Publishing Platforms | MABD Archive

About the project

Publishing Platforms explores different approaches to digital-first open access publishing. Students engage with notions of fixed vs fluid content, proprietary vs open source licensing, copyright vs public domain, and the related implications of all of these issues for the design, production and subsequent distribution of publications.

The project involves an original proposal with a selection of public-domain, creative commons or anonymised online materials which probe and question the application of copyright online. After curation of the materials, a suggested narrative approach for the structure of the publication is devised. The proposed publications are then designed and produced for at least two different publishing channels – a digital channel, which fosters free and easy circulation of information, and a print-on-demand channel, which explores the relevance of the print medium in the networked environment.

Digital platforms

Throughout the past few years, students on the Publishing Platforms module have explored a number of different online platforms to publish their projects.

Digital platforms

ISSUU is a free platform which supports online viewing and downloading for interactive PDFs. It is used internationally and works across various devices.

The Internet Archive is the largest archive of public domain resources online. The students used it to both source materials for their publications and to publish their works on there making them available for free viewing and downloading under a CC0 license.

Instagram is a popular social media platform for image sharing. Students used it both as a research aid, as well as a platform to publish their research.

YouTube is a widely used social media platform for video sharing. Students used it to publish screencasts of their interactive digital editions.

GitHub is a platform primarily used by developers to share open source code for applications, but it is increasingly used in the cultural heritage domain for open data and file sharing, too. Students used it to publish source material for their interactive publications.

Print-on-demand platforms

Blurb is a popular print-on-demand platform, facilitated by the flexibility of digital printing technologies. Blurb enables its users to upload PDF or ePub files and distribute these as one-off printed publications. The production process is based on a model of shared profit and is free of cost to the publisher. Blurb is available within a few countries only.

Lulu provides a similar service to Blurb with some variations in the options to customise the printed edition. Unlike Blurb, it is available in over 200 countries worldwide.

Newspaper Club provides print-on-demand services for newsprint publications in larger formats such as broadsheet and tabloid. Until March 2018 it also had a newsagent service, which operated similarly to the Blurb and Lulu online shops, but unfortunately it was closed. No similar service was found to replace it within the timeframe of our course.

Spring term 2019

Yu Hu

‘The Evolution of Chinese Memes’ tells the story of the most popular memes in China in recent years. It introduces meme sources from Chinese pop culture, provides links to the contexts within which these memes circulate, and looks at the positive and negative effects that communicating in memes can bring to people’s lives.

Rich Mason

On July 15 2019 the UK porn block will come into effect, requiring all users to register and prove they are aged 18 or older. This project is a call to action to all users of the internet – to warn of the risks to privacy and freedom of use, and to guide them to finding more information and discussions.


Stine Staff

This book shows how the patterns of our everyday life have changed over the past six centuries, by pairing paintings from the 15th through to the 19th century against amateur photographs from the present day. Everything in this book is generated by various online tools relying on computer intelligence.

Spring term 2018

Linda Byrne

“No Results for Thirty-Three” uses a systematic numerical search to uncover the breadth of the Wellcome Collection’s digital archive and explores connections between medicine, life and art.

Aline Geuquet

Aline’s project explores the online platform of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) and the platform Facebook. The first chapter of ‘The Unicorn Tapestries’ – a book written by Margaret B. Freedman about a set of exquisite medieval tapestries exhibited at the MET – is compared with a selection of people’s comments on social media about unicorns and the online collection of the MET.

Ella MacKinnon

One hundred years on since (some) women were first able to vote in the UK, this project attempts to highlight the events that took place, both inside and outside the Houses of Parliament, in the lead up to this historic milestone in the history of women’s equality in Britain.

Andra Mares

Andra’s project presents the art form of writing fictional reviews for Amazon products in a mock catalogue that aims to draw attention to our consumerist culture.

Sophie McDonnell

Sophie’s project explores the growing use of social media in both committing and solving crimes. The publication took inspiration from the UK true crime podcast ‘They Walk Among Us’ and focuses on four individual crimes.

Tamsin Ogilvie

Tamsin’s project explores the nature of the preservation and destruction of knowledge, through extracts from the book burning novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’. 

Tim Underwood

Tim’s project attempts to recreate Edward Thomas’s ‘In Pursuit of Spring’ using modern digital mapping technologies (GPS location systems, Google Earth, Google Street View, what3words and OpenStreetMap) in an attempt to discover what has changed and what has remained along Thomas’s route.

Susann Vatnedal

Susann’s project seeks to explore the common targets within internet censorship and filtering.

Spring term 2017

Chris Benfield

Chris’s project explores the relationship between fake news and Jean Baudrillard’s theories on simulation and hyperreality. His digital publication is published through ISSUU. His print-on-demand book is available on the Blurb platform. Finally, a version of the project was created for the online artist community Newhive, which links users to the ISSUU and Blurb versions.


Sára Mikkelsen

Sára designed a project which explores the public domain archives for photos which are used in an interactive photo/ inspiration book created in iBooks.

The ibook is available for download from the Internet Archive. The images can also be seen on social media platform Instagram under the name kafka_metamorphosis. As the name suggests, this book is created around Kafka’s novella – The Metamorphosis. The book is also printed as a print-on-demand publication via Blurb.

Francisca Monteiro

Francisca is proposing a window into digitally archived content while exploring a user’s search trail inside the Internet Archive. The publication is available in the following digital platforms: Slidesand the Internet Archive. A print-on-demand version is published via Lulu.

Mauricio Villamayor

Mauricio designed a project which exposes Paraguayan web idiosyncrasy through a curated selection of news and people’s comments on social media. His project was published through different platforms, with distinctive features on each of them.

The print-on-demand book is available on the Blurb platform and it contains an English translation to the whole book. The digital publication through the Internet Archive contains an ePub with an additional section of news videos. The project was also published on ISSUU which also allows print-on-demand in addition to its standard PDF viewer.

Stephanie Zheng

Stephanie designed a project about Chinese herbs, including each herb’s description, uses and effects, with the aim to popularize these herbs. Her digital publication is published through ISSUU.