Edwin Mellen Press

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The Edwin Mellen Press is a Lewiston, New York-based publishing house founded by religion scholar Herbert Richardson.[1] It describes itself as "a non-subsidy academic publisher of books in the humanities and social science",[2] but has been described by others as a vanity press.[3][4]

The Press has received criticism for taking legal action against its critics. In 1993 it brought a libel suit against the magazine Lingua Franca, which it lost.[5] In 2012 it brought a similar suit for $3.5 million against McMaster University and a librarian hired there in 2011 over a blog posting he made in 2010.[6] This suit has been criticized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers and others as an attempt to use legal action to silence criticism whose publication is an exercise of academic freedom.[3][7] Created by Martha Reineke, a professor of religion at the University of Northern Iowa, a petition demanding the Press drop its lawsuits had garnered more than 3,100 names as of March 4, 2013. On that date, the Press announced that it had discontinued the court case against McMaster University and Dale Askey,[8] but not the lawsuit against Askey personally.[9]

On March 21, 2013, Edwin Mellen Press threatened legal action against The Society for Scholarly Publishing for hosting allegedly libelous blog posts and comments on The Scholarly Kitchen.[10] The Scholarly Kitchen removed the content in question from its website on March 29, 2013. It restored the blog post, though not the comment alleged to be libellous, a few days later, and published a blog post explaining its actions.[11][12] In April 2013, the Press threatened to take legal action against the interim library dean of the University of Utah, over blog posts he wrote criticising the Press for its legal action against Askey.[13]

Earlier aspects of this controversy have been studied by sociologist Kenneth Westhues in his book The Envy of Excellence: Administrative Mobbing of High Achieving Professors, a title published by the Edwin Mellen Press.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Edwin Mellen Press Contact Details". Edwin Mellen Press. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  2. ^ "The Edwin Mellen Press". Edwin Mellen Press. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  3. ^ a b Flaherty, Colleen (8 February 2013). "Price of a Bad Review". Inside Higher Ed. 
  4. ^ LinguaFranca
  5. ^ Reid, Paul H., Jr. (2006). The Edwin Mellen Press Versus Lingua Franca: A Case Study in the Law of Libel. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 0773454462. 
  6. ^ The Edwin Mellen Press vs. Dale Askey and McMaster University (Ontario Superior Court 2012). Text
  7. ^ New, Jake (8 February 2013). "Edwin Mellen Press Sues University Librarian for Libel". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 
  8. ^ Ruf, Cory (4 March 2013). "Book publisher to drop lawsuit against McMaster librarian". CBC News. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Price, Gary (4 March 2013). "Edwin Mellen Press Drops Lawsuit Against McMaster Librarian Dale Askey". Infodocket. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Kent. "Posts Removed Because We’ve Received Letters From Edwin Mellen Press’ Attorney". The Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Price, Gary. "The Scholarly Kitchen Removes Posts Re: Edwin Mellen Publishers, Following Letter from Lawyer". InfoDocket. Library Journal. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Meyer, Carol Anne. "SSP Board Decides to Reinstate Removed Posts". The Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  13. ^ Ry Rivard, "Call in the Lawyers", Inside Higher Ed, 1 April 2013
  14. ^ Westhues, Kenneth (2006). The Envy of Excellence: Administrative Mobbing of High-Achieving Professors. Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 978-0773459793. 

External links[edit]