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Author Topic: Facts About The Edwin Mellen Press  (Read 106961 times)
mouseman
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« Reply #225 on: February 07, 2013, 11:41:13 am »

Evaluation of Mellen press from U. P. Yors Esq. JD

I am most happy to give you a summary of the lawsuits I reviewed from your press.  I havenít kept a tally of the number of lawsuits you have filed, but they must total at least two dozen over the last decade or so.  I have always utilized the Legal Review form provided, and I would just this be equally as thorough as the processes I have used in reviewing law suits for other presses Iíve done reviews for.  These other presses include Tyndale House press, etc.  Other presses usually remunerate me in cash, but Mellen has always paid me with a check (if memory serves it didn't bounce).  I also have been given free rein to be as critical as I wish in my reviews, and indeed in one or two instances I recommended that the lawsuit not be pursued. All of the lawsuits have been complete, with the exception of note including finishing touches such as the names of the plaintiffs.  As a whole I have found the legal level of the lawsuits filed by Mellen to be on a par with the other presses I review for, and in a few instances even superior to these other lawsuits (especially Tyndale House).  To the best of my knowledge Mellen's lawyers have always taken my recommendations quite seriously.

You may use my statement as you deem appropriate, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
   
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weedinthewheat
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« Reply #226 on: February 07, 2013, 12:31:34 pm »

1985  Africa goes bankrupt and The Edwin Mellen Press is the only scholarly publisher to continue publishing books in African Studies. This has today made Mellen the largest publisher of non-white scholars of any academic press in North America.

Africa was responsible for funding all works in African Studies? How are the Greek historians holding up now that Greece is in financial ruin?
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #227 on: February 07, 2013, 12:46:39 pm »

1985  Africa goes bankrupt and The Edwin Mellen Press is the only scholarly publisher to continue publishing books in African Studies. This has today made Mellen the largest publisher of non-white scholars of any academic press in North America.

Africa was responsible for funding all works in African Studies? How are the Greek historians holding up now that Greece is in financial ruin?

This is actually the moment in the timeline that really hit me when I first was exploring the Mellen site last month.  For one thing, not all of "Africa" went "bankrupt."  For another, it's just false to say that Mellen was "the only scholarly publisher to continue publishing books in African Studies" after or circa 1985.  I will risk outing myself just slightly to say that I was in fact doing serious coursework in African history in 1986-92; there were quite a few presses publishing interesting works in the late 1980s, not to mention subsequently.

And I wonder what the statistical basis is for the statement that Mellen is today "the largest publisher of non-white scholars of any academic press in North America."  Are they carding prospective authors?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 12:47:29 pm by yellowtractor » Logged

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flotsam
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« Reply #228 on: February 07, 2013, 12:53:22 pm »

And I wonder what the statistical basis is for the statement that Mellen is today "the largest publisher of non-white scholars of any academic press in North America."  Are they carding prospective authors?
[/quote]

Yes, this is astonishing! (Oh, and where to continents file their bankruptcies, anyway?) I also agree with tenured_feminist that there is no way to salvage this. I now believe that it is not only unprofessional to publish with Edwin Mellen, but likely immoral.
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tortugaphd
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« Reply #229 on: February 07, 2013, 1:32:46 pm »

I'm not in African studies at all, but a close colleague and friend of mine is, so I know a bit about where the books are coming from through speaking with him.  From my understanding, isn't Indiana University Press considered the top publisher in the field?
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tuxedo_cat
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« Reply #230 on: February 07, 2013, 2:15:56 pm »

Maybe there is a parallel Mellen universe where certain things can simply be true.  And where you can get a PhD at Mellen University in. . . [propose your favorite fantasy Mellen degree here].

