Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An Update on the academic review of Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization by Wiley-Blackwell

I was just forwarded an email that was sent out by a Wiley-Blackwell representative concerning the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization and its current status:

Dear Contributor,

We are writing to up-date you on the situation regarding the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization.

You are aware that over the past few months, there has been a comprehensive academic review of the content of the Encyclopedia. The review, undertaken by members of the editorial board, is now complete. The reviewers have arrived at a general assessment of the project. This may be summarized as follows: that the majority of the content of the Encyclopedia is of good quality and some of the articles are outstanding.

However, a relatively small number of articles have been identified as problematic on a range of grounds. Specifically, these articles

• demonstrate a singular orientation which affects the
objectivity necessary for a reference work; in this these articles
fail the guidelines for objectivity which Mr Kurian, as Editor,
supplied for the contributors;

• offer insufficient material on non-western Christianity;

• are of a poor academic standard in one or more ways, e.g. that
these articles omit key material, are idiosyncratic in their approach
to the topic, have incomplete or out-of-date bibliographies, etc.

In order to ensure the academic quality of the overall work and to make the Encyclopedia a reliable and valuable resource for students and scholars, we think it important that the problems with these entries are resolved.

We have sent the reports to Mr Kurian and advised him of the revisions thought necessary by the reviewers in order to publish the Encyclopedia.

As before, we thank you for your patience and assure you that we are doing all that we can to move forward. We will be in touch with you again in the near future to set out the next steps, and at that stage we will contact those contributors whose articles are affected by the review.

With best wishes,

Rebecca Harkin

1 comment:

  1. Evan,
    Whew are they confused! I spoke to a rep at ALA in the exhibit hall this week who said "we withdrew that." I pressed her and she actually did not know that they were reviewing it and it appeared her info was very old. It does make one wonder a bit about how well they manage these projects if they cannot even keep their own reps up to date.