Publishing Platforms | MABD 2019

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.

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.