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What is the Future of the Academic Book, University of Sussex, 11 November 2015

What is the Future of the Academic Book, University of Sussex, 11 November 2015

Live notes, so an incomplete, partial record of what actually happened.

Tags: acbookweek

My asides in {}

Stream/Deck:


Talk

Caroline Bassett (Sussex)

Monograph is valued as a defence against the encroachment of life, digital, neoliberalism. But this is an ideal, it conflates digital with neoliberalism, it misreads the possibilities (deep plus rapid together)

#AcBookWeek @carolinebasset1 discussing the way the idealisation of the monograph forms is outmoded

— Tim Hitchcock (@TimHitchcock) November 11, 2015
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Above all, the monograph has already moved from its ideal. The book is a skeuomorph: it is an ornament pointing to what it was.

The book is the end of the monograph endeavour. What else could the book be? Profitable to move from print history and book studies to media studies. If we move the monograph to media theory - to Capture, Storage, Forward - what does this open up? Monograph as media apparatus. Asymmetries between reading and writing become more obvious in the digital age.

Book as media operation, an apparatus - opens up horizons of reading #AcBookWeek

— Nick Canty (@nickpublisher) November 11, 2015
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Kiren Shoman (SAGE)

At an #AcBookWeek event. Speaker from sage:"commissioning editors now called brand managers". Interesting...

— Siobhán (@wigglymittens) November 11, 2015
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Video delivery as case study. As part of research and/or as part of dissemination.

Not sure use of videos is the future - been used in education for ages... #AcBookWeek #FutureOfTheBook

— Jil Fairclough (@bsms38) November 11, 2015
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Martin Eve (Birkbeck)

I'm going to be very cynical about why we produce books.

Why do we publish? We want to be read. We want to be assessed.

#AcBookWeek @martin_eve asking the real question here. Why do we publish?

— Tim Hitchcock (@TimHitchcock) November 11, 2015
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Books have things built into them that save us reading time.

The problem is that we ask researchers to publish something niche, but we also ask them to get their work through a commercial publishing system where more general.

#acbookweek @martin_eve on our system of symbolic economy. pic.twitter.com/rZP6sQVz9N

— James Baker (@j_w_baker) November 11, 2015
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Researchers in the symbolic economy maps to material economy - do we care about readers? #AcBookWeek pic.twitter.com/GJkfMaD4br

— Nick Canty (@nickpublisher) November 11, 2015
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As researchers we often don't care about readers. I've never heard a researcher say they won't publish with a press because they charge a lot for their books. Libraries get caught in this money trap. If we came to do this again today, we wouldn't use the system we have.

Academic books are micro-monopolies. When you are considering monograph A it is never interchangable with monograph B.

Everyone wants to publish, fewer people want to read everything that's published. Dual crisis of supply and demand @martin_eve #AcBookWeek

— Rachel P (@archelina) November 11, 2015
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Article Processing Charges don't really work with monographs. Journals are bought up front, banking on future quality. Books are bought individually after their creation.

Good evidence that green access doesn't hurt sales because we like the codex for random and sequential access.


Q&A

Q: This is all about process, can we stand back at look at this through the lens of the (un)civil conversation we are trying to have? A: Sure, social structures important to outline. Spaces for long form argument needed, if not this book object. I (Martin), like writing and reading books, but what I think is wrong is that the book form conditions other forms/situations.

A: I (Martin) knew that publishing my book on OA with CUP would give it the cache it needed, even though I was attacking the system CUP is built on.

A: We are fine with the inequalities of publishing until it is turned around upon us.

Who gets to speak and which voices get the privilege of being heard and why? #AcBookWeek

— Siobhán (@wigglymittens) November 11, 2015
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Q: more radically, we should be rewarded by reading not our outputs, right?

A: authorship as proxy for credit. And if we can't credit it, we can't assess it, the logic goes.


Some admin...

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