The Politics of Academic Publishing

The current issue of Political Geography features a debate surrounding the role of corporate journal publishers (including, most notably, our publisher, Elsevier) at a time when national research councils, universities, scholars, and politicians are calling for open-access solutions.  Following my introduction, the set of commentaries features a guest editorial by Andrew Kirby, followed by responses from ACME editor Lawrence Berg and mathematician (and my Florida State colleague) Kate Petersen. Kate will undoubtedly be the first person ever to go up for tenure in the FSU Mathematics Department with a publication in Political Geography, which might turn a head or two on the Promotion & Tenure Committee.  For a related discussion, see an earlier post (and associated comments) on this blog.

Elsevier has agreed to put the entire dialogue on the open-access portion of the Political Geography website (this is either appropriate or ironic, depending on your perspective), so all of the links in the above paragraph are live, whether or not you are at an institution with a Political Geography subscription.

Interested readers may also want to check out the current issue of Geoforum (also an Elsevier publication), in which the editorial board’s reflection on open access and other issues concerning the journal’s resources and independence is followed by a response from Elsevier Senior Vice President Patrick Jackson.  (This set is not open-access.)
Phil S.

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