Taking Human Factors to the top of the NHS

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive

The Clinical Human Factors Group are taking the human factors message to top-level NHS management at their Safety Science & Solutions conference next week (Birmingham, UK, 12 March 2014). This is particularly timely bearing in mind the National Quality Board’s recent Concordat which aims to embed Human Factors principles and practices into the healthcare system.

The conference will enable Chairs, Chief Executives, Executive and Non-Executive Directors, Chief Operating Officers, Directors of Nursing, Medical Directors and Divisional Managers, Lead Clinicians to gain insights that will positively impact their role in promoting safety, quality and productivity in healthcare.

Ashgate publishes a range of books relating to Human Factors in Healthcare and Patient Safety. Why not take a look on our website?

A guest post from Tim Wales, author of ‘Business School Libraries in the 21st Century’

Tim WalesTim Wales recently joined the University of West London as Director of Library Services. He was previously Head of Library at the London Business School and Associate Director (E-Strategy) at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Business School Libraries in the 21st CenturyThis week sees the formal publication of my new book for Ashgate, Business School Libraries in the 21st Century. A lot has happened since I started writing and editing the book in August 2012 with my fellow contributors around the world, not least the fact that I changed jobs during its final gestation period and moved out of the business school library sector to take on a more general academic library leadership role at The University of West London.

This change has left me feeling somewhat conflicted about the book: depending on my frame of my mind, I see it serving as an effective “capstone” (to use MBA programme jargon) for my time spent leading a business school library with a nice piece of international collaboration to capture the common sets of issues business school libraries around the world are having to confront and deal with.

Or, alternatively, I see it as a “tombstone” for my time in charge at London Business School Library (LBS) – this is because the strategic planning exercise for the Library’s future that I describe in Chapter 12 will continue under the aegis of an interim Head of Library (currently being appointed) reporting to a senior Library Review group. I am not so vain to presume that the future scenarios for the Library that I came up with are the only possible variations and so I will be watching through my fingers as events play out in Regent’s Park in the next 12 months. Two predictions though: 1) the Library’s reporting line in the organisational structure will change from being part of IT (it is always fascinating to discover how many different variations Library reporting lines can throw up around the world) and 2) the Library team will move into the School’s new Sammy Ofer Centre on the Marylebone Road in some shape or form in 2017.

I should also say that I feel very proud to have published my first professional book just as I was proud to have published various professional articles in the past and written a chapter for another Ashgate book on academic libraries for my friend, fellow contributor and business library head, Andy Priestner. Not only do these publications give me ideal testing and demoing metadata for use with Library systems, citation databases and altmetrics, they give me the means to understand the publishing cycle and associated processes for the academic community I support. This in turn gives me a little more professional credibility at a senior level and, crucially, the opportunity to experience at first hand the issues wrapped up in my role as Director of Library Services: academic dissemination and visibility, publisher processes and agreements, open access publishing (OA) not to mention working remotely within a defined virtual subject community internationally to name just a few.

OA in relation to my own situation with this book deserves further brief comment. I remember having discussions with senior managers at LBS regarding how to handle publications of faculty who had since left the School. Should associated metadata and outputs be left in the publications database or not? The scenario did not extend to non-faculty staff who happened to publish as there was no tradition of including such staff in the publications database anyway (I’m deliberately not using the word “repository” by the way). So having carefully chosen a publisher like Ashgate that permits green OA chapter deposits in repositories, but with nowhere now to deposit them as I have left my associated institution, where can I deposit my chapters to fulfil my moral and ethical duties as a librarian? Thankfully, there is a OA refuge for nomadic authors like me in my situation, it’s called OpenDepot. By the way, my book includes a very interesting chapter on the OA situation in France by Agnès Melot and Sophie Forcadell from HEC Paris.

So would I edit such a book again? However good your contributors, it is undoubtedly hard work to keep an eye on all the details all of the times and and it is very easy to lose momentum and interest through the proofing stages. I don’t think I will be able to read the book myself for another two years as I am sick of the sight of the text but also afraid that I will uncover mistakes or omissions! At times, it was like an extension of the day job in terms of managing people over whom you have no formal control but require their co-operation in order to complete a task to a required degree of quality by a certain date. The worst part was having to gently encourage (by email) two prospective contributors to withdraw their draft chapter voluntarily and rewrite it e.g. as a journal article instead, without hurting their feelings or injuring their professional pride.This leads me to think that my next publication will be a sole author work in whatever shape or form.

Why should you read this book? Well, it collates (original) material together which you will not encounter elsewhere, including some primary research and original change management case studies for libraries in the USA, Europe and Asia (like all good MBA courses!) as well as some thought-provoking opinion pieces from respected librarians in the sector. And, as it is emphatically not a “how to be a business librarian” or “how to answer business queries” book, then it has general relevance for senior library professionals and managers working in tertiary education with English as a first or second language. It also has a very touching and personal foreword by the Dean of Harvard Business School, Nitin Nohria, about the importance of academic libraries in his own career which is eminently citable in its own right. Enjoy…

The author writes this blog post in a personal capacity.

The History of Learning Disability

chris-goodey1This is a guest post from Chris Goodey

A group of academics from five separate disciplines – Education, Ancient History, Social Work, English Literature, and a stray teacher of mature students (myself) – have put together a WordPress site which is based on our common interest in conceptual history but which also invites immediate engagement with politics and public affairs. The topic is intellectual disability, or learning disability, or developmental disability, or cognitive disability, or mental handicap, or mental retardation. And that’s just the current usages.

