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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Publishers

Mellen Press

Mellen Press

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Founded: 1972
Founded by: Herbert Richardson
Lewiston, New York USA
Titles/Circulation: 0


The Edwin Mellen Press is a Lewiston, New York-based publishing house founded by religion scholar Herbert Richardson. It describes itself as "a non-subsidy academic publisher of books in the humanities and social science", but has been described by others as a vanity press.

The Press has received criticism for taking legal action against its critics. In 1993 it brought a libel suit against the magazine Lingua Franca, which it lost. In 2012 it brought a similar suit for $3.5 million against McMaster University and a librarian hired there in 2011 over a blog posting he made in 2010. This suit has been criticized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers and others as an attempt to use legal action to silence criticism whose publication is an exercise of academic freedom. Created by Martha Reineke, a professor of religion at the University of Northern Iowa, a petition demanding the Press drop its lawsuits had garnered more than 3,100 names as of March 4, 2013. On that date, the Press announced that it had discontinued the court case against McMaster University and Dale Askey, but not the lawsuit against Askey personally. On February 5m, 2015, it announced that the second lawsuit as well had been settled"

On March 21, 2013, Edwin Mellen Press threatened legal action against The Society for Scholarly Publishing for hosting allegedly libelous blog posts and comments on The Scholarly Kitchen. The Scholarly Kitchen removed the content in question from its website on March 29, 2013. It restored the blog post, though not the comment alleged to be libellous, a few days later, and published a blog post explaining its actions. In April 2013, the Press threatened to take legal action against the interim library dean of the University of Utah, over blog posts he wrote criticising the Press for its legal action against Askey.

Earlier aspects of this controversy have been studied by sociologist Kenneth Westhues in his book The Envy of Excellence: Administrative Mobbing of High Achieving Professors, a title published by the Edwin Mellen Press.

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• Carl Yoke  • Carol Robinson 


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