Save Ashgate

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Readers will be familiar with the decision by Ashgate Press’s parent company Informa (which also owns Taylor & Francis, Routledge, and Garland) to close its Burlington, VT office.  Though we can discuss the practice of having one reviewer for manuscripts, no one can contest that Ashgate has published stellar work in the early modern period.  Indeed, it has added voices and diversity, enriching and broadening an academic conversation that is tightly controlled.

More information on the decision can be found here at Inside Higher Ed, at Burlington’s own 7 Days, and on the website below.  I have not published with Ashgate myself, though I have served as a reader.  For the record, I am all for the practice of having two readers.  But I also think that Ashgate’s departure results in a loss of voices, diminishing the academy.

If you are interested in learning more, or in contributing to the petition, please see Rabia Gregory’s web site and petition.

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4 Responses to “Save Ashgate”

  1. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

    As the link Anna provides indicates, Rabia Gregory is seeking letters from Ashgate authors, and it would be good if those of us who can provide will do so.

    The timeline with which readers and authors found out about the closing of Ashgate’s Burlington, VT office left no significant time to respond–even though immediate reaction was swift and impressive in numbers. Frankly, the future of the UK office does not look promising either. Ashgate has served both early modern and fields of print culture, bibliography, book history so very well.

    These large commercial publishing firms that sell subscriptions via bundling have reaped significant profits, and Inform/Taylor & Francis is quite involved in this practice (the national (and perhaps global) headquarters for its academic journal operation is in Philadelphia, and seems to be growing). I am wondering if their purchase of Ashgate is an effort to expand their market via ebooks of monograph, offering a bundling subscription to academic libraries.

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  2. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

    Not a surprise at all, but Informa’s statement about “What It Does” and its “Group Strategy” is telling:

    At Informa, our ambition is to drive sustainable and profitable growth that supports consistent delivery of dividends, creating long-term value for our shareholders.

    We operate in the Knowledge & Information Economy, delivering products and services to commercial and academic customers through an array of media, from digital to print to face-to-face. Through this engagement, we share knowledge, insight and intelligence in specialty topics, and we provide connectivity to expert communities (Group Strategy).

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  3. Toni Bowers Says:

    Can anything be done now? Isn’t this a done deal already? So depressing..

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    • Eleanor Shevlin Says:

      It is far too late to do anything for Burlington. There may still be a chance to prevent the UK office from being eliminated, but I suspect that’s slim.

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