Academic Book Week

Academic Book Week logoThe Library organised two events as part of a project to explore the future of the academic book. 

The Academic Book of the Future Project is funded by the AHRC in collaboration with the British Library, this two year project explores how scholarly work in the Arts and Humanities will be produced, read, and preserved in coming years.

Academic Book Week took place from 9th-16th November 2015. A week-long series of events took place all over the country, as well as internationally, and forms the centrepiece of the Academic Book of the Future project activity in 2015.



What is the future for the academic book

Speakers: Caroline Basset, Kiren Shoman & Martin Eve 

Speakers discussed what the academic book of the future might look like and what its purpose might be.The seminar explored the transformation of the academic book, and included a panel discussion with opportunities for questions.

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Date: Wednesday 11th November 2015

Time: 12.45- 14.00

Venue: The Meeting House, University of Sussex

Chair: Kitty Inglis, Librarian, University of Sussex


Caroline Bassett, Professor of Media and Communications and Director of the Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex

The academic book is often invoked as an endangered but essentially unchanged object, something previously stable that is now under threat. A different approach, taken here, begins by asking how the academic monograph has already transformed into something new, and also asks what this implies for questions of authorship.

Kiren Shoman, Executive Director, Editorial Books, SAGE Publications UK

The changing Higher Education (HE) environment has resulted in responses from publishers like SAGE, covering new types of academic book formats, as well as the increasing offering of online materials, and innovative forms of publishing output. Whilst the book will never be fully replaced, a plethora of alternative academic materials may be required in HE today.

Martin Eve, Senior Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London and Director of the Open Library of the Humanities

Academic book publishing is probably the point at which researchers are most exposed to the economic logic of scholarly communications. While in the world of journals the process is a simple "submit for review" effort, completing the "marketing" section of a monograph proposal, by contrast, can feel crass and demeaning for work that has no clear "market" value but is instead esoteric research. And yet, as we move into a digital and potentially open environment, these structural political economic aspects are only set to become more prominent in their exclusionary functions. All academic publishing has costs but ongoing reconfigurations of the means of dissemination are pushing awareness of this price burden onto new actors.

To explore these changes, in this talk I will focus on the roles of dissemination against evaluation in book publishing; the potential conflicts of market-gatekeeping with rhetorics of peer-review/quality; and progress towards the economics of open-access monographs.

The event is supported by the Sussex Humanities Lab and SAGE publications.

Alternatives to the monograph: new ways of publishing for doctoral researchers

Speakers: David Berry, Martin Eve & Chris Kempshall 

For many researchers the allure of the traditional monograph is strong but is this still the best way to publish your work? This informal CHASE seminar featured three researchers who are exploring different ways of publishing their work. They discussed Open Access journals, the new shorter format options being offered by publishers and getting together with colleagues to write and publish a book in a day.


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Date: Wednesday 11th November 2015

Time: 10.30-12.00

Venue: Sussex Humanities Lab

Chair: Dr Graeme Pedlingham, Teaching Fellow in English, University of Sussex


Dr Martin Eve, Senior Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London and Director of the Open Library of the Humanities

Dr David Berry, Reader in Media & Communications, University of Sussex  and Co-Director of Sussex Humanities Lab

Dr Chris Kempshall, Researcher with the Centre for the History of War and Society, University of Sussex