Palgrave Pivot, the mid-length digital-first research format from Palgrave Macmillan, is celebrating its first anniversary by making 100 Palgrave Pivots free to download for 100 hours, running from 9am on Monday 28th October to 1pm on Friday 1st November. Managing Director at Palgrave Macmillan Sam Burridge talks us through the excitement and successes from the initiative’s first year.

Palgrave Pivot is celebrating its first anniversary. For unfamiliar readers, can you talk us through what Palgrave Pivot is and why it’s so special?

Publishing across the humanities, the social sciences, business and finance, Palgrave Pivot is a digital-first format offering an innovative new way to publish academic research. Through Palgrave Pivot we give authors the flexibility of publishing at lengths between the journal article and the conventional monograph, within 12 weeks of acceptance post peer review. We want it to liberate scholarship from the straitjacket of traditional print-based formats and business models.

What have been the most exciting points during the first year?

We designed Palgrave Pivot in response to calls from academics, who felt that journal articles were sometimes too short, and traditional monographs too long. They were fed up of either padding out their research unnecessarily, or chopping out parts they really wanted to leave in. We didn’t see any need for these arbitrary restrictions in a digital age – and the fantastic reception Palgrave Pivot received when it launched proved us right.

One of the first Palgrave Pivots was Sporting Times by Kath Woodward. The book is a discourse on the relationship between sport and time, written in real-time during the London Olympics. Although we pledge to publish Palgrave Pivots within 12 weeks of acceptance, we felt that given the subject of this book, we should pull out all the stops – and we published Sporting Times within just 5.14 weeks of the closing ceremony. This proved to us that when needed for a particularly time sensitive piece of research we really could push time to market boundaries. The average time it takes us to publish a Palgrave Pivot is just ten weeks.

What sort of effect are you hoping Palgrave Pivot will have on citations and achieving impact?

It’s still early days. But we believe that in some ways, the format makes it ideal for responding to fast-moving current affairs, and therefore potentially more likely to achieve impact.

For example, we published a Palgrave Pivot on Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History, by Peter Conn. This was cited in an Amicus Brief to the United States Supreme Court in opposition to Proposition 8, which restricted the recognition of marriage to same sex couples. Conn wouldn’t have been published in time to influence this if he’d not chosen Palgrave Pivot.

Likewise, Kath Woodward has been invited to design an exhibition at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, and write an accompanying catalogue on time and sport based on Sporting Times.

Why have you chosen to open up access for this first anniversary?

We’ve opened up access to the first 100 Palgrave Pivots because we’re extremely proud of the high quality research we publish. We want to celebrate, and share it with anyone who’s interested – just for 100 hours though.

Is there anything else you’d like to cover?

Original, cutting-edge research is the fire that fuels knowledge and education. Without the dissemination of new thought, new ideas, and challenges to current thinking, textbooks don’t change, we don’t learn from the past, and society doesn’t advance. What we publish today will impact what our children study tomorrow, our social policy, and how businesses are run.

Our role as a publisher now goes beyond the selection and dissemination of content. It’s about ensuring the impact of research is at least equal to its importance. The humanities and social sciences find it much harder to be heard than the science subjects, as there is less funding and fewer tools available to support our academics. But we see our role as working to change this, breaking down boundaries, and in doing so, helping research to improve our world.

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Palgrave Pivot is celebrating its first anniversary by making 100 Palgrave Pivots free to download for 100 hours, running from 9am on Monday 28th October to 1pm on Friday 1st November. Further details can be found at www.palgrave.com/pivot/100

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Sam Burridge is Managing Director of Palgrave Macmillan. Joining Macmillan in 1995, Sam started as a Sales Representative for Eastern and Central Europe. During her time at Palgrave she has fulfilled several senior roles across sales, business development and executive publishing. In 2012 Sam took on her current role of Managing Director of Palgrave Macmillan.

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