Juan Pablo Alperin is an Associate Professor in the Publishing Program, the co-Scientific Director of the Public Knowledge Project, and the co-Director of the Scholarly Communications Lab

The Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing (CISP) is the research arm of Publishing @ SFU (formerly called the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing).

The CISP hosts a broad range of research activities carried out by SFU faculty, staff, and students, who, in collaboration with other universities and industry, are seeking to advance our understanding of publishing models and practices.

With expertise in both trade (book and magazine) and scholarly publishing, the CISP’s research covers a broad range of themes, including the impact of digital technologies in the cultural sector; book, periodical, and digital media history; sociology of knowledge; the evolution of scholarly communication; open access; bibliometrics, and audience measurement.

Publishing as Social Change

How can publishers contribute to advancing and supporting social change? What issues and considerations must to be addressed in order to create a publishing industry that is fair, inclusive, and accountable? 

Scholarly Communications Lab

The ScholCommLab is an interdisciplinary team of researchers based in Vancouver and Ottawa interested in all aspects of scholarly communication. It is co-directed by Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin, an assistant professor in SFU’s Publishing Program and an associate researcher with the Public Knowledge Project, and Stefanie Haustein, an assistant professor at the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa. Using a combination of computational techniques, innovative methods, and traditional qualitative methods, the lab explores a wide range of questions about how knowledge is produced, disseminated, and used.

Research Partnerships

PKP – The Public Knowledge Project is a multi-university initiative developing (free) open source software and conducting research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing.

INKE – INKE is a collaborative group of researchers and graduate research assistants working with other organizations and partners to explore the digital humanities, electronic scholarly communication, and the affordances of electronic text.

Evolution of Scholarly Communication

The field of scholarly communication has undergone significant change in recent years, with the introduction of digital technologies, financial pressures for academic institutions, and increased competition. As the environment shifts, the CISP works to identifying and understanding new challenges and opportunities that present themselves, in order to improve the processes of knowledge dissemination.

History of Publishing

With an half millennium of history to explore, the research interests under this theme are varied, but all seek to uncover how the practice of publishing has evolved over time, how it has been influenced by the world around it, and how it has influenced that world in turn. 

Design Research

From print to digital, design is the hub where all publishing activities intersect. Research in the area considers the significance of published works as products, the production process and workflows, and how the design and materiality of texts influences audience reception. 

Master of Publishing Graduate Research

The CISP’s Master of Publishing students engage in independent research throughout the program, on range of topics relevant to the publishing industry. Their work in the Publishing Industries and Technology and Evolving Forms of Publishing seminars is available publicly.

Following a 13-week internship, the students also complete a research project report designed to be of value to the host company, future students, and larger community of those who have an interest in publishing. These reports provide a unique view of current practices in publishing framed by what students learn in the masters program. A selection of these reports is available SFU’s Summit repository.

Select Publications & Presentations