Forum addresses future of scholarly monographs

October 14, 2014

Scholars debated the future of the monograph at a forum sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, considering, among other issues, the potential of digital monographs. Proponents say that digital monographs can foster collaboration as well as allow scholars to present findings in new ways. Digital monographs also benefit from the fact that they can be modified and corrected after publication. However, participants in the forum identified tenure and promotion committees as being a significant obstacle to more widespread adoption of digital formats. While organizations like the American Historical Association (AHA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) have formed committees to evaluate how to assess digital projects, many scholars still view traditional monographs as the standard measure of scholarly output. Other forum participants considered ways to improve traditional monographs, such as providing young scholars with seed funding to pursue open-access publishing. Inside Higher Ed