Electronic publishing: politics and pragmatics: new technologies in medieval and renaissance studies volume 2

2012-02-08T13:11:16Z (GMT) by Gabriel Egan
The technologies, economics, and politics of scholarly publication in the humanities look set to change rapidly in the near future. Even if the market for print publication were to remain relatively buoyant, national governments (the main direct and indirect funders of research) are increasingly questioning the efficiency and cost of traditional means of dissemination. The academic humanities book market is an unusual sector in publishing because the producers, the academic authors, comprise also the largest sector of the consumers, either directly or through their institutional libraries. From the perspective of those who pay for research, publishers appear to have created and plugged themselves into a circuit of knowledge dissemination (from academics to publishers and back again) to which they do not contribute as much value as they extract. With new electronic publication technologies that do not require large investments of capital (printing presses, warehouses, transport), there are powerful forces directing academic authors away from traditional print publication.