating our online home – our website. You may have already noticed the changes.

For the month of October, we’ll be posting a little note each week about a new feature on our website. We’d like for you to try it out and let us know what you think. Consider it an informal beta test.

And just so we can get the obvious out of the way, we'll start with the shopping cart. Yes, you can now buy UOP books in the comfort of your own home, regardless of where you are! We’ll ship them to you and in no time you’ll be enjoying your very own UOP book.

Our entire catalogue is up there, so go nuts. Seriously. And let us know how you felt about your shopping experience.

UOP Home Page:  http://www.press.uottawa.ca/


Launch Tonight! Sofia Tolstoy’s memoirs out at last.

The UOP office is gearing up for a great day today, despite the inclement weather.

Today we will be celebrating the launch of what was probably the most complicated publication the press has ever undertaken: My Life, the memoirs of Sofia Andreevna Tolstaya. The book was edited by Andrew Donskov and translated from its original Russian by John Woodsworth and Arkadi Klioutchanski.

It’s great to know that all of our hard work has paid off and that we’ve made it through the process unscathed and with amazing results. We’ve put together a book that is physically striking, (and not only because of its size: it weighs 2.6 kilos!) that is on a interesting and truly important topic, is well researched, well written, well translated, and just generally well done.

But don’t take it from me – take a look at what others are saying:

CBC News – Tolstoy’s Wife Gets to Tell her Story

Ottawa Citizen – Inside the World of Tolstoy

If you are interested in attending tonight’s launch – please feel free to come! It will be held this evening, at 5pm at the University of Ottawa campus.

For complete information on the launch, visit the following link: http://www.press.uottawa.ca/news/launch-of-my-life