I spend a lot of time thinking about the disconnect between people who do the work of scholarly publishing and people who write about it. Detached contemplation and analysis have their (important) place, but the insights of information science types, think tankers, and other observers of scholarly communication often strike me as difficult to square with… Continue reading The making of a successful university press book; or: What information science misses about publishing
Open access (for books anyway) has been slow to take. Currently about one percent of new scholarly books are OA, most of them presumably in the UK, where OA is often a matter of policy. That small return is based on an enormous investment of time, effort, and resources. I think it was the wrong… Continue reading The wrong moonshot
This piece was originally posted on the University of Nebraska Press blog as part of UP Week in 2013. There are lots of ways of telling people you live in the middle. Here’s mine: When I zoom all the way out on my phone’s GPS, the blue you-are-here dot pulses between the “d” and the… Continue reading Publishing, region, and place
A recent Chronicle piece on university libraries and what it describes as their pivot away from books has me thinking (with help from some friends on twitter) about the increase in library-reporting university presses. It’s a sensitive topic that doesn’t always, I think, receive a lot of attention or get treated with sufficient nuance. University… Continue reading Libraries and publishers
There are two variables to watch when people talk about scholarly publishing: the cost of publishing a book, and who pays that cost. Plans to push the model in an open access direction, like the new AAU-ARL-AAUP initiative announced last month, focus entirely on the latter, as far as I can tell. That is, the cost… Continue reading It costs $35K to publish a scholarly book. Who should pay that?
There are, I think, two different ways to talk about innovation in scholarly publishing, and university press publishing especially. The first stresses what innovation can do. It’s gee whiz and emphasizes how scholarship can ping around in new ways, or become less linear, more interactive, and more collaborative. A lot of this comes from our… Continue reading Ways to talk about innovation, and ways not to
A big source of confusion when talking about the current state of scholarly publishing is the tendency to conflate “scholarly publishing” and “university presses” – and, relatedly, “written academic content” and “books from university presses.” I’ve already discussed the distinction between commercial scholarly publishers and not-for-profit university presses. But there’s lots more to the landscape… Continue reading Alt scholarly publishers, university presses, nonbooks, and books