Ditch the Monograph?

Have you noticed short-form print or e-books in our library collection? An expanding array of publishers are experimenting with short-form books, in print and online. These books generally run from 50 to 125 pages and feature overviews of a topic to cutting-edge subjects. This type of content is not to be confused with condensed books. These titles may be written by leading scholars, contain peer reviewed material or published by major publishers.

Several publishers represented in our collection include the Oxford University Press and their series A very Short Introduction, Springer produces SpringerBriefs, and Morgan & Claypool publishes the Synthesis Digital Library.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on this topic recently. It can take years to create a monograph from the early stages of writing to seeing it in print. Short-form books take far less time to write and are less risky in the marketplace for publishers to print. To my knowledge, tenure and promotion committees are not embracing these short-form publications. But will they? It will be interesting to see.

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