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In a front-page article, The New York Times examines Lenore Romney—former First Lady of Michigan, and mother to Mitt—and explores how her experiences, views, and personality traits helped shape the current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. In doing so, the Times looks to Elly Peterson, one of the highest-ranking women in the Republican Party and a confidante to both Lenore and Governor George Romney, and the subject of the 2012 Michigan Notable Book award-winning…

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University of Michigan’s provost Phil Hanlon, along with his counterparts in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, recently expressed their support for open access in a piece for Inside Higher Ed. In their statement, the provosts of the eleven CIC institutions voiced their concerns about restrictive legislation like HR 3699 (the Research Works Act) and their disappointment in the academic publishers (Elsevier being perhaps the most talked about example, but by no means the only one)…

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How many of us in the world of libraries or publishing have heard friends or family members casually assert that “everything is online” or that “print books are obsolete” thanks to their newly acquired Kindle or Nook? If you’ve ever found yourself struggling for an incisive response, this post (“Why Your Printed Book Isn’t an E-Book [Yet]“) from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca blog lays out the issues quite nicely. According to Carol…

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Sara Pugach, author of Africa in Translation: A History of Colonial Linguistics in Germany and Beyond, 1814-1945, guest blogs about the stereotypes that continue to pervade discussions about Africa and the conflicts taking place on the continent. In today’s world, people often like to believe that we have gotten beyond the racial stereotyping and prejudices that blighted the past and led to atrocities like the Holocaust.  Yet the stereotypes and prejudices of the past have…

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To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we bring you a smattering of poetry, puzzles, and song for sweethearts! One of my favorites is a poem printed on a wreath of heart-shaped knots, from Recreation for ingenious head-peeces, or, A pleasant grove for their wits to walk in of epigrams 700, epitaphs 200, fancies a number, fantasticks abundance : with their addition, multiplication, and division:  The poem reads: TRUE love is a pretious pleasure, Rich delight unvalu’d treasure, Two…

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Over the holiday break, the University of Michigan Library installed a new, state-of-the-art Espresso Book Machine (EBM). The new machine replaces our previous 1.5 beta machine, and offers several important advantages, including increased printing speed (from 33 ppm to 110 ppm), higher quality output, local service support, the ability to bind higher page-count volumes, and fewer unusable or waste books. The machine, which is located on the first floor of the Shapiro Library near the…

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Stephen T. Ziliak, co-author with Deirdre n. McCloskey of The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives, is the subject of a Chicago Magazine blog post on “Guinness beer and Guinnessometrics.” The Chicago piece summarizes Ziliak’s paper in the Journal of Wine Economics, which focuses on the work on an early 20th-century chemist-turned-brewer at Guinness. After a discussion of the experiments undertaken by William Sealy Gosset–aka “Student”–testing the…

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The first month of 2012 has been a busy one for MPublishing, with new staff members, new issues released, and a new journal (to be announced). Philosophy & Theory in Biology, open access journal in biological philosophy and theory, published the first paper in volume four:  “The Paradox of Sexual Reproduction and the Levels of Selection: Can Sociobiology Shed a Light?” by Joachim Dagg. 35 new articles were added to The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project, including…

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Mathematician Timothy Gowers recently started a project to allow academics to publicly pledge that they will not publish in Elsevier journals, serve as referees, or do editorial work for Elsevier publications. The list of signatures has grown quickly, including a number of individuals affiliated with the University of Michigan. Gowers explains his reasoning for the project in a detailed blog post. The boycott has also received coverage in Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and…

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