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Amazon Comes to Academic Publishing

Amazon Comes to Academic Publishing
October 6, 2009

Amazon is famous for a lot of things, but foremost among them is the customer reviews that are appended to virtually every product it sells (the company went so far as to patent its approach). The company sells books, but it isn't a publisher, so it has an interest -- at least theoretically -- in letting its customers say what they don't like as well as what they like about specific titles. That's less obviously true about SAGE Publications, but that hasn't stopped the scholarly/professional publisher from adopting its own form of customer comment function on the Web pages for all of its books. Lecturers who receive inspection copies of SAGE books will have the option of submitting online comments or reviews that will appear on the titles' product page -- whether they are positive or negative, SAGE officials say. “If a review has constructive criticism, it has as much right to be there as a review that is heavily in favor of a title,” said Clive Parry, sales and marketing director. ("Inappropriate" reviews will come down, SAGE reports.) Based on the handful of comments that appear on SAGE titles such as Researching Health and Key Issues in Education Policy so far under the new system, the reviews definitely lean toward the positive.

 

 

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