(OPE-L) old and new publishing technologies

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 06:34:19 EDT


> Then what was the point? It certainly was not a substantive point.
> Nor a point consistent with the ethos of Mr. Solidarity.

The point is that it was  a *relevant* fact.  The fact is that the
publication of this book had already been announced in December, 2001
and I had informed the list of the publisher's announcement at that time.
It seemed to me to be highly reasonable, when announcing that the
book has now been published, to note that the upcoming publication
of that book had been previously announced on OPE-L. (Indeed,
I _often_ do this: i.e.  wherever possible, and when I have the time
and energy,  I try to note the time and dates when something has been
discussed previously.)

It could also be _made into_ a relevant and substantive point (which I
did on another list).  Namely, that the time delays that frequently happen
with old-style [i.e. non-digital] publishing can have a significant impact
on the ability of a publication to intervene in a scholarly discussion in
a timely manner.

I don't fault the editors of this book for the delay in publishing. I'm
not even really blaming Edward Elgar which  is, after all, a small,
independent publisher (and also a living person, btw, who has been
known to attend EEA conferences).  What I _do_ fault is the
technology itself.  That technology not only severely delays publication
dates but also has a _huge_ impact on _who_ can afford and be able to
read this book.  Recall the purchase price -- $110.  How many scholars,
students, and workers can afford that?  It means that the book will
instead be purchased by a small number of libraries and only then
accessible to those who have the privilege of having access to the
holdings in those libraries.   Not everyone has access to a major
university library, like the one at Stanford University, do they?

These substantive points are criticisms of the _publishing industry_
which utilizes what has become an increasingly obsolete technology.
They suggest that the future -- and, to a large extent, the present --
of scholarly contributions is *digital*.  They suggest that we -- i.e. the
list -- should again consider publishing a scholarly electronic journal.

The last time this was raised on the list, it didn't happen.  This time
-- if others are also interested in coordinating -- *I* will volunteer
to be a person who along with others would be jointly responsible
for putting such a publication -- _Online Political Economy_ (?)

*** If others are interested, please contact me on- of
off-list.   I don't know much about e-publishing, but we can make
this happen.*** (NB:  I wouldn't be able to work on this project over
the Summer).

In solidarity, Jerry


> Good. Then if you do not seek it, announce your resignation.

I will resign when I believe such a move would be good for the list and
when there is a suitable replacement. I won't resign because _you_ want
me to.  In fact, each time _you_ raise this issue increases my resolve to
continue as coordinator.

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