Publishing Industry Mergers: They May Be Bad For Science

Scholarly and academic publishing is now in a state of unprecedented turmoil because of mergers and takeovers. Harper & Row is now linked with Collins (UK); D. Reidel in Europe has joined with Kluwer British publisher Longman has absorbed Addison-Wesley. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich fought off a raid by Robert Maxwell, but went into debt in the process and was forced to lay off staff. Such events are relatively new in the publishing world. Until World War II, science publishing was very much a

Simon Mitton
May 29, 1988

Scholarly and academic publishing is now in a state of unprecedented turmoil because of mergers and takeovers. Harper & Row is now linked with Collins (UK); D. Reidel in Europe has joined with Kluwer British publisher Longman has absorbed Addison-Wesley. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich fought off a raid by Robert Maxwell, but went into debt in the process and was forced to lay off staff.

Such events are relatively new in the publishing world. Until World War II, science publishing was very much a national affair. Books moved from one market to another through agency arrangements. The very best books got translated into other languages. Then, improved communications encouraged pubushers to set up their own branches overseas and expand markets in specific areas. Among United States publishers, for example, McGraw-Hill and Wiley became major international purveyors of books on science, technology, and medicine, while in Europe, ier flourished in the Netherlands...