No wonder the conceptual history is deeply problematic – and therefore of deep interest to those involved. For the rest of you, perhaps not. So far. But I do assure you that if you value your status as intelligent people, you will need to know how to defend yourself against the notion that both intellectual disability and “intelligence” itself are not natural kinds but historically contingent ways in which human beings represent themselves to themselves and to each other, and no more. We can’t advise you how to defend yourselves, but at least our shocking notions will reveal the massive nature of the challenge.

My original idea was to create a personal website that would, among other things, reinforce the excellent job Ashgate had done in publishing and marketing my book A History of Intelligence and ‘Intellectual Disability’: The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe. It soon became clear, though, that a collective effort was both needed and possible, the number of people with a historical research orientation in this field being very small. Tim Stainton, Murray Simpson, Lynn Rose, Patrick McDonagh and I think we have started something that will radically alter present directions in the critical analysis of psychological concepts. WordPress seems the ideal means. Time will tell.

Chris Goodey has held teaching posts at Ruskin College, Oxford, the Open University and the University of London Institute of Education, and is currently an independent consultant working for national and local government services on learning disability in the UK. He is the author of A History of Intelligence and ‘Intellectual Disability’: The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe

Goodey case_Goodey case‘This timely, daring and challenging book… a phenomenally ambitious, interesting and reflective interdisciplinary history of ideas… assembles some convincing evidence for the processes by which changing sets of ideas, or an accident of historical contingencies, have come to shape allegedly incontrovertible universal truths. At the risk of turning a tautological phrase, this is a highly intellectual history of intellectual disability.’ Medical History

The Greening of Architecture by Phillip James Tabb and A. Senem Deviren

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

  • What are the five most important steps in the greening of Architecture?
  • Which of the early green design strategies can be considered up-to-date?
  • Who will drive the sustainable movement in the built environment, architects, the clients or government?
  • What are the challenges of green architecture in years to come?

The Greening of ArchitectureThe Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design is an engaging book which breaks new ground – contextualizing the development of sustainability in architecture from its roots on the 1960s to the present day.

Co-author, Phillip Tabb on how he came to be involved in writing this book:

 ‘I was asked to write a chapter in a book entitled ‘A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture’.   My chapter was to be on green architecture. In brainstorming the topic, I came up with the concept of “greening” architecture where sustainability became a process of evolution rather than a thing you stick on a building. So, my chapter in that book became “Greening Architecture: the Impact of Sustainability.” After I completed my first draft of this chapter, many of my reviewers felt that it was very strong and should be made into a book by itself. I contacted Ashgate and they agreed, and I consequently prepared a book proposal, which was accepted. I worked between 8 and 10 hours a day on this book for two and a half years’

Phillip Tabb recently discussed the book in an interview with Paolo Bulletti, for Archinfo, where he gives his responses to the questions above. Read the rest of the interview on Archinfo.

About the Authors: Phillip James Tabb is a Professor in the School of Architecture, Texas A&M University, USA and A. Senem Deviren is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey.

Contents of the book: Origins of green architecture; 1960s: an environmental awakening; 1970s: solar architecture; 1980s: postmodern green; 1990s: eco-technology; 2000s: sustainable pluralism; The global landscape of green architecture.

More about The Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design

‘How to Rival the Old Masters’ … by David Mayernik

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

How to Rival the Old Masters’ …

… is the title of David Mayernik’s fascinating guest blog post for Artist Daily.

In the first of his planned series of posts the concept of emulation is explained, including the materials employed. Follow this link to Artist Daily

David Mayernik is a practising artist and architect, and an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, USA. His book The Challenge of Emulation in Art and Architecture was published by Ashgate in November 2013.

Thomas F. Mayer

Posted by Tom Gray, Publisher (Early Modern History)

It is with great sadness that Ashgate learnt of the death last month of Professor Thomas F. Mayer. As well as publishing several books with Ashgate (notably his editions of Cardinal Pole’s correspondence), Professor Mayer also established the Catholic Christendom 1300-1700 series in 2001, which he edited for over ten years. In this time the series published 36 books, and under his stewardship helped fundamentally reshape and reconceptualise the way we think about late-medieval and early-modern Catholicism. Everyone who worked with Professor Mayer here at Ashgate will miss both his incisive scholarship and dry, concise wit, and we offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

A Celebration of Life service was held 11 a.m. Sat., Feb. 1, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities in Davenport, Iowa. Professor Mayer’s obituary and a place for online condolences can be found here. Memorial donations can be directed to the World Wildlife Fund or The Nature Conservancy.

How to Work with a Scholarly Press – announcing the return of our blog series!

Posted by Alyssa Berthiaume, Marketing Coordinator, and Whitney Feininger, Assistant Editor

We are happy to announce the return of a special feature on our blog:

“How to Work with a Scholarly Press”

You may have noted that in the last year we have occasionally featured posts specific to working with an academic publisher. These posts have examined topics like submitting a proposal, the importance of word count, preparing the final manuscript, and attending conferences.

This year we are moving from the occasional post to an actual blog series, continuing to cover a variety of practical topics—both general and specific— across all aspects of publishing with advice from our commissioning, desk-editorial, and marketing staff as well as from our authors and series editors. Our hope is to educate authors on practical issues with working with a press and to empower them to deliver better and more complete proposals and manuscripts. In general, we aim to address two new topics per quarter—the first two to appear online before the end of March.

You will be able to find these posts (new and old) under the category “Author Advice.” We will also be announcing the appearance of new posts through status updates on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to friend and follow us on those sites.

If there are any particular topics you would like to see reviewed, please let us know by leaving a comment.