Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, September 07, 2015

Publish or perish at your peril

Academics are being hoodwinked into writing books nobody can buy
A few months ago, an editor from an academic publisher got in touch to ask if I was interested in writing a book for them.

I’ve ignored these requests in the past. I know of too many colleagues who have responded to such invitations, only to see their books disappear on to a university library shelf in a distant corner of the world.

If someone tried to buy said book – I mean, like a real human being – they would have to pay the equivalent of a return ticket to a sunny destination or a month’s child benefit. These books start at around £60, but they can cost double that, or even more.

This time, however, I decided to play along.
He or she makes some excellent points about how tax dollars are being used for research that is being output in short runs of books no one but universities can buy. The publish or perish model of things really needs to be rethought (especially because while research is important, so are competent academic teachers). And don't even get me started on predatory publishers taking advantage of the publish or perish model in the open access world, either. Thanks to Vanessa Irvin for the link.

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