Publishing Perils…Watch Out!

We all know that publishing is a part of academic life.  But beware the call of the “print content farms”…

Joseph Stromberg at Slate details his experience in publishing his undergraduate thesis with a content farm publisher.

At this point, I did a bit more research into LAP Lambert and found that it’s really just the tip of the book-mill iceberg. Both it and AV Akademikerverlag GmbH & Co. KG are part of an enormous German publishing group called VDM… The company declines to release financial data but claims to publish 50,000 books every month, making it, by its own accounting, one of the largest book publishers in the world.

How can it possibly churn out this many titles?

These outlets will not add to your academic credentials.

From the blog posts I found (and the hundreds of comments posted on some of them), I saw that many authors came away from the deal less than satisfied. Some naive academics think publishing will add cachet to their C.V., but they find that having the Lambert name on it is an embarrassment. Meanwhile, the contract stripped them of the right to publish it elsewhere or even publish chapters of it in an academic journal.

The end product doesn’t even seem to be worth it.

Then, as I paged through the book, I remembered something funny I’d done when reformatting the text for submission. For kicks, I’d buried an errant phrase deep in the middle, partly to see if LAP Lambert’s editors ever actually read the thing. When I got to Page 86, I was gratified to find that they hadn’t noticed it. Right there on the middle of the page, amid talk of Oglala Lakota politics and tribal sovereignty was my insertion.

“Is any proofreader actually reading this book before it gets printed?” I’d asked. “Didn’t think so.”

To read all of Joseph Stromberg’s article, click here.

Toolkit for Reporting on Gender and Human Rights Issues

Research Resource

On International Women’s Day we offer a resource on human rights issues and gender.  Although geared towards journalists as they report on such issues, the toolkit might also prove useful to researchers who which to make more of a splash in the public realm with the work they engage in.

From Internews
Respect for the rights of women and girls worldwide continues to lag behind that for the rights of men. Domestic and sexual violence, exploitation in the workforce, human trafficking and many other human rights abuses disproportionately affect women and girls.

When rights are violated, media can play a vital role in putting a stop to the abuses. Whatever the platform, media raise awareness about violations, inform people about their rights and encourage discussions about the role of governments, legal codes, and international mechanisms to safeguard those rights.

The Internews toolkit Speak Up, Speak Out: A Toolkit for Reporting on Human Rights Issues seeks to help journalists and other content creators learn the basics of reporting on women’s and other human rights issues.

Mapping Digital Media

Research Resource

The  “Media Program” initiative of the Open Society Foundation has a growing number of reports on the state of digital media in various countries.  A good resource for media scholars and globalization & development studies.

Three new reports have been released this month:

Mapping Digital Media: Digital Media, Conflict and Diasporas in the Horn of Africa

Mapping Digital Media: Albania

Mapping Digital Media: Hungary