Edited on 3/19/12 to add: Site statistics tell me that this post has been linked to at another blog, so I just wanted to add, for any reader who came here via there, that I don't actually agree with the commentary that was made there with respect to my post. Yes, I think that this practice is outrageous and rather akin to usury. Yes, I reserve special ire for Brill and Routledge/T&F because their costs are so unspeakably outrageous. But I don't actually either predict or hope for the downfall of the publishing house or the academic press as institutions, even and particularly university presses in spite of their recent trend towards publishing fewer books in any given year. I think that the editorial process is incredibly valuable and can't easily be replicated in a self-publishing environment. And I think that the rise of digital humanities is really exciting, but I also know, because I do know a bunch of really interesting people doing work in this area, that that's not simply going to take the form of digitization of scholarly monographs; it's a different thing entirely -- a completely different conception of how to present information -- that is still going to leave room for the traditional academic book. Plus just as a rule, I don't generally condone wanton name-calling. Re-edited on 4/1/12: And if I were going to engage in extended name-calling of other people in the profession, at a minimum I'd do it with a more extensive vocabulary.
I woke up this morning to notification that I have the option of approving open access for a short essay that I have forthcoming. Open access is great, since many academic journals are archived digitally in a way that requires affiliation with an institution that subscribes to them for access; and since many university libraries are cutting back on their subscription budges and many academics just don't have jobs, the more open access, the better, really. I was slightly aware that there is frequently a cost to the author to make his or her work available freely online, so with a bit of trepidation, I clicked on the link in the email, which took me to the following screen.
(Click to enlarge to a readable size.)
That there would be a cost to me is an understatement, as it turns out. $3,250?!