UNESCO Publications Board
The UNESCO Publications Board was established in 2011 to guide and strengthen publishing activities at headquarters and in the field. The Board has overall responsibility for UNESCO’s publications plan. Its mandate is to provide a coherent and cost-effective strategic vision to optimize the quality and visibility of UNESCO’s outputs.
The Board meets monthly to review proposed publications and to promote best practices, including strategies towards moving to electronic delivery in line with United Nations policy. The roundtable format ensures transparency and cooperation across the organization with regards to publication projects, policies and practices.
Review of publication proposals ⇨
Each proposal is reviewed in terms of its alignment with organizational and programme priorities. The Board considers the project’s originality, expected budget, multilingualism, author diversity, intended audience and public-use objectives, and quality control measures proposed such as peer review or piloting. Planned follow-up strategies to optimize the publication’s visibility and to evaluate its effectiveness and impact through communications, outreach and monitoring are also addressed.
Review of policies and development of guidelines ⇨
The Publications Board reviews UNESCO’s publications policies and guidelines to ensure that they remain abreast of developments both in the field of publishing and in the priorities of the Organization. Experts from UNESCO or external to the Organization are regularly invited as guest speakers to present relevant topics and to assist Members in reviewing and developing guidelines on specific publishing issues.
The Board also reviews the biennial Publication and Distribution Plan and submits the plan and its recommendations to the Director-General for presentation to the Executive Board.
The Board comprises eight Members, three Ex Officio Members, the Chair and a Secretary. Members are supported by Publications Officers from each sector.
ADG/ERI on behalf of the Director-General
Members (for a two-year period)
- Member for the Education Sector: Mr David Atchoarena, Director, ED/PDE
- Member for the Natural Sciences Sector (acting): Mr Qunli Han, Director, Executive Office, SC/EO
- Member for the Social and Human Sciences Sector: Ms Angela Melo, Director, SHS/HPD
- Member for the Culture Sector: Ms Lynne Patchett, Chief EO/CLT
- Member for the Communication and Information Sector: Mr Indrajit Banerjee, Director, CI/KSD
- Member for the Management of Support Services Sector: Ms Jennifer Pearson, Director ADM/CLD
- Member for Field Offices: Mr Axel Plathe, Head of Kathmandu Office & UNESCO Rep. to Nepal
- Member for Institutes: Mr Khalil Mahshi, Director, IIEP
One Director per programme sector to be appointed by the relevant ADG
Two Directors from field offices and Institutes
- Ex Officio Member for the Bureau of Strategic Planning: Ms Ranwa Safadi, BSP/PB
- Ex Officio Member for the Division of Gender Equality: Ms Saniye Gülser Corat, Director, ODG/GE
- Ex Officio Member for the Africa Department: Ms Vida Habash, AFR/CEO/CEM
Chief, Publications Unit, ERI/DPI
Members are supported at meetings by Publication Officers and other colleagues assisting the Member.
What kinds of projects should be submitted to the Publications Board?
All publication projects should be submitted:
"UNESCO publications consist of substantive material published for external audiences. A UNESCO publication published in print or electronic form carries an ISBN or ISSN and usually has an identified author or authors. Major UNESCO documents published in volume form may be considered as UNESCO publications, with the Organization as corporate author (e.g. Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity). UNESCO publications are issued by UNESCO alone or jointly by UNESCO and an outside publisher. They include both free and for-sale publications. UNESCO is legally responsible for the content."
UNESCO Publications Guidelines, p. 95
All proposed series and each individual title within a series should be submitted:
- Every proposed UNESCO series should be submitted to the Publications Board for approval using the standard submission form.
- If several individual titles in the series are already foreseen for the current biennium, they should be included on the series submission form. Details on each planned title must be provided in the summary information section (Q17) including: specific objectives, authors, number of pages, planned language versions, expected launch date, and any other relevant information. The series and its titles will be discussed by the Board at the same time.
- The total budget detailed in the submission form should be the sum of every planned title’s individual budget.
All proposals to produce communication materials of more than 16 pages should be submitted:
"UNESCO communication materials are based on the content of UNESCO publications and documents and are published for a specific external audience in print and/or electronic form for the purpose of communicating about UNESCO’s aims/ activities and heightening the visibility of the Organization. Such materials pay particular attention to format, presentation and graphic design and are written in a specific language adapted to the target audience. UNESCO communication materials do not bear the name of the author(s). UNESCO communication materials have a specific code. UNESCO is legally responsible for the content."
UNESCO Publications Guidelines, p. 98
The criteria outlined in section 2.8 of the UNESCO Publications Guidelines continue to apply to all publication and communication materials:
- ISBN numbers are assigned to all UNESCO publications whether printed or published online. Every new edition (i.e. including new, substantial changes) should receive a new ISBN number. Reprints should continue to use the same ISBN number. ERI/DPI/PUB is responsible for assigning ISBN numbers upon requests from UNESCO staff.
- No ISBN number will be assigned if the publication project has not been submitted to and approved by the Publications Board beforehand.
- UNESCO communications materials, regardless of length, do not require ISBN or ISSN numbers unless they are to be sold and distributed through commercial channels.
UNESCO staff members: To apply for an ISBN for your publication, please download and complete the UNESCO ISBN form
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