I'm still curious to know on how many occasions Mellen has sued individuals and institutions, and if they've ever won any of those cases.   They didn't win the case against Lingua Franca.
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santommaso
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« Reply #231 on: February 07, 2013, 2:33:38 pm »

The lawsuit:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz0QkOJbKc0mbVlBZmd3dUtDMmM/edit?usp=sharing
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tuxedo_cat
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« Reply #232 on: February 07, 2013, 2:46:07 pm »


Thank you for posting.  This is appalling.  Someone on an earlier thread suggested that the Chronicle do a piece on the whole business. 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 2:47:11 pm by tuxedo_cat » Logged

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baleful_regards
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« Reply #233 on: February 07, 2013, 2:46:52 pm »

I noted that several of the underlined and quoted phrases that Mellen is cherry picking were not from the author of the blog post, but of people who had published with Mellen leaving comments.

Does Mellen claim that the opinions of their own (unsatisfied) authors are also libelous?
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octave
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« Reply #234 on: February 07, 2013, 2:48:05 pm »

I'm still trying to understand this landmark from secretaryx's history lesson:

Quote
2005  Mellen publishes Richard II in four volumes. This is the first play in over 200 years to be convincingly attributed to Shakespeare.

Am I missing something?

It's almost as perplexing as the African studies bit, isn't it?  I'd be as clueless about what they're referring to as they evidently are (having lopped off the crucial words in the title, as they published it), if Marzipants hadn't explained what they're referring to here.

Delightful reading, that.
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tuxedo_cat
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« Reply #235 on: February 07, 2013, 2:51:25 pm »

I'm still trying to understand this landmark from secretaryx's history lesson:

Quote
2005  Mellen publishes Richard II in four volumes. This is the first play in over 200 years to be convincingly attributed to Shakespeare.

Am I missing something?

It's almost as perplexing as the African studies bit, isn't it?  I'd be as clueless about what they're referring to as they evidently are (having lopped off the crucial words in the title, as they published it), if Marzipants hadn't explained what they're referring to here.

Delightful reading, that.

If Mellen can sue people for saying things they believe not to be true, can they be held accountable for inflating their accomplishments and reputation on their own website?  Or is that just, "Oops, sorry:  I guess we edited that bit of our history with the same care that we edit our own books?"
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runwithscissors
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« Reply #236 on: February 07, 2013, 7:28:45 pm »

How is a librarian expressing a professional opinion about the quality of a company's written output any different to a food critic saying a restaurant's meat is too tough? Can anyone enlighten me as to the legal precedence?
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mouseman
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« Reply #237 on: February 07, 2013, 9:59:52 pm »

How is a librarian expressing a professional opinion about the quality of a company's written output any different to a food critic saying a restaurant's meat is too tough? Can anyone enlighten me as to the legal precedence?

There is a long history of rich persons and corporations suppressing any criticism by suing anybody who utters anything critical.  They don't need to win, they just need to drag things on until the poor individual cannot afford their lawyer anymore.  It is called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, and is more common now, as people post their criticism online in public forums.  Yes, people have been sued for negative reviews on places like Yelp, though in all fairness, at least some of the reviews could indeed be libel, and were more accusations than negative reviews.
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In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away -- -
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
                                                  Lewis Carroll
tee_bee
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« Reply #238 on: February 08, 2013, 1:36:45 pm »

Hey, the Mellen Press is (in)famous now! http://gawker.com/5982793/publisher-sues-college-librarian-for-saying-publisher-sucks

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yellowtractor
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« Reply #239 on: February 08, 2013, 1:41:03 pm »


Thank you for posting.  This is appalling.  Someone on an earlier thread suggested that the Chronicle do a piece on the whole business. 

The CHE will not run an investigative piece on Mellen for the same reason they did not and will not commission an investigative piece on the Oxford Round Table.

In other words, what Mouseman said.

One of our more experienced forumites is of the private opinion that Mellen will eventually go after the CHE in order to suppress this thread.  Given the record cited, this is possible.  It's one of the reasons I would much prefer to keep this thread civil and professional (which it has lately been, thanks).
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