Category Archives: Publishing

The latest on scholarly publishing.


M.H. Abrams, ‘Norton Anthology’ Founder and Longtime Professor at Cornell, Dies

M.H. Abrams, the influential literary critic, longtime professor of English at Cornell University, and founding editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, died on Tuesday, the university announced. He was 102.

Meyer Howard Abrams (he went by Mike) was born in 1912 and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from Harvard University. He also studied at the University of Cambridge, in England. He came to Cornell in 1945 as an assistant professor and retired in 1983, but rema…


Your Next Call for Papers Might Actually Be a Secret Message

Next time a sketchy call for papers shows up in your inbox, don’t be so quick to hit delete. Someone might be trying to tell you a secret.

That’s thanks to three former students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab who 10 years ago called attention to so-called “predatory publishers” by creating a tool that generated real-sounding but ultimately meaningless papers. SCIgen has since become, to the extent a piece of software can, ubiquitou…


Fraternity Plans Legal Action Against ‘Rolling Stone’ Over Rape Account

The University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity says it “plans to pursue all available legal action” against Rolling Stone magazine over its discredited account of a gang rape at the chapter’s house, The Washington Post reports.

“Clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed,” said chapter president Stephen Scipione, in a news release on Monday, “but more importantly we fear this entire episode may prompt some victims to remain in the shadows, fearful to confront their …


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…