pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sun Mar 31 16:09:57 EST 2002
Mail*Link¨ SMTP Alternative Publishing
Two approaches with contrasting implications. See also
(from CIT INFOBITS -- December 2001)
SELF-PUBLISHING A SCHOLARLY MONOGRAPH
When Harvard University historian Marshall Poe couldn't get his book
on seventeenth-century Russian history published, he took matters
into his own hands. In "Note to Self: Print Monograph Dead; Invent
New Publishing Model" (THE JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING, vol. 7,
issue 2, December 2001), he explains how he self-published and
self-publicized a monograph titled The Russian Elite in the
Seventeenth Century: A Quantitative Analysis of the "Duma Ranks,"
First he formed his own informal peer-review panel of experts. Next
he "made" the book, formatting the manuscript with a word processor
and adding a title page, table of contents, running headers, and
index. To make the book more system-independent, he next converted
it to Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). He put his book on the
Web and, using email, marketed it to a list of Slavic history
scholars. To get his book reviewed, he sent email to journal editors
with the book as an email attachment. Finally, he talked with
librarians about getting the book cataloged and into libraries.
Not all scholars will have the patience, persistence, and technical
skill to follow Poe's path to publishing; however, for those who
will, he presents an encouraging, realistic example to follow.
The Journal of Electronic Publishing [ISSN 1080-2711] is published
free of charge on the Web by the University of Michigan Press, 839
Greene Street, P.O. Box 1104, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-1104 USA.
For more information contact JEP: email: jep-info at umich.edu; Web:
Date: 3/29/02 2:55 PM
From: What's New
WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 29 Mar 02 Washington, DC
[... snip ...]
2. ALTERNATIVE PUBLISHING: COMMUNICATING SCIENCE BY FULL-PAGE AD.
Scientists going through the March 17 Sunday New York Times were
startled to find a paper titled "The Collapse of the Big Bang and
the Gaseous Sun," by Pierre-Marie Robitaille, published as a full
page ad. A professor in Radiology at Ohio State, Robitaille had
built the first 8 Tesla MRI. But this paper/ad was outside his
field, cost a bundle (about $125 thousand) and didn't have a
clear target audience the public couldn't read it, but neither
was it in the mathematical language of physics. On the other
hand, Robitalle didn't have to put up with peer review and he had
full control over timing. The timing raised eyebrows. Ohio is
in the midst of a heated debate over a move to put Intelligent
Design on an equal footing with Darwinism in the classroom (WN 15
Feb 02). ID is the fallback position of the creationists, who
hate the Big Bang as much as they hate Darwin. Their strategy
has been to portray the Big Bang as a divisive issue, with a
powerful science establishment seeking to suppress dissenting
viewpoints. Robitaille, who did not return our calls, seems to
cast himself in the role of a lonely defender of truth who must
spend a year's salary to get his side of the story out.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND and THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY
Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the
University or the American Physical Society, but they should be.
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