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Author Topic: On The Edwin Mellen Press  (Read 61884 times)
tinyzombie
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« Reply #150 on: November 19, 2012, 1:20:47 PM »

You're digging yourself deeper, friend.

Also, Y-O-U-apostrophe-R-E means "you are." Y-O-U-R means "your."
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heynonnynonnymouse
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« Reply #151 on: November 19, 2012, 1:21:34 PM »

I have emailed Professor Hara with a link to "her" comment.  Perhaps she will be along.
Go for it! We have permission from all of these folks saying that they can have their quotes used in public. You are going to look quite foolish when you're conspiracy theories fall flat on their face.

This thread reminds me of something that Slavoj Zizek wrote about in his most famous book The Sublime Object of Ideology. Basically, in Nazi Germany there was a lot of convincing propaganda about how the Jews were sub-human animals, vermin, the root of all evil, really rotten things.  And there were millions of average Germans who lived next door to friendly, well-balanced, normal Jewish folks, who would undermine the Nazis propaganda by basically showing that the Jews were not evil. However, for the Holocaust to actually function the propaganda had to be more convincing than the actual reality in knowing a friendly Jew who lives next door. You folks are so out there with your Mellen bashing that you believe the 'propaganda' over the actual testimonies from our own authors, real reviews, and you honestly believe we would fake all of this as if it were some devious plan of ours. No, can't the simplest thing be true in that Mellen actually gets solid reviews in journals, we have great books, and some that are not so great, but that is the case for most presses.

Enough is enough with this nonsense. 

Godwin's Law achievement activated.
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aside
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« Reply #152 on: November 19, 2012, 2:00:04 PM »

I have emailed Professor Hara with a link to "her" comment.  Perhaps she will be along.
Go for it! We have permission from all of these folks saying that they can have their quotes used in public. You are going to look quite foolish when you're conspiracy theories fall flat on their face.

This thread reminds me of something that Slavoj Zizek wrote about in his most famous book The Sublime Object of Ideology. Basically, in Nazi Germany there was a lot of convincing propaganda about how the Jews were sub-human animals, vermin, the root of all evil, really rotten things.  And there were millions of average Germans who lived next door to friendly, well-balanced, normal Jewish folks, who would undermine the Nazis propaganda by basically showing that the Jews were not evil. However, for the Holocaust to actually function the propaganda had to be more convincing than the actual reality in knowing a friendly Jew who lives next door. You folks are so out there with your Mellen bashing that you believe the 'propaganda' over the actual testimonies from our own authors, real reviews, and you honestly believe we would fake all of this as if it were some devious plan of ours. No, can't the simplest thing be true in that Mellen actually gets solid reviews in journals, we have great books, and some that are not so great, but that is the case for most presses.

Enough is enough with this nonsense. 

Godwin's Law achievement activated.

Let me see if I'm comprehending this:  You're [n.b.] saying that Mellen has reputation woes because millions of good people stand by and do nothing to stop anti-Mellen propaganda?
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hegemony
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« Reply #153 on: November 19, 2012, 2:20:49 PM »

There's quite a difference between saying "Jane Doe says the following about her experience with Mellen Press, and I quote..." and setting up an account in a fake name and posting as if Jane Doe is actually on the thread, and not admitting that she isn't until someone else on the thread outs the process.  The first looks like propaganda and the second looks very close to fraud. 

What I'm seeing is that Bradley Kaye, who is speaking on behalf of Mellen, has no idea how to project an air of professionalism.  A Mellen rep could come on and say, "We may not be the top press in the world, but we publish a lot of stuff that wouldn't be published elsewhere, and we try to have some standards, although our publishing model does mean that a lot of low-level stuff gets through.  Still, some of our stuff is very good, and we fill a niche in the market, and that's who we are."  I'd respect the straightforwardness.  But claiming that Mellen outdoes Harvard, posting praise as if it comes straight from the writers and not from an editor's sockpuppet computer, Kaye losing his temper, iffy grammar, and claiming that those who distrust Mellen are akin to the supporters of Hitler -- those argue against Mellen's professionalism while the argument is being made for Mellen's excellence.  The bad judgment displayed in defending the press makes me think even worse of it than I did.  Gob-smacking.
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bkaye2001
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« Reply #154 on: November 19, 2012, 2:58:11 PM »



I'll reiterate that all of my previous posts were done with respect and not intended to be hostile at all. All I see in response are ad hominem attacks on myself and the press.
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oldfullprof
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« Reply #155 on: November 19, 2012, 3:53:08 PM »

Hmmmm.  "Projecting air?"
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tee_bee
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« Reply #156 on: November 19, 2012, 11:09:29 PM »

B. Kaye, Choice reviews are puff pieces, not serious academic reviews. Serious reviews are those published in the scholarly journals focused on the specific area of research. And that you do not know this does not speak well of you as an editor or of the Edwin Mellen Press.

In response to larryc's comment about Choice ... As a Librarian I must note that Choice is an "Official" publication of the American Library Association which pays scholars in each discipline a nominal fee to recommend material to librarians that would be appropriate for collection development in academic libraries.

