Seen in the Creative Commons blog:
ETC Press has just launched as an “academic, open source, multimedia, publishing imprint.” The project is affiliated with the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and is in partnership with Lulu.com. When authors submit their work to ETC they retain ownership of it but they also must submit it under either an Attribution-NoDerivativeWorks-NonCommercial or an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
ETC press then posts the works to Lulu.com where they are available for purchase in its hardcopy form, or free download. While the project focuses specifically on writing about entertainment technology, it is easy to see ETC’s model scaling to publishers of other topics and genres.
This is interesting; we’ve been thinking and talking about the use of print-on-demand publishers like Lulu.com as a printer/distributor for a small academic press that needs its publishing venture to be relatively risk-free.
Often books that are distributed by sites such as Lulu are assumed to be vanity publications, non-refereed and therefore of a low academic standard, not accepted for review by learnèd journals, regarded with suspicion when seen on resumés by hiring committees, etc. Will this change as respectable publications start to use this service? Is it changing already? Does the assignment of an ISBN make a difference?