A mid-summer’s roundup of academic publishing news

PUP director takes AAUP helm

The Association of American University Presses has a new president. At the close of the annual AAUP meeting in June, Princeton University Press Director Peter Dougherty assumed leadership of the 75-year-old association. Dougherty, who has directed PUP since 2005, spoke in his inaugural address about his vision for “the next chapter in university press publishing,” something he terms “the global university press.” The concept, Dougherty asserted, is about catalyzing community and anchoring “the far-ranging discussions that careen around the web.”

A glimpse of hope for University of Missouri Press?

Amid increased chatter about and a growing backlash against the planned closure of the University of Missouri Press comes a possible ray of light. In comments to an Inside Higher Ed essay discussing the financial plight of university presses, Sandy Thatcher, former emeritus director of Penn State University Press and a past-president of the Association of American University Presses, wrote that he has “been approached by the top administration at the University of Missouri system to discuss ideas about how to keep its press operating.” Thatcher noted that even if things work the press would operate “in a different mode.”

E-book price-fixing settlement facing challenges

The settlement that the U.S. Department of Justice and three of America’s largest publishing houses agreed to over alleged e-book price fixing still has hurdles to clear. Paid Content reports that the DoJ has been so flooded with comments on the proposed settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster that it was unable to publish them to its website by June 25, the original deadline for doing so. The department now says the comments and its responses will be posted simultaneously about two weeks before the date for final judgement on the settlement, August 3. Meanwhile, writing in The Atlantic last week, Public Affairs Books founder Peter Osnos noted that nine large independent book publishers are challenging the settlement because it will “adversely impact competition” by effectively banning publishers from using the agency pricing model on e-books. The 20-page comment was submitted jointly by Abrams Books, Chronicle Books, Grove/Atlantic Inc., Chicago Review Press, Inc., New Directions Publishing Corp., W.W. Norton & Company, Perseus Books Group (Osnos’s employer), Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, and Workman Publishing.

UPCC adds seven new publishers

Closer to home, Project MUSE announced last month that another seven publishers have joined the University Press Content Consortium. UPCC is the digital platform for scholarly books that launched at the beginning of the year. The new UPCC publishers are the University of Illinois Press, Louisiana State University Press, the University Press of Florida, RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Press, Les Presses de l’Université du Québec, Liberty Fund Books, and the African Books Collective. There are now 74 publishers with books on UPCC. MUSE reports that it has sold the collections into more than 100 libraries in ten countries and that the program has already produced more than a quarter of a million dollars for the participating nonprofit publishers.

American Imago celebrating its centenary

Imago first appeared in March 1912 in Vienna, Austria, where it was published until the Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938. The journal, founded by Sigmund Freud and coedited by Otto Rank and Hanns Sachs, was reborn in the United States in 1939 as American Imago and it remains the premier academic journal for cutting-edge exploration of Freud’s legacy on the humanities, social sciences, and arts. The current issue carries a preface by editor Louis Rose recounting the history and evolution of the journal.

The Scholarly BIN (Book Industry News) is a semi-regular roundup of news about and of interest to the scholarly publishing industry. Got a tip? Please send it along to Brendan Coyne.