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Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press announce the results of a joint global survey into the future of the scholarly monograph

Released on October 1, 2019

The world’s two biggest university presses have announced the results of a joint, global survey into the future of the scholarly monograph.

Oxford and Cambridge University Presses together carried out a large scale survey over the summer. The survey was open to researchers in Humanities and Social Sciences at all stages of their careers and garnered almost 5,000 responses. The results have been released today in a report entitled: Researchers’ perspectives on the purpose and value of the monograph.

The report finds that, for scholars of Humanities and Social Sciences, the monograph remains a vital part of the scholarly ecosystem. Respondents felt it complemented but was not equivalent to the journal article, while playing its own unique role as a medium for both research and publication. In fact, together with the scholarly journal, the monograph remains the core medium for the dissemination and debate of new research and can define areas of study for decades. They remain a vital measure of scholarly excellence and achievement, especially in the Humanities.

Furthermore, the report finds that the value of the monograph lies not just in the discovery and reading but also in its creation. Respondents suggested that the act of writing a monograph supports the research process in and of itself, helping researchers to organize and enrich their thinking through its scale and scope as a format and the freedom it allows to develop interconnected, complex arguments.

Looking to the future, survey respondents at all stages of their careers declared that the monograph would still have value in ten years’ time. However, they felt that experimentation and evolution would be necessary for it to remain relevant and useful, with a particular desire for improved access and discoverability.

David Clark, Managing Director of the Academic Division at Oxford University Press, said: “This has been a really valuable experience. For many years we've heard that the days of the monograph are numbered but understanding its continuing value for our authors and readers through this research means that we can now focus on their future.”

Mandy Hill, Managing Director of the Academic Division at Cambridge University Press, said: “The volume, and the passion, of responses that this survey generated is indicative of how important this topic is for the scholarly communities our two businesses serve. The results emphasize that the monograph remains highly valued but also the need and potential for future evolution, which I'm keen to explore”.

Read the full report here.


Notes for Editors

For media enquiries for Oxford University Press, please contact Ella Percival, Senior Communications Manager, Academic Division: ella.percival@oup.com, 01865 35 35 61.

For media enquiries for Cambridge University Press, please contact John Clare, Communications Manager: jclare@cambridge.org, 01223 326173.


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.


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.

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