The End of the Printed Scholarly Monograph: Collapsing Markets and New Models

  • Donald A Barclay
Keywords: Scholarly monographs, Scholarly Books, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Publishers, University Presses, Open Access, Digital Humanities, Digital Scholarship, Promotion and Tenure, Academic Libraries


The printed scholarly monograph has been the bulwark of long-form scholarship for decades. Especially in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, the print-format scholarly monograph serves not only as the most highly regarded form of scholarly communication, but also as the ultimate measure of a scholar’s worth. However, the economic model supporting the publication of printed scholarly monographs is on the verge of collapse as financially hard-pressed academic libraries cannot afford to purchase printed volumes at anywhere near historical rates. While this could be seen as a disaster for long-form scholarship, a transition to open-access publication models will not only create larger audiences for book-length scholarly publications, it will also enhance long-form scholarship by accommodating the use of digital technologies that cannot be accommodated by the printed page. 

Author Biography

Donald A Barclay

Donald A. Barclay is deputy university librarian, University of Califor- nia, Merced. 

How to Cite
Barclay, D. A. (2016). The End of the Printed Scholarly Monograph: Collapsing Markets and New Models. International Higher Education, (85), 5-7.