A university librarian who is being sued after writing a critical blog post about a scholarly publisher is finding support from professors and librarians around the world.
In 2010, Dale Askey, now a librarian at McMaster University, in Ontario, wrote a blog post about Edwin Mellen Press on his personal Web site, Bibliobrary, referring to the publisher as "dubious" and saying its books were often works of "second-class scholarship." For a few months afterward, several people chimed in in the blog's comments section, some agreeing with Mr. Askey, others arguing in support of the publisher.
In June 2012, Edwin Mellen Press's founder, Herbert Richardson, issued a notice of action to Mr. Askey, suing him for more than $1-million. That same day, the press issued a similar notice of action to Mr. Askey and McMaster University, telling them that they were being sued for $3-million. In the lawsuits, filed in a Canadian court, Mr. Richardson and the press are seeking damages for both the blog post and the comments left by the blog's readers.