Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Comparative Literature

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Comparative Literature

Article excerpt

George E. Rowe, Editor. Comparative Literature: University of Oregon, Eugene. December 2015: Volume 67, Number 4. 345-458pp.

This is a long-standing journal that has a very high for academia circulation rate, which is advertised in one of the first pages. It has a mail subscription list of 819, which means that the salary of a few editors can be covered by the release of a single issue at the institutional rate of $184. The individual rate is much lower at only $40, but both also include shipping charges of $10+. The high cost is necessary because even a major journal like this one can never break a 1,000-subscribers threshold because there simply aren't enough hard-core researchers in even a broad field like comparative literature or Ivy League schools that house them that are willing to subscribe to a journal over the decades it will be in print. On the bright side, this means that unlike one-issue books, journals keep selling those 819 copies per issue for three issues possible for 50-100+ years, and this adds up to... approximately 245,700 copies in 100 years, and if they're selling at $184, this is potentially $45,208,800 in revenue, and that's a total that would be pretty solid even for a bestselling romance novel. Of course, a romance novel can be written in a couple of weeks, and a hundred-year journal is composed of the content of over 300 novels. I am thinking about this because the acquisitions editor from Intellect told me at SAMLA this year that they make the bulk of their profits from journal publishing, and this is the reason they have a hundred or so different journals. Thinking about all this has encouraged me to start a second Anaphora journal this Spring, Cinematic Codes Review, so taking a closer look at the finances of academic publishing is both academically and financially enlightening.

The bulk of Comparative Literature is a more standard scholarly journal than American Literary Scholarship. It includes five essays and five book reviews. There are wide one-inch margins on all sides and the font throughout is smaller than in a typical fiction book. The reviews section has an even smaller font, somewhere between 8-10pt.

One of the reviews begins with a passage that is representative of the needlessly wordy style of the prose in this journal. …

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