Publisher stiffs contributors to an encyclopedia of journalism history

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The H-Net forum for journalists is featuring a lively exchange about a publisher's decision not to pay for articles it commissioned for the Encyclopedia of American Journalism History.

The book is scheduled to be published in 2007 by Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis. James McGrath Morris reports that after he wrote several entries he was told that the publisher now is in need of fewer entries than anticipated after deciding to reduce the three-volume set to one volume.

"The company," Morris complains,"is making no effort to compensate for the work done. 'If you have already submitted entries that will not appear,' the editor writes, 'please note that all rights to these entries now revert to you; you are free to publish your work elsewhere.'" Comments Morris in derision:"As if one could sell a specialized commissioned encyclopedia article to, say, People magazine."

Contributors had been promised a few hundred dollars per entry.

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