Sunday, August 18, 2013

A reprint request request

In the last week I have received two requests to include things I have published  elsewhere in a forthcoming collection called Classical And Medieval Literary Criticism, a multi-volume thing. I'm not sure how to respond.  On the one hand, I'd rather things I have written are read rather than not, so the more accessible they are the better.  On the other, I wonder if the eventual publication will be like this one covering the nineteenth-century which apparently stretches to some 277 volumes, each of which costs more than $300.  (I imagine these are mostly accessed via an online subscription.)  I'm not sure the world needs this: the articles in question are not hard to access and were published in good journals which I would like people still to read and browse.  But on the other hand, if this makes the pieces a little more accessible than otherwise, why not?

So, should I just tick the box and agree to the reprint?  Given the apparent scale of this enterprise I imagine a lot of people have received similar requests.  Is there a general consensus?

Well, there is potentially one kind of benefit I might receive.  The permission form also includes a box where I can insert a request for a fee for them reprinting the piece.  It seems that the publishers must be making something from the sales of these collections.  So it seems odd to let them have the content for free.  Yes, when I published these articles the first time I did not receive a fee.  But then they were submitted to peer-reviewed specialist journals and I get something out of publishing in those.  Not money, but something nevertheless.  So charging is not something I usually do for this kind of publication, but in this case I wonder whether it would be appropriate.

Still, say I do agree to the reprint request.  Should I specify a fee and, if so, what amount?  Does anyone know the going rate for such things?

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