(this text was sent individually in a personal letter to those De Gruyter Philosophy authors and editors that signed an open letter)
An open letter you have signed regarding internal organizational changes in the Philosophy department at De Gruyter has reached me via social media. In this letter, you express your concern about the future of our Philosophy program, and I would like to assure you that your concern, while very much appreciated, is groundless.
You correctly note that De Gruyter, supported by a professional editorial team, not only offers an outstanding platform for valuable works of Philosophy, but is also the only publishing house that offers German-language Philosophy international visibility. You see this latter role as being in jeopardy.
I would like to use this opportunity to acknowledge that your scholarly work and your publications have contributed greatly to De Gruyter’s excellent reputation as an academic publisher, especially in Philosophy. We are very grateful to you and all other Philosophy authors who have chosen De Gruyter as their publisher, but I would ask you to allow me to rebut several misconceptions from your letter.
You will understand that I am not able to discuss internal personnel decisions that have already been taken. For our Philosophy program, the organizational changes at De Gruyter do not, in any way, signify a loss of independence or a subordination to another discipline. The impression, also taken up by a well-read internet site, that De Gruyter is “eliminating” the Philosophy Department is simply false.
I can assure you that De Gruyter will continue its commitment of over two centuries to social sciences and humanities in general, and to Philosophy in particular. We will not reduce or restrict our Philosophy program, but will continue to invest in it so that German Philosophy continues to be visible internationally, and indeed, becomes more so. The Philosophy program will continue with the same care and quality levels and existing contracts will be honored just as new ones are being pursued.
De Gruyter will continue to be the publishing partner of academic philosophy despite the major challenges from all quarters, including fundamental changes at educational and research institutions, and assaults on the legal framework that allows publishers to function. In order to meet these challenges and to ensure that De Gruyter remains an independent, family-owned publisher we must react to the real changes in the academic world and this includes changes with respect to personnel and organization. Not doing so would mean losing our position in the market, which means failing to secure a global awareness of the work of our authors and editors in the future.
Philosophy at De Gruyter will continue to operate in its own interest and for that of the community and will keep its own profile. There was never any intention – despite public suggestions otherwise – to change this. Your main contact – in addition to those that you are already familiar with – will be Dr. Serena Pirrotta who is an experienced, committed editorial director who has been at De Gruyter for many years and who will be in touch with you shortly.
Should you have any questions to us, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I am happy to respond to you in writing, on the telephone, or even personally – and you are, of course, always welcome to visit us in Berlin.
With best regards,
Dr. Anke Beck