Publishing editors Rachael Ballard of Palgrave Macmillan and Zach Romano of Springer explain the importance of showcasing interdisciplinary research in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) book series.
In recent years there has been a huge focus on the challenges we face as a society and what we can do to mitigate those challenges.
The Sustainable Development Goals book series is Springer Nature’s first cross-imprint and cross-disciplinary book series, publishing SDG-relevant content from both the Palgrave Macmillan and Springer imprints. Developing a cross-imprint series has allowed us at Springer Nature to address some of these core societal challenges more effectively by bridging the gap between the natural and social sciences. With increased discoverability of our SDG relevant books, there is the added benefit of exposing academics and practitioners to content they might not have encountered if they remained in their disciplinary silos. The complementary focus of the imprints ensures comprehensive coverage across the 17 SDGs.
Publishing monographs, edited volumes, and upper-level textbooks that address the challenges that the United Nations identified when formulating the SDGs, the SDG series offers a unique interdisciplinary platform for a broad array of subject areas covering anything from climate adaptation through to gender equality. Springer Nature is uniquely positioned to cover each SDG from STEM and HSS perspectives and both Springer and Palgrave imprints have such wide ranging book publishing programmes so each SDG can be addressed comprehensively and authoritatively.
Through the SDG series, we can continue to link readers to the ever-growing body of work addressing these topics in nuanced and inclusive ways, building the consensus needed to take action and enact change.
SDG 4 Quality Education is often recognized as a key driver for the other goals due to the inextricable links between education and social and economic indicators globally. From examining issues of eco-justice and sustainable development to the impacts of Covid-19 and the hyper-local politics and policies that affect student learning and progress, the role of education in a sustainable future is to empower an informed public to act as global citizens in the face of evolving and overlapping crises.
Springer Nature actively promotes the SDG3 agenda by publishing a vast array of research made available (often in open access) to researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the wider public, helping them stay informed about the latest developments in healthcare, public health, and medical research. Achieving SDG3 requires the active participation of medical doctors, as they play a crucial role in promoting good health and well-being for all.
The Connecting the Goals subseries aims to house books that cover multiple SDGs or address the SDGs themselves. When the series was launched with a subseries for each goal, we immediately received external feedback that an integrative subseries was necessary and acted on this with a subseries explicitly designed to acknowledge and support interdisciplinarity within the SDGs and to de-silo content.
If your book addresses the SDGs or their component targets and indicators, please do submit it for consideration for inclusion in the series. Your proposal will be assessed by an internal Publishing Editor who will advise you on which subseries would be the best fit for your work and reviewed by an expert Subseries Advisor (Springer) or member of the SDG Series Advisory Board (Palgrave Macmillan).
In terms of future directions for the series, there is certainly scope to consider a spin off series of short form books that might be more appropriate for specific policy/practitioner focused content. Open Access (OA) is a particular focus for a series that publishes content useful for practitioners who may not have access to academic libraries. The number of OA titles in the series is growing rapidly, and we would be thrilled to see an even larger percentage of the books published in the SDG Series via OA.
About the authors
Rachael Ballard is Head of the Science and Society team and Executive Editor for the Geography, Environment and STS book programmes at Palgrave. With a focus on publishing interdisciplinary content, Rachael is responsible for the strategic development of these programmes and commissions books in a range of formats across the broad spectrum of these diverse subject areas.
Zach Romano is a Senior Publishing Editor in Springer’s Geography and Sustainability Research department. He commissions broadly in these areas and can be reached at email@example.com.