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From: Zapopan Martin Muela-Meza <zapopanmuela AT>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 10:22:31 -0800 (PST)

"Boehm, Steffen" <steffen AT ESSEX.AC.UK> wrote: Date:         
Thu, 14 Feb 2008 13:59:00 -0000
From:         "Boehm, Steffen" <steffen AT ESSEX.AC.UK>

         p.MsoNormal  {margin-left:37.5pt;}    Dear All, 


  Please find below a call for papers for a special issue of the open access 
journal ephemera on the Political Economy of Academic Journal Publishing 
(deadline November 1, 2008). If you are aware of colleagues with a particular 
interest in this topic please could you forward this call for papers to them. 
 Best regards, 
 Craig Prichard and Steffen Böhm

 The Political Economy of Academic Journal Publishing
 Call for Papers & Proposal for a Special Issue of ephemera: theory & 
politics in organization ( to be edited by
 Craig Prichard & Steffen Böhm 
 ‘Publish or perish’, that famous diktat, is without doubt the central, 
pervasive and unassailable logic governing most academic work in the current 
period. The central figure, the one around which this decree currently 
revolves, is, of course, the academic journal article. While the book and 
perhaps the lecture remain important in some locations, the journal article has 
become the core currency and the very measure by which academic jobs, careers, 
reputations and identities are made and traded. 
 Yet despite all the hours congealed into ‘the article’, and the years spent 
perfecting the craft of writing for journal publications, many of us know very 
little about the industry that surrounds our work and to which we contribute so 
much. Of course, we may recall certain events: Some will have noted the sale, 
for nearly US$1 billion, of Blackwell’s 875-strong journal collection to US 
company Wiley in late 2006. Others will be aware that they can now, if they so 
wish, purchase their already published papers as individual downloads on There will be some for whom internet-based open access journals 
(such as ephemera) or online repositories are now the natural home of their 
written academic work. There may be others whom have confronted the crisis that 
surrounds journal subscription pricing and are seeing the demise of library 
journal collections in their university libraries. And there may be a few among 
us who recognize those journals and publishers that
 feature in Ted Bergstrom’s hall of shame for the most expensive journals 
currently published ( But for all those that 
recognize such events and processes there are many more for whom such events 
have ‘taken a while to get our attention’, as Ron Kirby, the University of 
California mathematician who led the editorial revolt against Reed Elsevier’s 
pricing strategy at the journal Topography, said recently. 
 This special issue is an invitation to begin to change that. It is a call for 
contributions that directly and critically explore the dynamics, problems, 
tensions, and issues that surround the political economy of academic journal 
publishing. Part of this is an invitation to explore alternative ways of 
organizing the production of academic work, particularly the theory, politics 
and organization of open access publishing, which is, perhaps, the most 
promising initiative to challenge corporate forms of journal publishing today. 
This exploration of alternatives is an acknowledgement that the writer and 
academic author could be regarded, at various moments, as agent, challenger and 
also victim of hegemonic regimes. We invite inter-disciplinary contributions 
from around the world and particularly welcome submissions from countries of 
the Global South, which have seen particular growth of open access publishing 
 Possible topics include (this is not an exhaustive list):
 - Political economy of open access publishing
 - Academic publishing and the knowledge society
 - How to organize an open access journal?
 - Political economy of corporate and university press publishing
 - The place of journal publishing in the overall apparatus of academic 
 - Historical perspectives of academic journal publishing
 - The hegemony of UK/US publishing & referencing and its global economy 
 - Issues of censorship in the process of publishing
 - Issues of inclusion/exclusion in journal publishing
 - Academic publishing in the Global South
 - Desires and identities connected to journal publishing
 - The public sphere and journal publishing: Who do we really reach?
 - The role of journal publishing in the setup and maintenance of professions 
and disciplines 
 - Cases of open access publishing
 - The organisation of open access repositories
 - Case histories of open access repositories
 - Copyright vs Copyleft
 - Publishing and language: the hegemony of English
 - Intellectual property and the impact on academic publishing
 - What is a journal’s ‘impact’ and how to measure it?
 - The specific role of ephemera: theory & politics in organization in the 
world of journal publishing and potential ‘alternative impact factor 
 - Academic evaluation and performance measurement systems (such as the RAE in 
the UK) 
 - Publishing outside academia
 Full papers should be submitted to the special issue editors via email by 1 
November  2008. Papers should be between 5000 and 9000 words; multimedia work 
is welcome. All submissions should follow ephemera’s submission guidelines: All relevant submissions will 
undergo a double blind review process. The special issue is scheduled to be 
published in late 2009. 
 Special issue editors:
 Craig Prichard 
 Tari Whakahaere Kaipakihi , 
 Te Kunenga Ki Purehuroa
 Pouaka Motuhake 11-222
 Papaioea, Aotearoa
 Department of Management 214
 Massey University, Private Bag 11-222
 Palmerston North, New Zealand
 Phone: +64 (0) 6 356-9099 ext. 2244 
 Email: c.prichard AT 
 Steffen Böhm
 School of Accounting, Finance and Management
 University of Essex
 Wivenhoe Park
 Colchester CO4 3SQ UK
 Phone: +44 (0) 1206 87 3843
 Email: steffen AT

Zapopan Martín Muela-Meza
Doctoral Candidate
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
< >

"Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably 
control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, 
education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite 
impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to 
make intelligent use of his political rights."

--Albert Einstein (1949). "Why Socialism?" Monthly Review.
< >
Source: Einstein, A. (2005). Ideas and opinions. London: A Condor Book; 
Souvenir Press (Educational and Academic), p. 157.
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