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Introduction to the SAGE major works in social and environmental accounting


In essence, Sage imposed three major constraints upon us. These were that (a) we could not sample more than a moderate percentage from any single journal source; (b) we could not sample more than one article from a single issue and (c) our sampling would, eventually, be subject to the restriction that Sage will be charged by the other publishers for the use of articles: expensive pieces and expensive publishers were to be avoided. In reality, these were actually very reasonable constraints from Sage’s point of view: they are not going to obtain permission for a significant percentage of a journal (or an issue of a journal) when the reader could be encouraged to buy/download the journal (or issue) directly from the publisher.

From the point of view of the collections, this did have a significant impact. We all well know that social and environmental accounting literature is dominated by Accounting, Organizations and Society, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, and to a slightly lesser extent, Critical Perspectives on Accounting and Accounting Forum. Whilst a convincing and stimulating collection could be drawn almost exclusively from these sources, that was not an option for us. (An additional and strange counter-motivation was that using our own publications will always be cheaper because of the permission that is factored into most copyright assignment agreements for authors).

The diversity of sources that we eventually settled upon was stimulating (see more of the process below) in that with an eye on combinations of papers and balance between authors and papers, preferred substitutes were again removed to keep the collection balanced. It was a long and iterative process.