Feeding the Elephant

A joint project of H-Net and MSU Press.

Welcome to Feeding the Elephant, a place for conversations about scholarly communications in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. This is a place for anyone from the worlds of publishing, libraries, academic organizations, and academia, early career or established, affiliated or independent, who is deeply interested in the questions shaping scholarly communications today.

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Working with Your Editor: Requesting Letters of Support

A post from Feeding the Elephant: A Forum for Scholarly Communications


Acquiring editors play many roles in the publication process, and because the publishing process is entwined with the tenure and promotion process, editors are often asked to provide supporting documentation to their authors to share with tenure and promotion committees. This can be as simple as a paragraph confirming a book is under contract or in production, or as detailed as explaining a press’s acceptance rate and review process.

Racism and Protest Resource List

Dear subscribers,

In light of the ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Feeding the Elephant has compiled a list of resources (many freely accessible) from libraries, university presses, and scholars on the subjects of racism, racial justice, police brutality, and protest.

Racism and Protest Resources

In light of the ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Feeding the Elephant has compiled a list of resources (many freely accessible) from libraries, university presses, and scholars on the subjects of racism, racial justice, police brutality, and protest. At this time of anger and mourning, we would like to highlight efforts by the scholarly communications and publishing communities to reflect on how our work can contribute to understanding the present moment and encourage transformational change.

Guest Post: The University Press Vault: Leveraging Backlist Content

In the fall of 2019, Disney launched its new streaming service, Disney+. Disney opened its famed Vault to lovers of classic Disney, fans of newer Disney-affiliated producers, and stans for Baby Yoda. All at once, several decades’ worth of content became available—for a price. And, all at once, Disney earned massive revenue for content that it already owned.

Yes, Us Too: Sexism and Sexual Harassment in Scholarly Publishing


One of the characteristics of workplaces where sexual harassment and gender discrimination are common is a predominantly male staff, where the few women present may be seen as challenging gender norms just by being there.

Managing a career in publishing (Scholarly Kitchen)

Feeding the Elephant readers may be interested in a recent guest post from the Scholarly Kitchen called "Managing Your Career in Publishing," focusing on identifying and developing skills and professional networking through organizations like the Association of University Presses, the Association of American

Diversity and equity in publishing: Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute


The theme of the 2019 Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute was equity in scholarly communications. In addition to the summary on the website, check out #TriangleSCI on Twitter.

Guest Post: Why Do University Presses Publish Trade Books?

By Tony Sanfilippo

University presses were established to publish scholarly books—that’s our chief mission. But it’s not all we do. In this guest post, Ohio State University Press director Tony Sanfilippo talks about when and why university presses publish trade books—those intended for a general, non-specialist readership. --Catherine Cocks

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