The American University in Cairo (AUC) has announced the appointment of Nigel Fletcher-Jonesas the new director of AUC Press. With a distinguished career in publishing, particularly in science and medicine, Fletcher- Jones says he will build on the solid foundations of the Press to establisha global digital presence and to expand the publishing house’s operations into new research areas including science, technology and engineering.“I would like to see AUC Press turn into a digital publisher,” he said.
Fletcher-Jones, who has worked for Elsevier, Cell Press, Nature Publishing Group and Blackwell Publishers,believes that AUC Press will make great strides toward electronic publishing in the coming months. “AUC Press is primarily a book publishing company now, but I want to create an infrastructure that supports electronic publishing to the Web, tablets and smartphones. Books will not disappear, but it is important to meet the increasing demand for digital information. I would also like to see the AUC Press broaden what it does to represent all AUC research areas, including science, technology and engineering.”
According to Fletcher-Jones, the distribution of academic material that showcases multidisciplinary academic research in the Middle East should be at the heart of the AUC Press publishing operations. “Throughout my career, I have developed very strong links to the global academic community,” he said. “And I expect to do the same, specifically in relation to AUC faculty, other researchers in Egypt and those in the Middle East as a whole.”
Although Fletcher-Jones joins AUC at a time of transition in Egypt, he is optimistic about the opportunities ahead. “There is no doubt that the current situation in the country has a huge economic impact on publishing houses; however, on the positive side, it gives us the opportunity to take a detailed look at how we go about publishing for AUC and prepare for the digital future,” he explained.
A PhD in biological anthropology from Durham University in the United Kingdom, Fletcher-Jones has previously held the posts of executive vice president and publishing director at Blackwell Publishing Inc. in Boston; as well as senior vice president and publishing director at the Pri-Med Institute, also in Boston. In addition, he served as senior vice president and publisher at Nature America Inc. in New York. Prior to moving to the United States, he published from Amsterdam and London. He is a former member of the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing (AAP/PSP) Division Executive Council. Currently, he serves as judge for the AAP/PSP annual PROSE Awards for the best scholarly and professional publications published each year.