Thursday, September 2, 2010

Journal Prices and Seminaries

Not long ago I read with interest, Meredith Farkas' blog on "Is Ebsco the New Evil Empire?" I think this week, Sage Publications has maybe topped Ebsco for this prize position for theological librarians. A thread on the ATLANTIS listserv, which is comprised of theological librarians, has lamented the takeover (note: the Sage envelope containing the bad news to each of us actually says "takeover letter") of two journals this week by Sage resulting in prices being raised--double for one and triple for another. I not only lament the raising of prices, but a certain lack of understanding of mission. (This is not Sage's fault--their mission is to make money.) In my paper at ATLA (which, btw, is available if you are a member as a pre-print on the ATLA Sharepoint site) I said that journal prices rising in all disciplines is unsustainable, but for theology and religion there is another dimension--if we are supposed to be bringing the reign of God (and I think scholars do that in one way by their writing activities), then can it be bringing that reign to sell out to publishers like Sage which make their publications completely unaffordable to many institutions that would love to have access to these publications? It seems to me like hiding one's light under a bushel!

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