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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Library and Information Studies @ FIX University

LIS 591 - Publishing

LIS 591 - Publishing - Tentative Course Outline  

Course Description

This course examines the business of writing, editing, manufacturing, distributing, and marketing of books and other media. During the course, students will examine all types of publishing—scholarly, government, trade, professional, and personal in various formats. Students should acquire a critical understanding of publishing and be conversant with publishing issues and how they relate to librarianship.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will have a critical understanding of many of the conditions affecting:
  • the impact of digital media and the Internet on the publishing and media industries;
  • recent history of ownership changes in the publishing industry;
  • the impact on all forms of publishing of cross-media conglomerate ownership;
  • the different elements of the publisher’s role (e.g., selection, distribution, promotion, etc.)
  • the various stages of publication in different formats;
  • the range of materials published in digital and other formats, including traditional and emerging genres;
  • the role of government in the cultural industries, with particular reference to Canadian publishing;
  • the roles of large and small publishers, and university and regional presses, both nationally and internationally;
  • certain specialist forms of publishing (e.g., government publishing, the educational market, multi-lingual publishing, international publishing, etc.);
  • the relationship between the publishing industry, the book trade, and librarianship; and
  • the implications of digital publishing for publishers, booksellers, libraries, and readers.

Content areas

  • the history of publishing, and the introduction of information technology into the publishing process;
  • an overview of issues in changing media, infrastructure, institutions and public policy, from author to consumer (reader), to help librarians understand publishing trends and concerns
  • an assessment of the diverse roles of publishers as disseminators, gatekeepers, and marketers
  • an introduction to critical questions of changing ownership and management in the publishing industry, both nationally and internationally, in all types and forms of media
  • issues regarding the future of publishing, especially impacts of technology, economics, and political and cultural values, e.g., digital media, e-publishing, monopoly, concentration and convergence, content control and self-censorship, and book reviewing journals
  • sources of both current and retrospective information about the publishing industry
  • insights into publishing your own articles and books 

Themes and Issues in Publishing

• culture, technology, and economics
• publishing and ICTs
• advertising and marketing
• barriers to publishing
• public policy and government funding support
• national and regional publishing
• publishing specialties
• bookselling, chain bookstores, and online booksellers
• copyright, royalties, and public lending right
• open access movements
• ownership monopoly, consolidation, conglomeration, and convergence in book, serials, newspaper, broadcasting, and digital publishing
• global corporatization of publishing
• alternative and small press publishing
• Internet impacts on publishing, marketing, selling, searching, authorship, etc.
• publisher lists
• book reviews and book reviewing media
• gatekeeping, censorship, and freedom of expression
• commodification of knowledge and information
• international policies impacting on publishing, e.g., NAFTA, WTO, GATS, and TRIPS
• ethics in publishing
• occupational specializations in publishing
• writers, journalists, and creators—ethical principles and realities
• publisher associations and related associations, local, national, and international—goals and advocacy
• author associations, local, national, and international—goals, and advocacy
• resources in and about publishing


This course will be delivered via assigned readings, instructor-led discussions, in-class exercises, and students' preparation for the seminars and assignments.
Pre-requisites: LIS 501

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