Publishing

SMU Suspends Its University Press

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Southern Methodist University is suspending the operations of its university press -- a move that has angered faculty members and other supporters of the institution's publishing arm.

Step Too Far on Textbook Costs?

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With students, parents and politicians all frustrated by high textbook costs, recent years have seen many innovations as well as state and federal legislation. Much of the latter has focused on requirements that involve providing information so students and professors can make sound choices.

Blackboard's Bid to Galvanize E-Texts

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ORLANDO — In a series of moves that could give a boost to an e-textbook industry that has been treading water for years, Blackboard announced Wednesday that it is partnering with a major publisher and two major e-textbook vendors to make it easy for professors and students to assign and access e-textbooks and other digital materials directly through its popular learning-management system.

'The Calculus of Friendship'

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For 30 years, starting in the spring of 1977, Steven Strogatz maintained an occasional correspondence with his high school calculus teacher, Don Joffray. During that time, both Strogatz and Joffray experienced great changes in their lives -- from professional successes to family tragedies -- yet their letters focused almost entirely on mathematics, rarely mentioning personal matters at all.

'Piracy'

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Academe today is the site of myriad conflicts over intellectual property, including those of patent ownership, piracy of university press publications, and Google Books, to name just a few.

Scariest Forum on the Internet?

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Just two weeks after its Feb. 2 launch, The Chicago Manual of Style Online’s new discussion forum already features numerous discussions with titles like “ ‘Predecessor to’ or ‘predecessor of’ “? and “Worst online punctuation abuse?” But the most popular thread thus far is titled “I’m afraid to post here.” Its first message: “Could there be a more intimidating place to post?”

The New Twihards

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Call it "Cullen's Law": If it exists, there is a Twilight spin on it. No exceptions -- and that includes academe.

Yes, though it may run counter to the prevalent stereotype of Twilight's audience (14 years old, misguided, breathless), a growing number of scholars are eager to offer their perspectives on the hugely popular novels and the cultural phenomenon they've engendered.

Control of a Beloved Book

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Some in academic publishing think the latest twist in the story of Black Elk Speaks amounts to poetic justice. Others see a sign of just how vulnerable their industry is these days. In either case, this is the story of a book that is much loved and whose fate has been much debated.

Abandoning an Experiment

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Rice U. shuts down its digital university press -- going against recommendations of outside reviewers. With 2 other presses closing, some see growing vulnerability for small outfits.

All In the Delivery

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As publishers and analysts again wonder if e-books are about to take off, the growing popularity of rental options may play as important a role as technology.

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