Vanity Presses (or almost so)

August 11, 2007 at 11:27 am (Uncategorized)

I got the following from a friend:

If you google ‘peter lang’ and ‘vanity press’ then you’d find a lot of people labeling Lang as a vanity press. I wouldn’t say all books from Lang are bad. Some are good, or at least passable. I even got one of my most intriguing essays in a cultural studies collection published by Lang. Apparently, as they say, some fresh, provocative topics cannot find traditional publishers.

But PhD thesis? As long as you are willing to pay some HKD10000, or USD1500 (sometimes even more), you manage to have your so called “book” published. Yet the fact that it appears in print does not make it a real book. What other publishers would ask the author, having agreed to pay a considerable sum, to do all copy editing themselves and provide camera-ready manuscripts? Let’s face it: It is worse than printing the whole file from one’s own printer!

Who publish their PhD theses with Peter Lang? Well, some professors do — I mean, including those who are tenured. Admit it — Its because they could not manage to find better, legitimate alternatives. I feel quite ashamed, but I must say that quite a number of people in the Hong Kong academia are plain dumb, or lazy. They just do not mind hiring “scholars” who are worse than mediocre (hence do not qualify as true scholars…)


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