February 25, 2013
I got tenure after my book was published by Edwin Mellen Press
If you hunt around the Edwin Mellen Press website you might find author testimonials like one I did during my review of the publisher's catalog of philosophy titles on Feb. 9-10, 2013. (Results of my buy-not-buy decision here.) The gist from [prof's name and link to testimonial omitted] was "I got tenure after my book was published by Edwin Mellen Press".
I don't know if the author only submitted his book to Edwin Mellen Press or only submitted his work to Edwin Mellen Press after it have been rejected by one or more publishers. But consider the message. Remember it was a testimonial by an author about an employment-related result of event after his book being was published that was selected for display by Edwin Mellen Press on its website. (Oops, see how easy it is to draw conclusions.) Place that in the context of Dale Askey's critique of the Press and the titles it publishes.
It is not unusual for publishing houses to solicit submissions for possible publication. Is this one of the ways Edwin Mellen Press goes about acquiring titles for its catalog of offerings? Was the intended audience authors desperately to publish, not perish?
Book testimonials, typically authored by someone who may have read the book are just marketing fodder. Testimonials by authors in this context are a bit odd but they too are nothing more than marketing fodder. No reader should conclude I am stating or implying that the Edwin Mellen Press publication of this testimonial signals in any way, shape or form that listing on a CV a title "published by Edwin Mellen Press" has any value whatsoever.
Many factors go into a tenure review committee's decision making matrix. Being published by Edwin Mellen Press may or may not have been a factor considered by the tenure review committee in this instance. The author's testimonial does not state a causal link; it simply asserts a fact that can be verified. I'm assuming it is true. I'm omitting the poor prof's identity because legal counsel for the Δ may want to ask him one hellva lot of questions. They might include but certainly may not be limited to the following:
- Why did you submit your publication to Edwin Mellen Press?;
- What questions were asked by Edwin Mellen Press during its acquisitions screening process?;
- Was your testimonial statement voluntary or a condition of being published?;
- Was the testimonial displayed on the publisher's website full and complete?
- Who were the members of your tenure review committee?
Statements of support for Askey. In addition to the previously reported ARL-CARL Joint Statement in Support of Dale Askey and McMaster University, see
ALA President Maureen Sullivan responds to Edwin Mellen Press lawsuit (text republished below).
“As president of the American Library Association, I share the deep concern expressed by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries and the Canadian Library Association among many others in deploring the actions of the Edwin Mellen Press in filing a libel suit against Dale Askey, currently a librarian at McMaster University, for expressions of his professional opinion on his personal blog not associated with either Kansas State University or McMaster University.
“This action strikes at a core responsibility of all librarians as information professionals to provide considered, critical advice to the reading public regardless of the type of library in which they are employed.
“In addition, it has the potential to significantly poison the good relationships enjoyed by the library and publishing communities. I call upon the Press to reconsider its actions and drop this assault on intellectual and academic freedom.”
"The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with 58,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information."
In the event the Canadian Center for Science and Education does more than just threaten to sue Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and scholarly initiatives librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, for being included in Beall’s List: Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers based on his Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers (2nd ed., Dec. 1, 2012), my hunch is statements in his support will be forthcoming.
For previous coverage and commentary on LLB, see:
- Academic Librarian Sued For Dissing Publisher In A Blog Post (Feb. 7, 2013)
- The Curious Case of Edwin Mellen Press (Feb. 11, 2013)
- Another Publisher Threatens Suit Against A Librarian For Blog Comments (Feb. 18, 2013)
- When All Else Fails, Sue or Threaten to Take to Court the Publishing Industry Critic (Feb. 19, 2013)