What is the Future of Scholarly Monographs in the Digital World?

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  Jul 02, 2014   Enago Academy
  : Expert Views, Industry News

In a publication society that is rapidly changing its formats and principles, the academic world is beginning to falter in that most information is becoming available through other means. Information such as what is found in the substantial research written down in a monograph, is now accessible by anyone and everyone, primarily through digital formats. Unfortunately for monographs, their lengthiness has caused their popularity to diminish in a digitalizing world.

Scholarly monographs are a specialist’s work of writing on a single subject or aspect of that subject usually by a single author, and have the primary objective of sharing research for a specific field. In contrast to an article, this research is represented in great length, and as such monographs are regarded as essential for career development in the academic world. Their narrow focus allows authors to share their research in a thorough, in-depth form. Most produced scholarly monographs come as a single volume, and are published to provide readers with their comprehensive information usually unavailable in other formats.

Usually publishers and authors make them easy to identify, as most monographs are produced by academics to share their extensive research, which is then used for furthering the research of another individual. As such, navigating such a vast amount of information might be a bit overwhelming at times as the content most often comes in an unusual scholarly language. More often than not, indexes of the monograph’s content are provided at the end and unless you want to read the monograph in its entirety, one should begin their navigation there so that one is not lost in the intellectual language of the monograph.

Of course, how does this translate into a modern world where the digitizing of information dominates? Within the past decades, these great volumes have begun to gather more dust than readers as academic journals take the forefront of research publication, and a monograph’s primary purpose is somewhat obsolete. However, all hope may not be lost for monographs.

Though this trend of digital information and consequential culture has transformed the publication world, especially for academic works, it does not mean that works such as the scholarly monograph will eventually become extinct. They remain a symbol of academic success and have strong traditional importance to those in academia. As such, academics and intellectuals alike still value their continued publication. In contrast, the average individual, though not as learned as a university professor, is still seen to have a right to the information provided within monographs. Thus, publishers are beginning to create an e-monograph format for the publication of monographs for the common man.

This e-monograph format will more than likely either help prolong the inevitable extinction of these great scholarly works or help extinguish their possible extinction altogether as the eased accessibility of their information becomes available to scholars and readers alike. While the future of their publication is uncertain, for the time being scholarly monographs still maintain their role in the academic world.

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