Gale to Commission Independent Board to Conduct Thorough Review of the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism

Dec 17, 2009, 10:02 ET from Cengage Learning

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Gale, part of Cengage Learning, will commission an independent board to examine the factual accuracy, scholarly basis, coverage, scope, and balance of every article in The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. This step is being taken to address concerns from several organizations regarding one of the nearly 400 articles in the work, "Zionism," by Noel Ignatiev. The groups questioned the lack of articles regarding other nationalist movements in the encyclopedia, as well as the accuracy of, and support for, certain statements in the Zionism article.

Gale originally published The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism under its Macmillan imprint in 2008, with the goal of creating a comprehensive survey of anthropological, sociological, historical, economic, and scientific thought about race and racism in the modern era. An independent editorial board of subject matter experts defined the table of contents, and under the direction of the editor in chief, nominated authors and ensured that articles were peer-reviewed by scholars and academics.

Based upon recommendations of the new independent board, and in accordance with Gale's own publishing standards, Gale may retain, revise, remove or commission material as necessary to ensure the integrity of the encyclopedia. Gale will also update the content in the electronic edition on an ongoing basis, effectively building a new edition dynamically.

"Gale's goal is to provide a broad range of viewpoints and authoritative information to its readers," said Frank Menchaca, executive vice president and publisher of Gale. "In response to a serious debate as to the authoritative nature of any of our published content, we believe that the most appropriate response is not to quickly suppress a particular point of view, but rather to engage in rigorous review, informed debate, and dedication to continuous improvement."

Gale has already taken several steps to address concerns about the article authored by Noel Ignatiev on Zionism, including commissioning a 10-part composite article, "Nationalism and Ethnicity," which includes a new article on Zionism, as well as evaluations of cultural nationalism in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East, and a closer analysis of Pan Arabism. The composite is being made available at no charge, in both print and digital forms, to all customers who purchased the encyclopedia.

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SOURCE Cengage Learning