ATG Book of the Week: Scholarship, Money, and Prose: Behind the Scenes at an Academic Journal

by | Jan 2, 2021 | 0 comments

Title: Scholarship, Money, and Prose: Behind the Scenes at an Academic Journal
Author: Michael Chibnik
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-0812252170, $49.95
Imprint: Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020

American Anthropologist is the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association, published quarterly, reaching more than 12,000 readers with each issue and representing four distinct subfields. The journal publishes articles that add to, integrate, synthesize, and interpret anthropological knowledge; commentaries and essays on issues of importance to the discipline; and reviews of books, films, sound recordings, and exhibits. From 2012 to 2016, Michael Chibnik was editor-in-chief of American Anthropologist. In Scholarship, Money, and Prose, he writes a candid account of the complex and challenging work entailed in its production.

Providing detailed ethnographic and historical descriptions of the operations of a major journal and behind-the-scenes anecdotes of his experiences, Chibnik makes transparent the work of an editor-in-chief. He reveals how he assembled diverse materials, assessed contradictory peer reviews of manuscripts submitted for publication, and collaborated with authors to improve the legibility and clarity of their articles. He also examines controversies that emerged from his columns on open access and biological anthropology and the inclusion of politically charged material in the journal.

Scholarship, Money, and Prose sheds light on two aspects of successful editing that are common to academic journals whatever their subject matter. The first task is to strike a balance among different theoretical perspectives and topical specialties. This pressure is particularly salient in a field like anthropology in which scholars differ greatly in the extent to which they adopt a scientific or humanistic perspective. Second, editors must attend carefully to the need to keep costs down and revenues up in an economic environment in which libraries are cutting subscriptions and publishers are considering the future sustainability of journals. Relevant to a wide range of disciplines, Scholarship, Money, and Prose serves as a window onto the past, present, and future of scholarly publishing.


Review

Scholarship, Money, and Prose is an engaging and informative narrative that conveys the sense of the job of an editor and its pivotal role in the production and circulation of scholarly work. Original and distinctive, the book is a singular exploration of an editorial career.”—Donald Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz

Michael Chibnik presents a provocative first-hand account of the ways and means by which, as editor of a flagship journal, he navigated the sometimes turbulent crosscurrents between his commitment to disciplinary coherence and the pragmatics of running the journal as a revenue-generating operation for a non-profit membership organization.”—Carol J. Greenhouse, Princeton University

“[A] great short book by Michael Chibnik, recounting his time as editor of American Anthropologist. It’s an approachable and well-organized explanation of how a big academic journal works, the kind of practical guide we need more of in higher education.”—Higher Education Strategy

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST NEWS

ATG Quirkies: 35 Home Library Ideas with Beautiful Bookshelf Designs

Admittedly, this post in Architectural Digest isn't that quirky. However, it does offer a number of uniquely personal ideas that showcase home book collections in ways that reflect their collector's personality. Photo: Robert C. Lautman Authors Kate Jerde and Lindsey...

ATG News & Announcements 1/20/21

ATG News & Announcements 1/20/21 Now Available: The Internet Archive Makes More Than 100 Years of Editor & Publisher Fully Accessible Online infoDOCKET reports that when Mike Blinder owner of Editor & Publisher magazine learned that "the Internet Archive...

ATG Conferences, Meetings and Webinars – 1/19/21

The Library at the Forefront of Scholarly Communications: Insights from Brandeis University Presented by: Ex Libris & Library JournalEvent Date and Time: Thursday, January 21, 2021 | 2:00-3:00 PM ET, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM PT How can libraries promote...

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST

Share This