books · publishing

It costs $35K to publish a scholarly book. Who should pay that?

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?

university presses

Why does Inside Higher Ed think it’s okay to misrepresent the state of university press publishing?

In articles this month about a Mellon-funded report on humanities publishing and the threatened closure of Duquesne University Press, Inside Higher Ed made factually incorrect statements about the state of university press publishing. “Many presses have closed or scaled back their operations in recent years,” they wrote on February 20, even though only five of 140… Continue reading Why does Inside Higher Ed think it’s okay to misrepresent the state of university press publishing?

digital humanities · publishing · university presses

Ways to talk about innovation, and ways not to

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

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