Is journal editing a profession? If so, it is not – and should not be – a traditional one, like law or medicine. Rather, it should be a profession open to innovation and talent and transparent to those who interact with it as authors, subscribers, and readers. This article, which began as the keynote address at the 2006 meeting of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, examines the characteristics of the professions, the ways they are – and are not – appropriate to journal editing, and some possibilities for increasing professionalism without encumbering ourselves with its less desirable features.
It is often assumed that African scholarly publishing is poorly resourced and unappealing to authors, both African and otherwise. While the resource constraints are real, is it true that authors are avoiding African publishers in favour of those based in the North? An exploratory study was undertaken to assess the demand for scholarly publishers based in South Africa but serving the continent as a whole. The qualitative survey, though not based on a large and widely generalizable sample, indicates some clear trends and, in so doing, explodes the myth of the African publisher as the site of last resort for academic authors. Rather, the results show broad support for locally based publishers, and many respondents expressed a need for far more publishers, wherever they may be based. Certain guidelines are derived from this survey to indicate trends for scholarly publishers working in this region.
Over the past decade, higher education in China has been transformed from an elite, highly selective structure into a system of mass education, creating an enormous demand for various kinds of college and university textbooks. Although the competition in China’s textbook publishing industry is fierce, and university presses are relatively weak compared with other publishing enterprises and companies, they have some advantages in college textbook publishing. Taking Zhejiang University Press as an example, this article describes the strategies adopted by Chinese university presses to seize the opportunities presented by the rapid development of higher education.
Within the scholarly communication system, historical scholarship represents a burgeoning and evolving intellectual topography. This discussion attempts to frame historical research and scholarship within a contextual disciplinary environment where specialization and the use of historical periodization and discrete themes reflect necessary conditions of historical research and scholarship. Normative practice and conditions animating the academic historical enterprise generate and maintain the drive to specialization appearing in various publication venues. Historians necessarily hone specific periods, themes, or orientations, addressing historiographic conditions that lie at the centre of historical research and scholarship. The drive toward highly articulated monographs, journals, and reference publications speaks to this particular phenomenon in historical research and scholarship. The logic animating graduate history education and training and the momentum toward specialization, as well as hyper-specialization, exert influence, if not pressure, upon the scholarly publication system. Historians concentrating on highly honed and articulated research endeavour to disseminate their scholarship in venues that address their intellectual and historiographic orientations and preoccupations. The disciplinary and intellectual morphology of historical research and scholarly publication cannot be adequately appreciated without considering these phenomena.
The author considers the various types of editors and copy editors presented in fiction: the conscientious, the compulsive, the stereotypical, the Cinderellas, the ruthless, the arrogant, and the power-abusers.
It is not possible to blame ‘technology’ for the inability of many academics to write well, because most of today’s faculty were trained before the advent of cell phones and computers. Bad writing is, as Lindsay Waters suggest in Enemies of Promise: Publishing, Perishing, and the Eclipse of Scholarship, partly caused by too much administrative pressure for too much output. Editors are caught in the middle, between administrators trying to control costs and academics trying to get published. The author offers practical suggestions for academic writers to improve their writing and so save time and money on the part of editors and administrators.
Three hundred randomly selected references collected from the Journal of Hand Surgery (American Volume), the Journal of Hand Surgery (British and European Volume), and the British Journal of Plastic Surgery, spanning the years 1998 to 2002, were evaluated for citation errors. Forty-four citations across all journals contained errors (14.6 per cent). None of the errors made the cited article impossible to retrieve. Ten of the forty-four inaccuracies were incorrect final page numbers.