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November 8, 2019
The latest news in academic publishing curated weekly by the editors at Choice Reviews. For more information about Choice, visit www.Choice360.org . If you like this newsletter, please help us grow by passing it on! Subscribe here .
Here’s what happened this week:
Barnes & Noble Drama Bubbles Over
Here’s the short version of this lawsuit kerfuffle: Barnes & Noble fired former CEO Demos Parneros in July 2018 for violating company policy, later citing it as sexual harassment. Parneros sued B&N for what he says were false claims of sexual harassment and defamation of character. B&N then countersued Parneros, asserting that he intentionally squandered a potential business deal, in addition to the alleged sexual harassment and bullying. At a pre-motion hearing this Monday, despite advice from the judge to settle now, both parties decided to proceed as planned, with B&N asking for a “summary judgment on two of the three claims filed against them.” Each party appears confident that its side will prevail, despite Judge John Koetl saying outright: “Both sides will never be in as good a position as they are right now to resolve the case.” [ Publishers Weekly ]
University Presses Aren’t Cash Cows—and That’s Okay
In a guest post on Inside Higher Ed , Johns Hopkins University Press editorial director Greg Britton comments on the threat to Stanford University Press’s budget, and how that reflects on the general attitude toward university presses. While SUP's future is scrutinized by two committees, one of which has already produced a report , Britton argues that scholarly presses “ are an integral part of the scholarly ecosystem,” and asking them to serve as business assets to universities rather than mission-driven knowledge distributors is a backwards notion. Britton claims that if SUP is forced to publish fewer monographs to save on costs, or shutter completely, it will only hurt the academic community it serves. [ Inside Higher Ed ]
Macmillan Versus Libraries: The Debate Rages On
As the Macmillan library e-book embargo went into motion, Macmillan CEO John Sargent met with the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) to discuss the polarizing issue. From a COSLA report on the November 4th meeting, Sargent argued that books function like new film releases: they are most valuable in the opening weeks, “and their initial release should allow for the greatest return on both creative and business investment.” COSLA chair of e-book engagement Cindy Aden disagreed: “Few readers faced with wait times for a new release would choose to purchase the book directly instead of waiting, even if those wait times are significant.” One thing both parties agreed on was to have further discussions on e-book pricing models. Don’t you miss when books were just, like, books? [ Publishers Weekly ]
Better World Books Joins the World Wide Web
Better World Libraries, a partner with the Internet Archive, a freely available digital library, acquired Better World Books, a sustainable online bookseller. BWB, established in 2003 as a way to recycle textbooks among users, “ has donated almost 27 million books worldwide, has raised close to $30 million for libraries and literacy, and has saved more than 326 million books from landfills. ” In pairing with the Internet Archive, BWB will help IA’s mission of digitizing material that can’t be easily accessed. The new president and CEO of BWB Dustin Holland says the “partnership allows us to extract the maximum value out of every book we collect at scale, while continuing to delight readers all over the world.” [ Research Information ]
Are North American OA Proposals Hurting Latin American Academia?
Eduardo Aguado López and Arianna Becerril García, founder and Executive Director of Redalyc, an open access digital library, respectively, discuss the role open access has played in Latin America for years now—and how certain statues of Plan S could threaten their non-commercial OA system. In Latin America, academic institutions publish scholarly work while non-commercial platforms offer “software applications, interoperability, visibility, and discoverability” services. Proposals from North America, whether it be Article Processing Charges (APCs) or “pay-to-publish” models, they argue, are not sustainable in their OA landscape. López and García hope that future discussion of OA will be from a more globalized perspective with diverse approaches that could function for divergent publishing systems. [ LSE Latin America and Caribbean ]
Scholarly Publishing: We're Not In Kansas Anymore
This week on Scholarly Kitchen , Judy Luther discusses how the definition of scholarly publishing is changing to include not just page-based sources, but a much wider variety of digital formats. Luther traces the history of DOIs, and how they long have only accounted for published works, but now could include tracking conferences, such as videos of presentations and digital posters that act as “interactive digital presentations.” As companies rise to offer DOI support for podcasts, video, data, code, and more, Luther wonders how this will impact the interpretation of publishing moving forward. [ Scholarly Kitchen ]
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