To mark our first birthday, the LSE Review of Books is holding an awards ceremony on 16 May 2013 to recognise the hard work of our contributors and to thank all parties involved in helping to support the initiative. Katie Metzler, Senior Commissioning Editor for Research Methods at SAGE, kicks off our series of blog posts from academic publishers, covering more details about the award SAGE is sponsoring and how integral Research Methods is to their publishing ethos.
Which books first inspired your own interest in books and the world of publishing?
I’ve wanted to be an Editor my whole life. My grandmother, an incredible woman and a constant source of inspiration for me, was the editor of an American travel magazine when I was little and, even before I knew what an Editor did, I thought ‘that’s what I want to be!’. I read a huge amount as a child; every book was an inspiration. Originally I thought I wanted to work in fiction publishing, but it turns out that academic publishing, and the methods list at SAGE specifically, is exactly the right place for me. I believe that methods are the keystone of the social sciences and by publishing great methods books, SAGE can help to shape the future of social research and, through this, society.
SAGE is sponsoring the Methodology and Research prize at the forthcoming LSE Review of Books Awards. How important is this subject to SAGE’s identity?
Research Methods is at the heart of SAGE’s publishing and has been since the very beginning. SAGE’s founder, Sara Miller McCune, published SAGE’s first methods book in 1970. Today we have over 1,200 textbooks, reference works and journals in research methods as well as online products. In addition to publishing classic series such as the ‘Little Green Books’ and the ‘Little Blue Books’, SAGE has helped to shape the research methods landscape as a pioneering publisher of qualitative methods, including Miles & Huberman’s ground-breaking book on Qualitative Data Analysis (now in its third edition) and the influential Handbook of Qualitative Research edited by Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln (now in its fourth edition).
What initiatives has SAGE undertaken to cater for our changing reading habits?
It’s true that some people’s reading habits are changing, though nothing beats the simple beauty and utility of a book for me (and they smell so good when they arrive on your desk!). SAGE is responding to changes by offering more choice in how readers can access our content. All of our books are now available as e-books, in a range of formats so readers can access on whatever device they prefer. We’ve also launched an e-book platform for libraries – SAGE Knowledge – and an online Research Methods tool and collection of digital content – SAGE Research Methods – as well as a range of other online resources for lecturers and students, such as StatLab and MobileStudy. It’s a really exciting time to be in publishing – I feel like we’re having conversations about a new online product every day! – but our top priority remains the same: to help our authors and editors disseminate their wonderful content to those who want it, in whatever format makes the most sense for them.
What big new releases from Sage can readers look forward to in the next few months?
We have some really exciting stuff coming. March saw the launch of the fourth edition of Andy Field’s book, Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics, which is SAGE London’s best-selling book. This month, we’ll be publishing a new edition of Doing Qualitative Research by another SAGE legend, David Silverman. We also have some really great books coming later this year, for example a new edition of Kathy Charmaz’s field-changing book Constructing Grounded Theory. We’ve also got some exciting things coming from rising stars on hot topics, such as Researching Social Media from Farida Vis and Mike Thelwall. Interested readers can check out the Research Methods catalogue for the full list of new books, reference works, journals and online products coming – there are a lot of them!
See our Events page for more information on the LSE Review of Books Awards 2013.
Katie Metzler is Senior Commissioning Editor for Research Methods at SAGE and Chair of the SAGE Connect Group, which co-ordinates all of SAGE London’s charitable giving and volunteer activities, of which there are many. She’s also keen photographer and an unrepentant sushi addict. You can contact her on email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @KMetzlerSAGE.