Dale Askey is a librarian at McMaster University. In 2010, while working as a librarian at a university in Kansas, he published a blog post called The Curious Case of Edwin Mellen Press.
The blog post contained Mr. Askey’s professional opinion, as an academic librarian, of Edwin Mellen Press, an independent scholarly press established in 1972. According to the Edwin Mellen Press website, their sole criterion for publication is that a manuscript must make a contribution to scholarship.
In the blog post, which has since been removed, Mr. Askey said the publisher was a purveyor of “second-class scholarship.” Due to this statement and other content in the blog post, Mr. Askey and McMaster University are now facing a lawsuit launched by Edwin Mellen Press claiming a total of $4.5 million in damages. The publisher claims that Mr. Askey’s comments were false and defamatory. The claims have yet to be proven in court.
The Dalhousie University Libraries support Dale Askey and McMaster University in their defence against the Edwin Mellen Press libel suit, which is an affront to academic freedom. Librarians must be able to exercise and express professional judgment knowing the principles of intellectual freedom will be respected and upheld. The Dalhousie Libraries join our CARL, ARL and CLA colleagues in urging Edwin Mellen Press to drop the suit.
For more information about this lawsuit, read the CBC story.
UPDATE — March 4, 2013
Edwin Mellen Press is dropping at least one of its lawsuits against McMaster librarian Dale Askey. Read the CBC story here.