Dr. Frances Pinter talks about the ways in which “academic publishing needs to transform itself to respond to the opportunities and challenges of the digital age” in a one-hour seminar at the University of Oxford.
Video Credit: The Oxford Internet Institute
In the article I Sold My Undergraduate Thesis to a Print Content Farm, Joseph Stromberg shares his experience of how his undergraduate thesis was turned into a printed copy. He confessed that his initial purpose for selling the thesis was to get the “sheer pleasure of documenting and sharing the experience”. Unfortunately, for Stromberg, his experience with Lambert Academic Publishing did not turn out to be a delightful glance into the academic publishing landscape.
Driven by curiosity, Stromberg then found out about certain publishing houses who are using some “unethical and deceitful” means of publishing free content obtained from the Internet, transforming theses into books with no selection process, no editing, and essentially no proofreading, and even “selling the books back to their authors after they’ve already signed away the rights”.
Stromberg ends the article with a humorous anecdote of how he inserted an irrelevant sentence into his published book, but I finish the article with my heart heavy. More than one year ago, I embarked on an endeavour of publishing undergraduate essays in digital form, and I was lucky enough to receive full support from the university. At some points, I was worried about being part of this Open Access journal entrepreneur, some of whose models have become the woe of many academics, but we never undertook such notorious strategy in exchange for profit. We are fortunate to have a competent editorial team who dedicatedly carry out the entire publishing process, and a publicity team who actively advocate the value of undergraduate publishing through launching partnership programme with several leading publishers. Of course, as a publishing business, profit is one of the priorities; call me idealistic, but we as publishers shall never forget our initial aspiration of spreading knowledge, not to mention that we must run the business legally and ethically.
Image Credit: Joseph Stromberg for Future Tense/slate.com