Starting 1st January 2008, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has moved its publishing activities (which were previously carried out under the name Edita) to the publishing house Aksant. Amongst other things, Aksant will continue to produce the History of Science and Scholarship in the Netherlands series under the KNAW imprint. Other publications will also appear under the KNAW's name.
In addition, Aksant will operate as the publishing house for a variety of KNAW institutes. For instance, the publisher will work together with DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services); the Dutch national organisation responsible for ensuring both the storage and continued accessibility of research data from the humanities and social sciences. A selection of the KNAW's existing publications will also be made available through Aksant. These publications can soon be ordered via www.aksant.nl. This change also heralds the start of the clustering of publishing activities within the KNAW.
As a scientific publishing house in the fields of social and historical sciences, Aksant will now be able to further establish itself within the Dutch academic world. According to publisher/director Marti Huetink, this is not just of national importance, but can also be regarded as internationally significant given the increasing number of original English language titles in Aksant's catalogue. As a small publisher, which was already active in a number of scientific market segments, Aksant recognised the need to expand. Aksant was already affiliated to the International Institute for Social History, which is a subdivision of the KNAW.
As the forum, conscience, and voice of the arts and sciences in the Netherlands, the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences promotes the quality of scientific and scholarly work and strives to ensure that Dutch academia makes the best possible contribution to the cultural, social, and economic development of society. The Academy derives its authority from its members who have been selected on the basis their scientific qualities. The KNAW is a governmental advisory body, it promotes international scientific collaboration, it is active with respect to evaluating the quality of scientific research and coordinates 17 institutes for fundamental research and the creation of collections in the humanities, social sciences and life sciences.