The Importance of Paper

The Policy Studies Organization and its Westphalia Press certainly know the role of electronic publishing.  In fact, we were among the first societies to promote electronic versions of electronic journals and books, as well as online access to our conferences. Additionally, we may have been one of the first dozen or so academic associations to have its journals opt for predominantly electronic access. 

However, we also think paper will continue to play a role. There is something very modern about a physical paper version of a book. It is easy to use, easy to refer to, easy to lend, easy to store — well, we could go on extolling paper’s values. 

When it seems appropriate, we strive to make our publications available in as many ways and as modestly priced as possible. We try to be good listeners to ideas about how we can improve at this. The astonishing cost of books to university students is one area we feel strongly about. To our mind, it goes against the accessibility of knowledge and is an obstacle to education. A country with a per capita income of less than a freshman book budget is shut out from the tertiary world. We are not the American PSO, though of course we are very proud of American contributions to education and learning. Our books and journals and conferences reflect our commitment to worldwide classrooms and research.

In planning studies and curriculum, PSO provides through its books, conferences and journals a helpmate  for researchers, business leaders, teachers, students: in sum, we are deeply committed to service to a varied audience, and service not on a nationalistic but on a world basis.  Part of it will always be on paper.