Publishing isn't doomed 3

May 1, 2008

I read "Publish and be ignored" with some amazement. It gives a highly selective, inaccurate picture of academic publishing in the UK. To talk of "the sad decline of British academic publishing" is a travesty. Academic publishing in the UK is a huge success story, as the figures quoted in the article suggest - 71 million units sold in 2007, of which 35 million were exported (4 per cent up on the equivalent figures for 2006). You wouldn't think this though from the tone of the article.

Part of the problem is that you seem to think that only two academic publishers are worth mentioning, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. What about the other major academic publishers - Taylor and Francis, Sage Publications and Wiley-Blackwell, to name but three?

Nor do you recognise the existence of a vibrant independent sector in academic and professional publishing. Speaking as one of them, I can assure you that "the sad decline of British academic publishing" is not at all what it is about.

Brian Willan, Director, Willan Publishing.

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