Integrity Note #1
I am proud of my integrity as a publisher (and in other roles), so from time to time I feel like making something clear that might not be.
The Social Responsibilities Round Table recently had an online meeting to discuss potential changes to the Newsletter editorial policies. I have heard some news about the situation behind it and read the meeting minutes, but I don’t feel like going into the issues right now (later I might write something about the current crisis in SRRT).
Right now I want to address one thing that an offline participant in the meeting, SRRT veteran Al Kagan, contributed to the discussion. Addressing a section of the proposed changes having to do with book reviews, Al wrote:
The proposed policy states that conflicts of interest should be avoided and full disclosure must be given. Full disclosure is important, but I don’t think conflicts of interest are important for us. For example, I have no problem in Rory reviewing one of his press’ new titles. I have no problem with a progressive author reviewing something that the person is involved in. In these kinds of cases, the expertise and passion for the issues are most important.
I want to state for the record that I have never written a review of a Litwin Books or Library Juice Press title for any publication and never will. I believe that to do so would be a conflict of interest and has to be avoided.
There have been a couple of blog posts out there that referred to our official description of a title as a review, but those were simply bloggers’ errors. We have never submitted a publisher’s description of a book to any venue for publication. These descriptions have appeared on the website and in the announcements we send out and post to this blog, but that is it. I never have and never will review one of our titles, and disagree strongly with Al about the appropriateness of doing that.
Since I am no longer an active member of SRRT and no longer on the SRRT listserv, I have not been privy to the discussion where the issue of book reviews has taken place. If anyone who has been a part of that discussion has any information about it that concerns Library Juice Press, I hope they will let me know.