library wars


McMaster University and its librarian sued for millions over blog post

McMaster University and its associate librarian Dale Askey are being sued for millions by a British and New York academic publishing house that didn’t like Askey’s blog post critiquing their publications. Askey posted his comments about Edwin Mellon Press in 2010 while working at Kansas State University. The publisher’s statement of claim says Askey called them a “vanity press.” In fact, Askey says his blog post read: “No, they are not technically a vanity publisher since apparently they earn enough from libraries with their egregiously high prices to avoid asking for subsidies from authors.” He also wrote there were “few, if any, noted scholars working as series editors,” reports the Inside Higher Ed website. The company denies those allegations and filed suit in Ontario Superior Court. It seeks $3.5 million from McMaster, calling it “vicariously liable” for his statements. It is also claims more than $1 million in damages in a second suit filed against Askey alone. James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, called Mellen’s move a “deeply concerning” attempt to silence Askey’s academic free speech.