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Publish Or Perish

Your article on the origins of "publish or perish" (E. Garfield, The Scientist, June 10, 1996, page 11) presented an interesting challenge. In an effort to help track down the origin, I consulted Eric Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 8th ed. (Paul Beale, ed., New York, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984). Paul Beale was Partridge's (1894-1979) long-time colleague. What I found was not particularly helpful, but it did have an interesting viewpoint: "Public[sic]-or-peris

John Cook

Your article on the origins of "publish or perish" (E. Garfield, The Scientist, June 10, 1996, page 11) presented an interesting challenge. In an effort to help track down the origin, I consulted Eric Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 8th ed. (Paul Beale, ed., New York, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984). Paul Beale was Partridge's (1894-1979) long-time colleague. What I found was not particularly helpful, but it did have an interesting viewpoint:

"Public[sic]-or-perish syndrome, the. 'A disease that afflicts career-minded academics-and helps to keep librarians in business' (P.B. 1975): the world of learning, and mostly derisive: since late 1960s, prob. ex U.S. A practice, an attitude, not prevalent at the best universities. The term is, in part, a gibe at syndrome itself."

"P.B. 1975" refers to Paul Beale, described on page xxvi as "editor of this present Dictionary. Own contributions; and...

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