Sheffield Thesis Publishing Prize 2022 - Winners Announced


The prize

The five winners of the inaugural Sheffield Thesis Publishing Prize have now been announced. The prize, which was launched in Spring 2022 with a closing date in Autumn 2022, celebrates doctoral research at The University of Sheffield by supporting recent PhD graduates to explore opportunities to develop their thesis into an open access monograph published by White Rose University Press.

PhD-holders who graduated from the University of Sheffield since 2019 were invited to submit proposals detailing how their thesis could be turned into an open access monograph. From a strong field of applications, five prize-winners were selected, each winning a £250 cash prize and consideration for publication by White Rose University Press, with guidance and support provided through the peer review process. Where monographs are commissioned, all open access publication costs will be paid for by The University of Sheffield Library.

The winners

The five winners and their projects (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Daniel Clarke (English) - Wearing Historicity: Genre, Stardom, and American Identity in Hollywood’s Medieval Films, 1949-1956
  • Xi Lu (Landscape Architecture) - A Multi-Scale Study of Stakeholder Participation and Visualisation in Chinese Urban Planning: The Case of the Pearl River Delta
  • Adele Mason-Bertrand (Sociological Studies) - Unmasking Cosplay: Subculture, Inclusivity, and Escape
  • Jost Migenda (Physics) - Supernova Neutrino Observation and Model Discrimination with Water Cherenkov and Liquid Scintillator Detectors
  • Alice Siberry (Law) - Diversity, Difference, or Disorder? Exploring Neurodiversity within British Policing

Alice Siberry, now a Criminal Justice Neurodiversity Consultant with the organisation Creased Puddle, said, ‘I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to share my passion for making research more accessible and inclusive.’ Independent researcher Daniel Clarke commented, ‘I am very excited at the prospect of publishing my monograph with White Rose UP. A central tenet of my research philosophy is producing work that is both accessible and engaging to a diverse range of audiences, and I believe that publishing open access helps me to achieve this.’ Adele Mason-Bertrand, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Leeds, added, ‘I am delighted to be selected as one of the winners. This prize will enable me to share my thesis in the format that best showcases my research and will enable a range of audiences to access my research regardless of their financial situation or educational background.’

Open access monographs are a growing area of publishing, with the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) currently indexing over 50,000 books. Publishing an open access monograph means that it can be shared, read, downloaded and reused by anyone with an internet connection, increasing the book’s readership and impact. White Rose University Press (WRUP) is a non-profit, open access digital publisher, run jointly by the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. It publishes open access journals and books across all disciplines, with current publications in areas such as archaeology, literature and linguistics, and is committed to academic quality and innovation in digital publishing.

Prize-winner Jost Migenda, a postdoctoral researcher at King’s College London, said ‘My PhD research would not have been possible without open source software. So when I started thinking about writing a monograph, I knew right away that I wanted it to be open access. White Rose UP, with its full commitment to open access publishing, was the natural choice.’ Xi Lu, Lecturer at the College of Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, commented that ‘As a non-native English speaker, publishing an open access monograph in English is an exciting yet challenging opportunity. I’m interested in having my research reach further and gaining a wider readership including practitioners, policy makers, academics and others interested in the field of urban planning and public participation.’

Kate Petherbridge, Press Manager at WRUP, said ‘We are really excited to see the range and quality of the prizewinning submissions, and are very much looking forward to working with all the authors on their proposals as they go through the peer review and commissioning process.’

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