The Newsletter 56 Spring 2011

Asian book series as global currency

Paul van der VeldeManon Osseweijer

This ICAS supplement to The Newsletter # 56 stands in a tradition of supplements devoted to both the ICAS Book Prize (IBP) and to publishing in relation to Asian Studies: ‘Publishing in Asian Studies’ (ICAS 4/2005); ‘Academic Publishing Today’ (ICAS 5/2007) and ‘Choice in Academic Publishing’ (ICAS 6/2009).

This supplement focuses on book series in the field of Asian studies.

While going through the nearly 200 books submitted for the IBP 2011 in August of last year, we were struck by the great number and variety of series into which the books were organized. Almost half the books were published in one of more than 50 series. Worldwide there are over 100 such series. The attention paid to the series relationship in the books was quite uneven. In the majority of cases only scant information is included on the series as such: often only the name of the series is printed on the (back) cover. Then there is a fair number of cases in which both the series and the series editors(s) are mentioned. Only for a couple of series did we find full series information: a series description, a list of editor(s), the editorial board, and an overview of books published and forthcoming books in the series. This is the basic information the reader needs to contextualize the book series.