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Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press publish report into the use of monographs in a digital environment

Released on May 27, 2020

Oxford, UK – Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press today publish a new report entitled, Researcher’s perspectives on the purpose and value of the monograph: Using and engaging with monographs in a digital environment. Following on from a comprehensive report jointly undertaken by the world’s two largest university presses last year and published in October 2019, this new report returns to the original survey results to better understand what readers and researchers need from digital monographs in light of the immediate need for remote learning and research driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In the original survey, 5,000 scholars of all ages, nationalities, and career levels in the Humanities and Social Sciences gave their thoughts about reading, writing, and publishing monographs - what they would change if they could improve one aspect?

Three distinct themes emerged which this supplementary report probes in more detail. Readers want to see:

1. Digital options with stellar content

2. Enhanced usability

3. A fully functional format

Respondents expressed their commitment to the monograph but equally, their desire for the format of digital and e-book editions to be improved and better adapted.

David Clark, Managing Director of the Academic Division at Oxford University Press, said: ‘Under radically different circumstances, our study into the monograph continues to guide our response to our users who are now (at times reluctantly) immersed in the online world. Although the allure of the page has not dimmed, our authors and readers are encouraging us to create dynamic, interactive works which combine fully integrated multimedia content with core elements of the printed book such as page numbers and the ability to highlight text’.

Mandy Hill, Managing Director of the Academic Division at Cambridge University Press: ‘It is clear that the possibilities of an increasingly digital future are already crystallizing for the readers and writers of the monograph. We are especially keen to explore how the digital monograph has the potential to support the needs of a typical scholar better than the traditional printed format.

Our last report concluded that the monograph ‘must evolve to remain relevant….in an increasingly digital world’. That world is now here, the technology exists, the requirements are clear – now we need to harness this with creative thinking to ignite this evolution into a speedier revolution’.

The full report is available here.

Notes for Editors

For media enquiries for Oxford University Press, please contact Ella Percival, Head of Communications, Academic Division: ella.percival@oup.com.

For media enquiries for Cambridge University Press, please contact John Clare, Communications Manager: jclare@cambridge.org.

About Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in a range of academic disciplines, over 400 academic journals, world-renowned reference and dictionary resources as well as music, school and college textbooks, children's books and materials for teaching English as a foreign language.

Since the start of the pandemic, Oxford University Press have been working to support and protect our people, customers, and communities, and ensure that education and research can continue in the face of these challenging times. You can find a summary of resources here.

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University's mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 50,000 titles covering academic research and professional development, as well as school-level education and English language teaching. Playing a leading role in today's international marketplace, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world.

Cambridge University Press is providing free access to a huge range of books, research and learning materials for teachers, students and researchers impacted by the coronavirus. You can visit their website for more information and links to available resources.

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