From fast-tracking crucial research to supporting remote learning, publishers are responding to COVID-19.
The following is a summary of actions taken by publishers throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Under each heading, you will find a summary and examples of specific areas of activity from academic, consumer and education publishers. If you would like to learn more about any of the following initiatives or add examples to this resource, please get in touch with Eliza: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of our members have made vital research and data related to the COVID-19 outbreak immediately available and freely accessible online and many are signatories of the Wellcome Trust Coronavirus consensus statement.
Our academic members are also working with the White House Office of Science and Technology to make all relevant global research immediately available in one place (such as the National Library of Medicine, PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories such as the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID database).
Many publishers have centralised and made freely available all relevant research related to the coronavirus online, including content from online resources and leading journals, to assist researchers, medical professionals, policy makers and others who are working to address the pandemic.
F1000Research has created a dedicated Gateway to showcase research published in this area, including preprints, to ensure immediate access to the latest research developments. Springer Nature are also working with the Allen Institute for AI to enable their content to be used in their Semantic Scholar application and by the wider scientific community.
Many publishers (Oxford University Press, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Wiley and SAGE) are signatories of the Wellcome Trust consensus statement to share research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Major academic publishers (including Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley) are working closely with the White House Office of Science and Technology, responding to the call for all COVID-19 related research and data to be made immediately available.
Many have done so via PubMed Central, the archive of biomedical and life science at the US National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine. and other publicly funded repositories such as the WHO COVID database. All this information is open for full text and data mining and without any limitations for as long as needed while the public health emergency is ongoing.
Academic publishers have also prioritised the rapid publication of COVID-19 related research materials to accelerate access to the latest knowledge for researchers.
To support remote learning, academic publishers have also granted free access to many online resources for students and academic staff. This includes free online textbooks and online learning solutions. Academic publishers are also continually in contact with library staff to ensure their institutions have sufficient access to online resources.
Many publishers are working to ensure that students (who no longer have access to physical library resources because their campus is closed) can access core textbooks online.
Publishers are ensuring that medical, media and legal professionals have access to high quality, up-to-date information about coronavirus.
Consumer publishers have made many books and learning resources freely available online, to support home-schooling and to provide entertainment for socially-distancing customers.
Many consumer publishers have also partnered with charitable or not-for-profit organisations to make sure books and learning resources reach those in need. Partners include the Reading Agency, Book Trust, National Literacy Trust and Neighbourly.
In support of bookshops, consumer publishers have so far pledged financial support and promoted the importance of book buying on social media. Publishers will continue to work closely with the Booksellers Association to find other practical ways to support the bookselling industry.
Authors and illustrators are the lifeblood of the publishing industry and making sure they are supported is of paramount importance to publishers at this time. Consumer publishers are therefore running several initiatives to this effect such as online book launches and maintaining talent discovery programmes for new and debut writers.
Many education publishers have made primary, secondary and revision learning resources freely available online. These free resources include ebooks for students and interactive learning tools.
Education members are also assisting teachers and students as they move to remote learning. This help includes blogs and guides to learning from home, as well as online support networks. Also on offer is specific guidance for teachers in areas such as running virtual classrooms, lesson planning and professional development.
Some education members are releasing guides for parents as they home-school their children. These include sample home-school planners, for example. Additionally, many members have released guidance on topics such as mindfulness and wellbeing, to help individuals through this uncertain and unusual time.