This document provides information the fiasco involving the publishing of the above-named work by Routledge, a division of Taylor and Francis (RT&F). A different publisher contracted with a number of experts to write articles for this work. The publisher was taken over by RT&F, which agreed in writing to continue with the work. Communications between RT&F, however, eventually became few and far between and T&F subsequently terminated the project without compensation to the authors who had already submitted their works. A few of these authors were extremely well known.
The time line below provides details of my experience. If you are an author, please feel free to get in touch with me at email@example.com.
History of Events:
January 21, 2002: I received an email from Peter Moles at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org announcing the planned publication of EFERM in early 2003 and inviting me to contribute articles. It was stated that EFERM was planned to be a two-volume work with about 800 entries, each of which is about 1,000 words. The publisher would be Fitzroy Dearborn of 310 Regent Street, London W1B 3AX. A list of entries was referenced at the site www.fitzroydearborn.com/London/ferm/intro.htm, which also contained two sample essays. For the first two 1,000-word essays, contributors were offered a copy of EFERM valued at about $295. Any writing over 2,000 words would result in additional payment at a rate of $75 per word in excess of 2,000.
January 21, 2002: I replied to Professor Moles and gave him a list of topics I would be willing to write on and invited him to choose the topics he wanted me to cover.
March 26, 2002: I received an email from Gillian Lindsey, Commissioning Editor (email@example.com). She indicated that they were having difficulty finding authors and gave me a list of five topics, asking if I would write more than two essays. She indicated a deadline of July 1, 2002. She asked that I go to a website www.fitzroydearborn.com/London/ferm/memo.html, which contained a Memorandum of Agreement, which I should fill out, sign and return. They also provided style information for authors and reaffirmed payment terms. It was stated that publication would be late 2003 (note the delay from early 2003 first stated). The Memorandum of Agreement makes no statement about whether the publisher can back out of the agreement, other than if the article is not of high enough quality or the author fails to deliver.
March 27, 2002: I replied that I could do only two entries and I stated which two I would do, which were “Forward Start Options” and “Forward Rate Agreements”.
June 13, 2002: I received an email reminder from Gillian Lindsey stating that my work was due soon.
June 24, 2002: I submitted my two entries by email.
No further communications occurred for about nine months.
March 5, 2003: I received an email from Gillian Lindsey, now identified as “Acquisitions Editor, Reference” of Routledge, 29 W. 35th St., New York, NY 10001-2299, with email ferm@Taylorandfrancis.com. The email indicated that the London Office of Fitzroy Dearborn was closed due to an acquisition. Routledge had acquired the intellectual property of a firm referred to as Fitzroy Dearborn Routledge, identified as an “imprint of Taylor and Francis.” Ms. Lindsey had moved to this new position in New York and indicated that the Routledge staff is working on EFERM and is committed to publication. She stated that “I can confirm that Routledge will publish the Encyclopedia and honor all contributor contracts.” She did indicate that further delays are anticipated. The project website www.fitzroydearborn.com/London/ferm/intro.htm was said to be “updated” and the editor Peter Moles was still working on the project. She asked that contributors publicize EFERM and help find additional writers.
October 7, 2003: I emailed ferm.@taylorandfrancis.com, asking for an updated. I had noted that the fitzroydearborn web site no longer existed.
October 23, 2003: I received a reply from Joshua Pasternak, a Routledge editorial assistant in New York (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating that “The Encylopedia is progressing nicely and is scheduled to publish August 2005.” He referred me to a new web site www.routledge-ny.com/ferm.
No further communication occurred for about five months.
February 5, 2004: I received an email from Kristen Holt, Assistant Development Editor, Reference, of Routledge in New York to provide an update. She indicated that Taylor and Francis was fully committed to publishing EFERM by August 2005. She also stated that Peter Moles remained as academic editor. She referred us to the same web site mentioned by Mr. Pasternak and indicated a need for more contributors.
February 25, 2004: I received an email from Kristen Holt indicating that they were still looking for contributors.
February 25, 2004: I replied, suggesting that they contact GARP, PRMIA, and IAFE and see if they could get an announcement posted with these organizations.
May 6, 2004: I received an email from Kristen Holt asking me to write another article (“Derivative Product Companies”). The email identified Dr. Moles as still involved as editor and referred to the project as “exciting and useful.”
May 6, 2004: I replied that I had contributed two articles already and was not inclined to do any more.
May 13, 2004: I received another email from Kristen Holt, virtually the same one as one week earlier), asking me to write another article (“Mathematics of Derivatives”).
May 13, 2004: I replied that I had already said “no” only a week earlier and asked that they not keep asking me to write articles.
June 8, 2005: I emailed Ms. Holt (email@example.com) and asked for an update. I received no reply.
June 14, 2005: I sent an email to the general address firstname.lastname@example.org asking for an update. No reply.
June 14, 2005: I sent an email to email@example.com asking for an updated but it bounced back.
June 14, 2005: I received a form-letter email reply thanking me for contacting Routledge in regard to EFRM. It indicated that if I had submitted a manuscript, they received it and would contact me if it needed any revisions. It also stated that the entire process is lengthy. They thanked me for my contribution.
June 15, 2005: I sent a fax to Taylor and Francis (212-564-7854) asking for an update and expressing my concern about the poor treatment of the authors and the neglect of the project. I received no reply.
June 21, 2005: I found a contact form on the Taylor and Francis web site (www.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/contact/contacts.asp), filled it out and sent it in, with details of the history of this process. I received no reply.
September 1, 2005: I received an unsolicited email from Sunil Nair, a publisher for CRC Press, which is a subsidiary of Taylor and Francis. Mr. Nair was looking for authors in financial mathematics. Of course, this was unrelated to EFRM but I realized that Mr. Nair could be a useful contact.
September 2, 2005: I emailed Mr. Nair and related this story to him, asking if he could help me get in touch with someone who would investigate the status of EFRM and reply.
September 8, 2005: Due to travels, Mr. Nair’s response was delayed until September 8. He did, however, reply and promised to help me. Mr. Nair has been extremely helpful. Although it is out of his area of responsibility, he has been the only one in the company to respond of late.
September 16, 2005: I received the following email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
After reviewing all encyclopedia projects under development, we regret to inform you that the Taylor & Francis Group has decided to cancel the Encyclopedia of Financial Engineering and Risk Management, a project initially conceived by Fitzroy Dearborn. A tightening library market and limited sales expectations for the encyclopedia contributed to this decision.
You will not receive payment for any work completed for the encyclopedia. All rights to your entry revert to you. You are free to publish your entry elsewhere.
We thank you for your understanding.
I am not here to trash Routledge or Taylor & Francis. I simply want to tell the truth of these events so that anyone considering doing business with this company will be aware of what happened. As specialists in risk management, we use historical data to assess risk. And so we shall here. In the future I will personally regard any dealings with this company as having significant risk of default and will require up-front compensation. Or I may just choose not to do business with it. Interestingly, these two approaches to credit risk are written about in EFERM.
I also want to make it clear that the editor Peter Moles is blameless in this matter. The publisher makes all decisions regarding whether to go forward. The editor's job is just to control the content. For however much cost and inconvenience the authors incurred, Peter surely incurred even more. I have spoken with Peter and know that he feels bad about what happened but he had no control over the matter.
I hope any such future experiences you have will be better than this one.
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Last updated: May 27, 2012