(1 Oct 2019) The world’s two biggest university presses have announced the results of a joint, global survey into the future of the scholarly monograph.
Oxford and Cambridge University Presses together carried out a large-scale survey over the summer. The survey was open to researchers in Humanities and Social Sciences at all stages of their careers and garnered almost 5,000 responses. The results have been released today in a report entitled: Researchers’ perspectives on the purpose and value of the monograph.
The report finds that, for scholars of Humanities and Social Sciences, the monograph remains a vital part of the scholarly ecosystem. Respondents felt it complemented the journal article, while playing its own unique role as a medium for both research and publication. In fact, together with the scholarly journal, the monograph remains the core medium for the dissemination and debate of new research and can define areas of study for decades. They remain a vital measure of scholarly excellence and achievement, especially in the Humanities.
Furthermore, the report finds that the value of the monograph lies not just in the discovery and reading but also in its creation. Respondents suggested that the act of writing a monograph supports the research process in and of itself, helping researchers to organize and enrich their thinking through its scale and scope as a format and the freedom it allows to develop interconnected, complex arguments.
Looking to the future, survey respondents at all stages of their careers declared that the monograph would still have value in ten years’ time. However, they felt that experimentation and evolution would be necessary for it to remain relevant and useful, with a particular desire for improved access and discoverability.
The full press release is here.