Here's an example of a Choice review of a Mellen book:
"...Van Raaphorst, a retired history professor from Ohio, provides a consummate, sometimes overly detailed, but eminently satisfying chronicle. She asks if Alcatraz truly was appropriate place for 'the worst of the worst.' Surely, the Department of Justice administrators  made the case for it. The author examines records of 600 of the 1,576 inmates over 29 years and finds that many should not have been there in the first place. One was imprisoned for stealing a cow; another for a theft of $92.85. Van Raaphorst notes that little in the way of personal improvement derived from Alcatraz. America's Devil's Island was built as a maximum-security, minimum-privilege facility. Until its end, The Rock lived up to those dubious purposes." Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- R.D. McCrie, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

At risk of sounding snarky, I think this review in Choice makes LarryC's point for him. Recommending that a library buy a book is a standard, but it's a minimal standard. Lots of libraries buy weak books. This book may have crossed that threshold. And when Choice says "All levels/libraries," my interpretation is "This is not a strong scholarly book."
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lenniel
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« Reply #157 on: November 19, 2012, 11:36:46 PM »

Comparing the so-called attacks (since when is disagreement an ad hominem attack?) on Mellen to Nazi propaganda is not only in unbelievably poor taste, but makes the press look even worse.  Dehumanization and genocide is not the same as criticism of a 5th rate publisher. 

It is a sad, desperate gesture, and certainly not reasoned discourse.  I was willing to allow Mellen some leeway in that perhaps they might fill a niche, though am now convinced the press is, as Hegemony commented, their own worst enemy. 

I'm grateful not only to have been warned away from them as a young scholar, but pleased Mellen is not present at my major disciplinary conferences.  I would also be interested to hear from one of the actual authors, rather than having their testimonials doled out by an interested party.
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larryc
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« Reply #158 on: November 20, 2012, 12:43:24 AM »

First they came for the vanity press authors, and I did not speak up because I am not a vanity press author...
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poresp
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« Reply #159 on: November 20, 2012, 12:53:04 PM »

lenniel, I am one of the actual authors. Although I also find the editor's choice of words and references in poor taste (and found larryc's comment humorously appropriate), my experience with the press was very positive in terms of their peer-review apparatus (even before the recent re-writing of their guidelines) and their overall disposition as an academic publisher. (Please feel free to refer to my previous posts on the press, as well, as they reflect this posture repeatedly).

You are welcome to send me a message via the forum if you have any more particular questions about the press.

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hegemony
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« Reply #160 on: November 20, 2012, 12:57:37 PM »

Poresp, can you tell us what the peer-review process was like?  How many reviews did you receive?  Were you asked to make any changes?
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poresp
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« Reply #161 on: November 20, 2012, 2:06:33 PM »

hegemony, I had two blind readers, both of which asked for some specific and general changes (they were nice about their comments, an experience I have not always had, but also critical of some of the -admittedly- vague aspects of the text). Once I resubmitted with changes it is my understanding that they approved them - from there the manuscript went to final (format) editing and to press.

The whole process took a little more than a year from contract to final approval (please note that, according to the contract I signed a few years ago, that final approval was necessary in order that the contract not be cancelled. I say this because EM has tended recently to offer a contract with that stipulation upon review of a worthwhile proposal holding always the option to cancel if the author does not follow through). The book came out a couple of months later.

Thanks for asking!
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"I dreamt once of ice-cream
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hegemony
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« Reply #162 on: November 20, 2012, 2:28:29 PM »

Poresp, that is very helpful.  Can you tell us what kind of a university you're at, e.g. R1, SLAC, R2, community college, etc.?  Was this your tenure book?  Did/would your university count it for tenure?  And did it get reviews in academic journals?
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poresp
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« Reply #163 on: November 20, 2012, 2:37:28 PM »

I'm glad I could help.

I am at a comprehensive which is currently moving toward R2 status (this has meant that the Uni wants to ensure quality work, in order to argue for a different standing. Many colleagues have been caught publishing poorly-written work in the last several years and have paid for it in their career advancement). This was my tenure book - it counted as sufficient due to the quality of the work (this institution tends to judge the work itself first, then look at the publisher only if there is a question as to the quality or significance of the work). It has been review in several journals, with one tepid review and several very positive ones.

I hope this helps - please let me know what other questions you may have!!
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"I dreamt once of ice-cream
And cadavers and all those
Wonderful things that poetry
Spoke of so long ago" ...
bkaye2001
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« Reply #164 on: November 20, 2012, 2:47:46 PM »

hegemony, I had two blind readers, both of which asked for some specific and general changes (they were nice about their comments, an experience I have not always had, but also critical of some of the -admittedly- vague aspects of the text). Once I resubmitted with changes it is my understanding that they approved them - from there the manuscript went to final (format) editing and to press.

The whole process took a little more than a year from contract to final approval (please note that, according to the contract I signed a few years ago, that final approval was necessary in order that the contract not be cancelled. I say this because EM has tended recently to offer a contract with that stipulation upon review of a worthwhile proposal holding always the option to cancel if the author does not follow through). The book came out a couple of months later.

Thanks for asking!

Thanks for posting a positive comment about Mellen, however, I think you're/we're talking to a wall of sociopathic anti-Mellen misanthropes here. The hyperbole and condescension from these scholars is unbelievable. I have pity on their poor students.
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