The paper seeks to propose that librarians act to ensure the continued existence of small, specialized, and non‐profit publishers as avenues of intellectual and academic discourse in an era of growing publishing monopolies.
The paper reviews the profitability of commercial publishers and their plans for expansion in the digital book market, and contrasts this with the continued financial hardships of public‐welfare academic publishers.
The problems for non‐profit academic publishers will not be solved by simply “going digital”.
Librarians need to exclude small academic publishers from further burdening through collective collection development.
The paper reviews developments in digital book publication from the perspective of a 1997 conference on the “crisis” in academic publishing with current business practices and expansions by large publishing houses.
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