Tag: publishing

My notes on Kember, S. (2016). Why publish?. Learned Publishing, 29, 348-353. This short piece is based on Sarah Kember’s inaugrial professorial lecture at Goldsmiths, its writing timed to coincide with the launch of Goldsmith’s new press. Its establishment was explicitly motivated by a sense of “the opportunities afforded by digital technologies and the new […]

If you’re anywhere near Cambridge this week, consider coming to this masterclass I’m organising: register here. What I find so inspiring about Gary Hall is the relationship between his theoretical work and his institutional interventions. He’s been a key figure in an enormous range of projects which have pushed the boundaries of scholarly publishing and helped […]

An interesting concept from John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture which I think has important implications for scholarly publishing. From pg 276-277: Oprah and Richard and Judy are prime examples of what I shall call ‘recognition triggers’. I use the term ‘recognition trigger’ to refer to those drivers of sales that have three characteristics. First, they […]

From Merchants of Culture, by John Thompson, pg 238. In the United States: The number of new books published in the US each year prior to 1980 was probably under 50,000. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the number of new books published greatly increased, reaching nearly 200,000 by 1998. By 2004 the number had risen […]

In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, he makes a number of observations about the importance of brand-name writers which could easily be applied to the growth of academic celebrities within scholarly publishing. From pg 212-214 Brand-name authors are important for two reasons: first, their sales are predictable, and second, they are repeaters. Their sales are […]

In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, he describes what might be termed the bounded autonomy enjoyed by some editorial teams within publishing houses. From pg 128: the devolution of editorial decision-making to small editorial teams operating with a high degree of autonomy within certain financial parameters is the best way to maximize your chances of […]

My experience of watching the literature on asexuality spiral from a handful of papers ever through to new ones each month has left me fascinated by how quickly ‘the literature’ can become unmanageable. Within a relatively small and nascent field, it’s possible to grasp ‘the literature’ as a totality. But past a certain point, circumscribing […]

The notion of ‘publish or perish’ has become something of a cliché. But its reality is starkly confirmed by the sheer quantity of scholarly literature produced each year, with an estimated 28,100 active scholarly peer-reviewed journals publishing around 1.8-1.9 million articles in 2012. How much of this literature is written as a contribution to knowledge and […]

From Sustainable Knowledge by Robert Frodeman, loc 1257: I feel like I am drowning in knowledge, and the idea of further production is daunting. Libraries and bookstores produce a sense of anxiety: the number of books and journals to read is overwhelming, with tens of thousands more issuing from the presses each day. Moreover, there […]

Via Nick Mahoney. How good does this event look? Why Are We Not Boycotting Academia.edu? Coventry University Tuesday 8th December 2015 3:00-6:00pm Ellen Terry Building room ET130  With: Janneke Adema – Chair (Coventry University, UK) Pascal Aventurier (INRA, France) Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University, US) Gary Hall (Coventry University, UK) David Parry (Saint Joseph’s University, US)  […]

This is a slightly crude attempt to thematise something which I’ve been struggling to express for a while: has there been an acceleration of the rate at which bullshit emerges in the digital economy? Here’s an example of what I have in mind. I’ve been looking through Amazon for business books about the newer social […]

A few weeks ago I was browsing a photography bookshop in London and came across the term ‘micro-publisher’ for the first time. The friend I was with seemed slightly bemused that I hadn’t encountered the term and explained that it just meant small publishers with tiny print runs. Here’s how Wikipedia defines micro-publishing: The book […]

The potential role of blogs in helping disseminate working papers and other grey literature is something that has fascinated me for a long time – I’m curious about all the interesting unpublished work that is sitting in people’s filing cabinets, either to one day be worked up into a formal paper or perhaps doomed to remain […]

The public debate concerning ‘scare stories’ about statins is an interesting case study for the politics of peer review. It’s an important reminder that these seemingly technical issues of scholarly communication can have important public consequences. The case seems to be framed in the media as calling into question the ‘gold standard’ of peer review. Is […]