Friday, May 23, 2008

How international a publisher are you?

Liam Gallimore-Wells sent me the following set of questions and I wish to share my replies with you.

> What are the main qualities / motivations that makes Intellect’s international approach to publishing stand out from other competitors in the market place?

We are an academic publisher of original ideas related to popular culture. The issues we deal with as well as the academic world are international by nature. I doubt if any of our competitors could survive without being open to ideas from other countries. We for sure cannot see any way of doing without it!

> What would be the potential impact on your business without an openness to ideas/ energy / opinions from other countries?

We would not be able to survive as a publisher both economically as well as intellectually.

> What makes being based in Britain special / unique for the purposes of running a successful independent publishing house?

Britain is special as it has a long tradition of tolerance and a long history of international connectedness via the empire and the commonwealth. These connections make it more possible for a publisher of original thinking like us to prosper.

> Are there any drawbacks in terms of attracting / securing new readerships by being a publisher that’s open to printing diverse cross representations of authors’ ideas / thinking? If so, how can these drawbacks be turned into positives?

The main drawback is in marketing terms. If what you publish is new ideas then it is difficult to persuade people to pay for them when there are limited resources at the disposal of academics. Ideally we would like it to be possible to make our books free in order that finance is not a barrier for the dissemination of new ideas. Already in journal publishing the "Open Access" movement is making this idea a possibility by charging the publishing costs to the authors instead of the readers.

> As founder of Intellect, how has your own personal and professional path/journey complimented or informed your culturally inclusive approach to business?

I was born in Iran some fifty years ago, my family migrated to the UK some 30 years ago. It is inevitable that having been welcomed by the culture of British tolerance and inclusivety I would also reflect these qualities in my dealings with others.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Does it help to put “international” in the title of a journal?

A journal does not become such by being called “International journal of X”!

Both European Science Foundation and UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council define a journal as being international when it fits in either Category A or B below.

1) A journal is international (Categories A and B) when the following requirements are fulfilled in addition to those that apply to all journals:

• A genuine, varied and regular international cohort of contributors and readership
• Consistently high-quality scholarly content
• Broad consensus within the field concerning international status and visibility.

2) In addition, they will have some, though not necessarily all, of the following characteristics:

• Active international advisory board
• Open to unsolicited contributions
• Highly discriminating and selective in the choice of articles published
• Published on time and to an agreed schedule

The difference between category ‘A’ and category ‘B’ journals is likely to be the degree to which they conform to 1) above, and both the number of characteristics under 2) to which they conform as well as the degree of conformity. Generally, ‘A’ journals should conform to more of these characteristics, and to a greater extent, than ‘B’ journals.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What quotes need copyright permission?

As a publisher one of the most frequently questions I am asked by authors is:

How long does a quote needs to be before one needs to get copyright holder’s explicit permission for reproduction?

I used to reply 150 words, but I was wrong!

There is no answer that applies to all cases as it very much depends on the context.

The British Academy and The Publishers Association have published a very useful guide for academics to copyright entitled, Guidelines for researchers and publishers in the Humanities and Social Sciences (April 2008) where the following are taken from:

" Section 30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act states:

Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work or of a performance of a work, does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

Some previous publishing industry assumptions, for example that taking up to 400 words is ‘safe’, are now unreliable. So, for example, an extract of 250 words from James Joyce’s Ulysses (less than one thousandth of the entire work) was held to be substantial on the basis of their unique and distinctive quality. Similarly, an extract taken from the musical work ‘Colonel Bogey’, consisting of some 20 bars and lasting only 50 seconds, was held to be a substantial part, because it was that bit of the music which the public would immediately
recognise (the ‘hook’).

Generally speaking, to be fair dealing any excerpt or extract made from a copyright work must not be an appropriation of an entire work or of that part which would represent the substance of the author’s skill and labour.

Lengthy extracts from another work have been allowed in one case where the court was satisfied that the purpose was purely to enable criticism to be made effectively, rather than simply to provide the same information as the original work and to compete with it. In many cases, the effect of good criticism and review is to increase rather than diminish the market for a work.

Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of research for a non-commercial purpose does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement (emphasis added)."