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?
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?
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
Can you guess which of the following award-winning, widely reviewed books from the past couple of years originated as a dissertation? Bethany Moreton, To Serve God and Wal-Mart Pekka Hamalainen, Comanche Empire Brian DeLay, War of a Thousand Deserts Aaron Sachs, The Humboldt Current Danielle McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street Sarah Igo,… Continue reading Spot the dissertation
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
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
A little over a year ago I decided to buy one university press book every month for twelve months. You can see my picks on twitter using the hashtag #12UPbooks. Now that the stunt is over I thought I’d share some impressions. The best part: bookstores Over the past twelve months I looked for university… Continue reading Notes on #12UPbooks