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Re: European Research Council Mandate

"Books are not peer-reviewed." That's an astonishing statement. Every
book published by every university press that is a member of the
Association of American University Presses has to be peer-reviewed
because the guidelines of the AAUP require that member presses
maintain such a practice as a condition of membership.  Any scholar
with a book published by a university press would most certainly list
it under "peer-reviewed publications."

It may not be universally true that books published by commercial
publishers are peer-reviewed, simply because no such peer-review
practice is mandated for them as it is for university presses. But I
know that many commercial publishers do conduct some type of peer
review also (though perhaps with more of a focus on identifying
viable markets than on the niceties of scholarship). Others
representing such publishers on this list can speak for their own

P.S. Notice that I said "published" rather than "distributed." Not
all books distributed by presses are necessarily peer reviewed by the
press distributing them--as the recent imbroglio surrounding
Michigan's distribution of a book from Pluto Press vividly

>On Fri, 18 Jan 2008, Sandy Thatcher wrote:
>>  One would think, then, that the language of the ERC statement
>>could have been
>>  more precise: "peer-reviewed publications" is a general term that normally
>>  would be thought, in an academic context, to include all types of
>>  publications.
>Yes, all Green OA self-archiving mandates should specify that they
>apply to articles published in peer-reviewed journals and peer-reviewed
>congress proceedings, to be clear that they do not apply to books. But
>academics know this. Books are vetted for publishability, but they are
>not peer-reviewed. In an academic CV, one does not list one's books under
>"peer-reviewed publications."
>Stevan Harnad

Sanford G. Thatcher, Director
Penn State University Press
USB1, Suite C
820 N. University Drive
University Park, PA 16802-1003
e-mail: sgt3@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 867-2220
Fax: (814) 863-1408

"If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying."-John Ruskin (1865)