The Academic Book as Socially-Embedded Media Artefact

  • Tom Mole


For as long as it has existed in its modern form, the academic book has operated in what Jerome McGann calls ‘a double helix of perceptual codes: the linguistic codes […] and the bibliographical codes’. It unites a particular discursive genre with a particular material format. But now the double helix is starting to unravel as new, genetically modified digital formats force us to rethink what the academic book can be. This moment of media change meshes with shifts in the funding and assessment of research, developments in researchers’ intellectual agendas and the challenges of Open Access. As disciplinary boundaries become more porous and scholarly outputs more varied, these changes will affect every stage in the life-cycle of the academic book.


academic book of the future academic codex assessment book history format funding monograph hiring PhD thesis promotion research output socially-embedded media artifact the academy 


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    Elizabeth Eisenstein (1980) The Printing Press as an Agent of Change ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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© Tom Mole 2016

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  • Tom Mole

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