Category Archives: Publishing

The latest on scholarly publishing.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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, …

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‘Financial Times’ Questions Data in French Economist’s Best-Selling Book

The Financial Times on Friday raised questions about the data underlying the French economist Thomas Piketty’s best-selling book, Capital in the Twenty-first Century, asserting that an investigation of the data had revealed that they “contain a series of errors that skew his findings.”

Mr. Piketty’s book focuses on rising inequality, and its main thesis is that inequality is inevitably a part of capitalism. The Financial Times said its review had shown that there was little evidence in Mr. Piket…

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Citing Libel Fears, Cambridge U. Press Won’t Proceed With Book on Putin

Cambridge University Press has decided not to go forward with the publication of a Miami University professor’s book exploring corruption in Russia, citing fears that the book could become the subject of a libel lawsuit in the British courts, according to The Economist.

In the proposed book, Karen L. Dawisha, a professor of political science and a Russia expert, writes about President Vladimir V. Putin’s alleged links to organized crime. Last month she received a letter from John Haslam, the p…

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Another Indian Publisher Pulls Book by U. of Chicago Scholar

[Updated (3/5/2014, 2:15 p.m.) to include a statement from the publisher.]

Another Indian publishing company has withdrawn a book about Hinduism by a University of Chicago scholar, The Times of India reported.

Last month Penguin Books India agreed to withdraw all copies of The Hindus: An Alternative History, a 2009 book by Wendy Doniger, a professor of the history of religions at Chicago. Ms. Doniger’s book had drawn criticism from a nationalist group that said her text misrepresented Hindu trad…

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Publishers Withdraw More Than 120 Fake, Computer-Generated Papers

Two academic publishers are removing from their subscription services more than 120 papers that a French researcher found were computer-generated nonsense, Nature News reports.

Sixteen of the papers appeared in publications by Springer, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

The fraudulent papers were identified by Cyril Labbé, a computer scientist at Joseph Fourier University, in Grenoble, France. He developed a way to detect manuscripts produ…