From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 06:34:19 EDT
Rakesh: > 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_ (?) together. *** 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 PS: > 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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