American Libraries adds Gale quotes in without author’s knowledge

From a blog post by Patricia Hswe and Stewart Varner.

TL;DR: Patricia Hswe and I wrote an article for American Libraries and the editors added some quotes from a vendor talking about their products without telling us. We asked them to fix it and they said no.

I guess Gale Cengage paid the ALA for placement or something? I can’t think of any other reason the ALA would commission an article which has the hard requirement of including quotes from Gale PR staff in it?

Sounds me like one can’t trust the ALA to be objective representative of our profession, if they’re accepting payment in return for quoting vendor PR staff in articles in their publication that are ostensibly editorial.

What they’ll do different next time is make sure the authors are on the same page, or just use their own in-house authors instead of librarians. They’d rather use librarians because it makes the article look better, hey, that’s what Gale is (presumably) paying them for. Heck, they can probably get some librarians to go along with it too, alas.

I actually started to Google wondering “Hey, is American Libraries actually published by Gale Cengage? Because that would explain things…” before remembering “Wait a second, American Libraries is published by the ALA… aren’t they supposed to represent their members, not vendors?”

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2 Responses to American Libraries adds Gale quotes in without author’s knowledge

  1. Steve says:

    Some of their members ARE vendors…
    http://www.ala.org/membership/whoisala/corporate

  2. R. Williams says:

    As I’ve seen repeatedly pointed out by commentators, the American Libraries Magazine is an arm of the American Library Association rather than the American Librarians Association, however, I don’t see how this kind of editorial misrepresentation serves the libraries either.

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