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July 04, 2003

Selling Out

The Chronicle of Higher Education site recently ran an illuminating article on how universities in the US decide the books students are required to buy. It seems to be an increasingly common practice for publishers to offer to "buy off" professors or offer lump sum payments to departments to guarantee the adoption of a book. It seems that the relatively low salaries - compared to Japan - paid to many faculty members is the major factor pushing them to accept such, some would say, Faustian arrangements. Even the major publishers use similar tactics, paying professors to review books in the hope that this will increase the likelihood of their adoption. Read the article.

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