books · nonbooks · publishing

Alt scholarly publishers, university presses, nonbooks, and books

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

books · university presses

We are what we acquire

I’m always surprised when smart people advocate a passive approach to the acquisition of scholarly books. I detect a whiff of this in the American Library Association’s recent collection Getting the Word Out, with its borderline nostalgia for an era when university presses published only their own faculty, presumably without regard for conventional list building.… Continue reading We are what we acquire



The title for my previous post emerged from a twitter conversation with Roger Schonfeld about his taxonomy of university presses. There’s a lot in the piece I disagree with but taxonomies are fun and it’s a smart post. I urge you to read it. Roger identifies a “pressured middle” category of university presses (middle meaning… Continue reading Taxonomy

publishing · university presses

The resilient university press

At its annual meeting in June, the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) created a new membership category for scholarly publishers like libraries and digital humanities centers that may not engage in conventional peer review or employ professional publishing staff. The move comes as university presses assess new challenges and opportunities posed by the push… Continue reading The resilient university press