In an interview with Chris Fell, Digital Publishing Director for Cambridge Academic, we reveal the plans for the future of Cambridge Journals Online (CJO) and Cambridge Books Online (CBO)


How is the restructure of Academic Publishing at Cambridge University Press (with the integration of many book and journal functions) affecting you?

“My job is to make things happen. At the moment, the environment in which Cambridge operates is moving very fast, and it is my task to build a structure that will serve our customers’ changing needs.”


How are you currently achieving this?

“In order to do this and to support new initiatives, I make sure I review how new features and ideas affect all types of users and departments to ensure the underpinning structures are in place to make them succeed. Of my recent work, that on semantic enrichment of text has been the most challenging. Although our research tells us that text mining may only be useful in certain specific ways, it is certainly an area where there is a perception that it adds value. It is essential that we identify and clarify this need and then develop a creative and responsive solution. On the books front, CBO has been redesigned to bring it more into line with the look and feel of CJO and of our printed books.”


What can we expect for the future of CJO and CBO?

“Going forward, much of my time will be taken up with the re-architecture of CJO and CBO into a combined platform. We intend to bring together the best aspects of the journals and books digital publishing to provide a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Aspects of this include standardising device compatibility; providing a full range of business models and related access control; allowing crossproduct reporting; providing a means of presenting material across books and journals by creating hubs of content, and ensuring robust associated back-end issues.

“Analytics, and metrics provision in general, are being refined to demonstrate the usefulness of our products. We are also looking at the opportunities offered by the provision of online Peer Review services and improved articles workflow tracking. I am pleased to be able to say that Cambridge University Press is nearing the point where all of these facilities will be more joined-up.”


How will you deliver the combined platform?

“In order to move forward with digital book and journal publishing, we are looking at three approaches: providing a set of facilities on the new platform that will support services across Cambridge’s academic content and that can be developed as part of a growing digital capability; ever more efficient production and delivery of enhanced e-books (i.e. e-books that consist of more than a ‘flat’ PDF); and special prioritised projects that require unique development work. All of these need to be developed and stabilised to provide high performance delivery, to create a positive user experience and to allow for rapid ongoing development. In this way we can confidently meet the future.”


  1. Hello Chris,
    I am the founder and editor-in-chief of an open access digital academic Journal, “Digital Life & Learning” (“DL&L”) at Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut.
    We will publish our launch issue in August. We are using Joomla 3 as our platform, and we are developing a Mobile App.
    (I am a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.)
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    I will send you a guest login if you have time to look at DL&L, pre-publication.
    Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts in this blog,
    — Peter Chepya

    1. Hello Peter,
      Thanks for your message and good luck with your new venture. I’d be happy to look at DL&L. I’ll email you, so please do reply with a guest login and let me know you if have any specific questions.
      Best wishes

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