Monographs in Humanities and Social Sciences: Back to the Basics?

Discussion Papers


by Masahiro Okada

July 2018


The ICT revolution has drastically changed academics' practices of searching, reading, storing, sharing, and writing academic literature as the advent of electronic journals has dramatically improved the accessibility and usability of journal articles. However, digital versions of monographs are lackluster in their influence compared with e-journals. Monograph publishing has many obstacles in digitization that do not exist in journal publishing. This paper first revisits the basics of monographs and then discusses the circumstances of various stakeholders in monograph publishing, including researchers, university presses, universities, funders, and libraries. Many discussions of monographs seem to assume that the current stereotypical image of monographs will not change. However, is it necessary to redefine and repurpose the roles of monographs?

Keywords: Monographs, Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Research Libraris, Impact

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