"Journalization" of Science Publishing: Periodicity of Book Formats at Springer, North-Holland, OUP, and Interscience, 1950-1965

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Abstract Summary
While recent scholarship on the history of science publishing has focused on scientific journals, self-confessed ‘journal publishers’ only came into being in the latter half of the 20th century. This poses the question how this shift towards periodicals as core products was brought about: What other formats were publishers invested in and how did these formats relate to periodical publishing? Why and how did this change? This paper explores publishers' perspectives on scientific publication formats in the mid-20th century as mediated by publishing adviser Paul Rosbaud (1896-1963), who worked for several publishers such as Springer in Germany, North-Holland in the Netherlands, Interscience in the U.S., Oxford University Press and Pergamon Press in the UK in the 1950s and 60s. During this period, Rosbaud, a trained physical chemist, was involved in a plethora of publication projects. This included the founding of new journals, the publishing of conference proceedings, textbook series and handbook literature. Most of these formats held some promise of periodicity to the publishers: Even if publications like textbooks and handbooks are not commonly associated with periodical publishing, they could exhibit such features from a sales and distribution point of view. Drawing on rich sources from publishers' archives and Rosbaud's lively correspondence with leading physicists as preserved in their personal papers, this paper traces negotiations between scientists and publishers in regard to an ongoing ‘journalization’ of science publishing in the mid-20th century.
Abstract ID :
Submission Type
Organized Session
Abstract Topic
Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Chronological Classification :
20th century, late
Self-Designated Keywords :
science publishing, publishing formats, journalization