Since I really do follow the principles sketched out in my first three posts to this blog–balancing daily but short periods of writing, marketing, and exercising every day–this post will be short and sweet. If you’re an academic author, you already know how fast and profoundly scholarly publishing is changing. If you’re not, maybe you’ve seen the recent documentary “Page One,” which reveals how newspapers, particularly The New York Times, are struggling to find a sustainable path to continue to stay in business.
Slowly–oh so slowly–scholarly presses and professional associations are making progress on sustainability issues too. Recently, I was delighted to read Kathleen Fitzgerald’s book-in-progress, which explores problems at the heart of sustainability for academic publishing. Whether you agree with her description of scholarly monographs as a new kind of “undead” haunting living researchers, her analysis is refreshingly frank and well-argued. I love her writing. If you’re curious, check out her project “Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy,” freely available at Media Commons Press
Media Commons also offers discussion of an important report on sustainability and scholarly publishing, which was recently issued by the American Association of University Presses www.aaupnet.org. Read it and share it your departmental chair and deans.