Academic Knowledge Production and University Presses: Some Random Thoughts

Wendi Arant Kaspar

Abstract

Ever since the news about Stanford’s University Press having a catastrophic budget cut came out, I have been contemplating scholarly publishing and its purpose. Perhaps this is because the “crisis” around university presses is very similar to the rhetoric that has surrounded academic libraries since web browsers hit higher education—rhetoric that at any one time has both utopian and apocalyptic threads. As a journal editor, my interest in scholarly publishing is more than passing, although as much as I am committed to these efforts, it is not the livelihood for me that librarianship is and, as such, my stake in publishing is not a question of survival. However, as a steward of a scholarly journal, as an author of professional publications, and as an educator of information literacy and scholarly methods, I do have some thoughts I would like to share about what is happening with university presses, the impact on higher education, and on knowledge dissemination.

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