Friday, October 22, 2004

Sheffield Phoenix Website

At least a couple of other bibliobloggers have already noticed this, but I wanted to mention it myself since David Clines asked me to. Sheffield Phoenix Press now have their slick new website up and running:

Sheffield Phoenix Press

They don't actually refer to "Sheffield Academic Press", on which some of those responsible for Sheffield Phoenix used to work, but they speak of "the best traditions of academic publishing from Sheffield". As some will know, Sheffield Academic Press itself is now part of T & T Clark International, along with the former T and T Clark and Trinity Press International. (I should probably declare my own interest as an employee of T & T Clark International, editing the JSNTS and thus any comments I make will be influenced by my own interests).

One positive element here is the commitment "to maintain an accurate and up-to-date website". This is going to be a challenge, but it is good to see a publisher taking this seriously, not least given some of the difficulties that the old Sheffield Academic Press website faced here. I would also like to comment briefly on the commitment "to offer a 50% discount for individual scholars and students on all hardback books, year round". This is something that is still offered by Trinity Press International but which is not adequately flagged up in publicity materials, and I have been in discussions about this.

Anyway, good luck to Sheffield Phoenix. One specific, and this carries on something that was originally promised by Sheffield Academic Press, the Journal for Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism is planned initially as an internet publication (see here), but then is to remove itself from the net and be solely in printed form. I can't help thinking that this is counter-intuitive. I can see the reasons for the alternative course, from print to internet publication, so that the initial print-run taken by libraries and scholars is expanded to ultimate open-access for all. But why would one want to go in the reverse direction, from internet publication to print? In some other contexts, the move from internet to print makes some sense, e.g. if the internet publication is a temporary try-out, work-in-progress piece that finds its way to print in its more perfect form, but this is not like that -- the articles are already done and dusted in their internet format. So this policy, pretty much unprecedented as far as I am aware, is a bit of a puzzle to me.

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