The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Hi -

Want to add my two bits here - that for people like myself, who are not 
university affiliated, prices like these just keep the books out of our 
ken altogether. The same goes for conference fees (unless they're waived, 
which is a rarity), etc. The two tiered system is in place, here and now, 
and a lot of us are tired of back-peddling to get the latest findings in 
research, JSTOR, etc. This creates an academic enclave that parallels 
those described by Davis re: homeowners associations, etc. You pay your 
dues, literally, or remain ignorant and end up always - always - watching 
the dialog occur elsewhere.

Personally, I'm disgusted by these prices; I wish there were waivers for 
those of us in the pale, below the poverty line, whatever. A 'Handbook' is 
supposed to be useful, almost in the sense of fieldwork - but whose field-

- Alan

On Wed, 9 Mar 2011, Charles Ess wrote:

> Hi Nat,
> yeah, unhappy that - also happened with our AoIR friends and colleagues
> Lisbeth Klastrup, Jeremy Hunsinger, and Matthew Allen, whose _International
> Handbook of Internet Research_ now lists at $260.00 on Amazon, with a
> discount down to 213.20.
> Clearly, very few researchers, much less students will buy either of these
> in the hardcover.  So far as I can tell, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and
> others are following what seems to be a standard practice of trying to get
> maximum return on a first hardcover printing that mostly libraries will buy
> up; they will then make available a softcover edition at a lower price.
> (Interestingly, Peter Lang - including the Digital Formation series edited
> by Steve Jones - seems to be following a different practice, at least with
> regard to another book forthcoming, _ Trust and Virtual Worlds: Contemporary
> Perspectives_, co-edited with May Thorseth, priced at $34.95 for the
> paperback.  Perhaps Steve will have some helpful light to shed on these
> matters as well?)
> I would be the first to point out that "standard practice" does not of
> itself equal "right" or "justified".  Rather, along with more or less every
> other scholarly organization, we've debated the publishers vs. open source
> approaches for years, along with the theoretical and practical matters of
> print-based notions of copyright in a digital age, etc.  FWIW, I think both
> have important roles and places, along with serious deficits and problems.
> A good friend and colleague, in particular, is consistently reminding me of
> how prices like these keep important, perhaps essential scholarship out of
> the libraries and hands of colleagues and students in developing countries,
> something I'm certainly unhappy about.  At the same time, of course, there
> are also, um, enterprising workarounds, some more legal than others (imagine
> my pleasure at discovering that one of my books has been made freely
> available as a bitTorrent download ... smile).
> Perhaps AoIR and AoIRists can come up with better solutions to the current
> conundrums? I'd be happy to see that, of course.
> In the meantime, I also hope that these critical concerns won't diminish our
> sense of shared pleasure in the scholarly accomplishments and contributions
> made by the contributors to the volume.
> cheers,
> - charles
> Institut for Informations- og Medievidenskab
> Helsingforsgade 14
> 8200 ?rhus N.
> Denmark
> mail: <>
> tel: (+45) 8942 9250
> Professor, Philosophy and Religion
> Drury University, Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
> Exemplary persons seek harmony, not sameness. -- Analects 13.23
> On 3/8/11 9:40 PM, "Nathaniel Poor" <> wrote:
>> Charles-
>> The Amazon link you sent lists the book at $US 200 (well ok $199.95 and then a
>> discount, but $200).
>> Is that accurate?
>> I know that's the hardcover, but if that's the price how is anyone going to
>> buy it?
>> Even the Kindle edition is $150.
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