Category Archives: Publishing

The latest on scholarly publishing.


Journal Hits U. of Pennsylvania Scientists With Retraction, 2-Year Ban

Two University of Pennsylvania researchers have been banned from publishing in The Journal of Neuroscience for two years after errors were discovered in an article the pair wrote for the publication nearly four years ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

John Q. Trojanowski and Virginia M.-Y. Lee, who are a married couple, admitted that images of mouse brain cells in their article had been accidentally and unintentionally duplicated. A university review committee found the errors had been unin…


Librarian Says Academic Press Has Settled Lingering Lawsuit Against Him

The Edwin Mellen Press’s lawsuit against a blogger who criticized it appears to have come to an end.

The case started in 2012, when Herbert Richardson, the press’s founder, sued Dale Askey, a librarian at McMaster University, in Ontario, for more than $1-million over his assertions in a blog post two years earlier. Mr. Askey had called the press “a dubious publisher” and some of its books “second-class scholarship.” Many in academe viewed the lawsuit as a bullying tactic and a violation …


New Project Will Turn Out-of-Print Humanities Texts Into Free E-Books

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are teaming up on a new grant program that seeks to turn out-of-print books in the humanities into freely available e-books. The project is known as Humanities Open Book.

The two organizations said in a news release that texts proposed for the Humanities Open Book program “must be of demonstrable intellectual significance and broad interest to current readers.”

The groups will give grants to publishers to identify huma…


Scholars Blast Conservative Spin in Texas Textbooks

Ten scholars have criticized history textbooks under consideration for use in Texas high schools for, among other things, portraying Islam in a negative light and exaggerating the influence of Christianity in the founding of the United States, The Texas Tribune reports.

The criticism, common in recent years, stems from the State Board of Education’s 2010 decision to alter the social-studies curriculum in Texas, lending it a conservative spin. The scholars—hired by the Texas Freedom Network, a…


Free Digital Textbook Publisher to Produce 10 New Titles by 2017

Rice University’s OpenStax College, a project that publishes free digital textbooks, will use $9.5-million in grants to produce 10 new books by 2017, the university announced on Monday.

The aim of the project, started in 2012, is to provide low-cost textbooks to students who have trouble affording titles that can cost hundreds of dollars. OpenStax has published a handful of books—written and peer-reviewed in-house and accessible free online—for common courses that enroll the most students na…


Professor Plagiarized ‘Plagiarism’ Definition in Textbook, Co-Author Says

This may be the plagiarism brouhaha to end all plagiarism brouhahas.

A professor at Miami Dade College and co-author of the textbook The Freedom to Communicate is accusing a colleague and fellow author of plagiarizing portions of the book, the Miami Herald reports. What makes this plagiarism spat distinctive amid the recent spate of high-profile cases is the allegation that Adam Vellone, a communications professor, plagiarized the definition of plagiarism in the textbook, lifting it nearly word…


Is Same-Day Delivery Coming to Campus Bookstores? Not Quite Yet

There’s big news today in the race to offer same-day book delivery. Barnes & Noble announced it would team up with Google Shopping Express to offer same-day delivery in select cities. The move appears to take aim at Amazon, with which both companies compete and which already has same-day service in 10 cities.

Barnes & Noble also operates close to 700 college bookstores and is looking to expand that number. So what might the new Google partnership mean for the book-selling giant as it eyes the hi…


In Their Own Words: A Field Guide to Accused Plagiarists’ Public Statements

Accused plagiarists, presented with a body of evidence, often don’t know what to say.

Case in point: Mary C. Willingham, a former literacy specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and whistle-blower on athletes’ literacy, whose master’s thesis was revealed on Monday to have been partly plagiarized and to have contained improper citations.

Her statement on the matter? “Whatever I did, I did, and, you know, whatever. There’s nothing I can do about it,” she told the News & Obse…


Energy Dept. Unveils Plan to Increase Public Access to Research It Finances

The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday unveiled a plan to increase public access to research that it finances, in response to an order last year from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Science magazine reported.

The Obama administration last year directed federal agencies to develop plans to make the results of research they support publicly available within a year of publication. The Energy Department will do so through a web-based portal known as the Public Access Gatewa…


Bentley U. Finds Former Professor Wrote 2 Papers With False Data

Bentley University has found that James E. Hunton, a former accounting professor at the Massachusetts institution, falsified data for two scholarly papers he wrote, The Boston Globe reports.

As a result, “Dr. Hunton’s entire body of work while at Bentley is subject to a further review in collaboration with the publishers of those articles,” wrote Michael J. Page, the university’s provost, in a statement accompanying a report.

In 2012 an accounting journal retracted one of Mr. Hunton’s articles, …