From Prison Uniforms to Graduation Robes

Two new books about the Bard Prison Initiative argue for the wisdom of offering liberal-arts-degree programs in prisons.



Selected New Books on Higher Education

The latest topics include hookup culture on Catholic campuses and the influence of the German model on the rise of American research universities.


Elsevier’s New Patent for Online Peer Review Throws a Scare Into Open-Source Advocates

The giant journal company said it was merely protecting its own proprietary system. But a wave of critics on social media said they were suspicious of its motives.



Zika Moves Quickly, and Scientists Fear That Journals Aren't Keeping Pace

It typically takes months to shepherd a piece through the peer-review process at top publications. What should scholars do when their work examines how an outbreak might spread within days?



The U. of Missouri Press Almost Closed 4 Years Ago. Here’s How It Bounced Back.

Aided by a public outcry, the publisher thwarted a plan to shut it down. It’s now on firmer footing, but like other university presses, it is still weathering the challenges of a shifting market.



As Free Textbooks Go Mainstream, Advocate Says Colleges Should Do More to Support Them

Hal Plotkin, a longtime supporter of open educational resources, says efforts like the Zero Textbook Cost degree could save students billions of dollars.



The U. of California’s Open-Access Promise Hits a Snag: The Faculty

Three years after the university system’s Academic Senate approved a bold plan to make faculty research freely available, only 25 percent of professors are putting their papers in a state-created repository.



‘Fem Fog’ Fallout: Scholars Wrestle With Honoring a Colleague Tarnished by a Blog Post

Well before Allen J. Frantzen’s comments on feminism were widely condemned by fellow medievalists, scholars started compiling a work celebrating his career. Five years later, some are getting cold feet.


What Do the Authors of Sci-Hub’s Most-Downloaded Articles Think About Sci-Hub?

We spoke with a few of them, and for the most part, they had no problem with being popular on the piracy network.



Online Piracy of Academic Materials Extends to Scholarly Books

A website called Library Genesis, apparently a sister site to the notorious Sci-Hub, has ripped off thousands of university-press titles.



Are Preprints Becoming the New Norm in Biology? Not So Fast

Superstar biologists have grabbed headlines by putting their work directly online. For the rank and file, though, the system still runs on peer review.



Paper Praising ‘Creator’ Puts Fear of God in Open-Access Giant

Under fire from critics, PLOS ONE retracted the article and promised a "deep dive" into its article-approval process. But some say it may have overreacted.



As an Open-Access Megajournal Cedes Some Ground, a Movement Gathers Steam

Last year PLOS ONE published 10 percent fewer papers than it did two years ago. Its editors say that’s a sign that more major publishers are taking open-access publications seriously.


In Fight Over Academic Publishing House, Fear of Corporate Values

The takeover of a family-run press by an industry giant has its authors worried anew about consolidation in scholarly publishing.


What Open-Access Publishing Actually Costs

Nonprofit publishers describe what they pay to create "free" academic journals.



What a Mass Exodus at a Linguistics Journal Means for Scholarly Publishing

All the editors and their entire editorial board resigned after Elsevier refused to make Lingua fully open access and to transfer ownership of the 66-year-old journal to them.



The Journal That Couldn't Stop Citing Itself

A criminology journal’s meteoric rise in impact factor seemed like a Cinderella story. But a researcher now demonstrates how easy it is for publications to pump up their own citation stats.


Ever Wondered What Thomas Pynchon Thinks About Accreditation?

Of course you haven’t. But Cow Country — a newish novel that one critic thought was secretly written by the famous author — takes on the subject.



New Leaders Bring Marketing Chops to University Presses

Most directors used to come from the editorial ranks. No longer, as survive-and-thrive skills are ever more crucial.



Librarians Leap to the Aid of Researchers Whose Funding Will Soon Depend on Open Access

Federal agencies are putting new rules into effect this fall, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.


Universities Yelp as Elsevier Pulls Back on Free Access

As more institutions create repositories of their own researchers’ work, the publisher is telling them they must respect waiting periods before allowing free access to Elsevier-owned content.


‘Charlie Hebdo’ Massacre Prompts New Criticism of 2009 Episode at Yale

The university’s press riled advocates of academic freedom by removing cartoons of Muhammad from a scholarly book.



MIT Press and a Rebellious Journal Will Part Ways

The deal The Baffler struck with the press in 2011 helped keep the publication alive. Now the journal has negotiated an exit.