October 25, 2014

The Strange Case of Edwin Mellen Press

From

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about the lawsuits that the Edwin Mellen Press brought against McMaster University librarian Dale Askey. One of those suits (which also named McMaster as a plaintiff) was subsequently dropped, but as far as I know at this writing the other (naming Askey alone) still stands.

I’m not writing to argue the relative merits of the case, which others who are much better qualified have done, but merely to point out an odd sideshow (among several, it must be acknowledged, including letters sent to the Scholarly Kitchen; also, look up their office addresses in Google Maps). It is this: The Edwin Mellen Press has registered domain names using Dale Askey’s name. Here is the evidence.

The registration record for DaleAskey.com:

The record for DaleAskey.net:

The (very) thinly obfuscated identity is kind of a nice touch. And since if you attempt to go to http://daleaskey.net/ you are redirected to http://daleaskey.org/, here is the record for .org, which you will see has been privately registered:

What does this all mean? I really don’t know, and I will not speculate. I am just reporting it. Also, a shout-out to Andy Woodworth, who first brought this to my attention.

Update: Andy reports that the credit really belongs to Christa Burns – sorry Christa! I had heard it via Andy.

 

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Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.

Comments

  1. Super confused by this whole thing now. Who would have done this, when it’s so clearly trackable? That said, how tough is it to goof these sorts of things so that they look legit but really aren’t? I am finding the entire story getting more baffling by the day.

    • Dave Pattern says:

      They all lead back, one way or another, to EMP. The pseudonymous “Arthur Scholar” (pen name of the blogger on the EMP site & also the EMP tweeter) has been used to register around 100 domains over the years, most of which I’ve listed at http://bit.ly/ZIdOi4 (afraid I got bored of tracking down the many variants!)

      Those who know more about the case than I do might want to check where October 2011 fits into the timeline of events, as this was when daleaskey.com was registered (the other 3 domains were registered in May 2012). Unlike the other domains, .com was registered in the UK and the address given to the registrar (Tucows, Inc) is that of EMP’s presence in the UK – a small business park in South Wales, which is presumably used for distribution.

      I know Roy doesn’t want any speculation, but the domains were obviously registered for a reason and, try as I might, I can’t think of a single legitimate non-nefarious reason. Those who have had any links with the case might want to check their email history to see if the domains have been used to send emails purporting to be from Dale.

    • Dave Pattern says:

      One more note — daleaskey.com was registered by (Margaret) Iona Williams, who also registered some of the various mellenpress.* domains. Williams is listed the company secretary of EMP (UK):

      http://mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?pc=28

      https://www.duedil.com/director/905224323/margaret-iona-williams

      http://www.dellam.com/02205582-THE%20EDWIN%20MELLEN%20PRESS%20LIMITED.html

  2. Thanks for the post, Roy. I posted a Kids in the Hall video that has nothing to do with the lawsuit or letters.

  3. Authors Published
    NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS
    Publication Year: 2013

    Jon E. Travis and Kayla F. Price
    Casey Grham-Brown and Adrian Vega
    JoHyun Kim and Kriss Kemp-Graham
    Petra A. Robinson, Delores Rice, Donald Stoddart, Mary V. Alfred
    J. Schroeder, M. Plata, H. Fullwood, M. Price, J. Sennette
    LaVelle Hendricks and Kriss Y. Kemp-Graham
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    Jose Victor Lineros and Maria Hinojosa
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    Darlene Waller
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    LaVelle Hendricks, Amir Abassi, Angela Williams-McGill
    LaVelle Hendricks and Angie Wilson
    LaVelle Hendricks
    LaVelle Hendricks, Linda Ball, Steven Ball
    LaVelle Hendricks and Tyrone Ivery
    LaVelle Hendricks, Dean Aslina, Guy Morris

    Dr. Mary Alice Kritsonis
    National Research & Manuscript Preparation Editor
    NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS
    17603 Bending Post Drive
    Houston, Texas 77095

    http://www.nationalforum.com

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