Why I prioritise writing books over articles, even in an era of research assessment

Good pushback by Stuart on the value of books in a REF world. Obviously this is not for everyone, nor is everyone able to make this choice. But books are undervalued (until it comes time to read one). Maybe for every x books you read, you could write one? Unfortunately, edited books are not favored by publishers. One thing to add are good open source outlets (eg ACME books), like the move toward open source articles (though there is still bias against self-published books).

Progressive Geographies

There is a widespread perception that the UK higher education system emphasises quantity over quality in terms of publications, and that there is a constant need to write and submit journal articles. Yet in a six or seven-year research cycle, academics have – until now – needed to submit just their best four pieces. Only four pieces, which for most people is a fraction of what they have actually produced. It is worth noting that there is a possibility, following the Stern review, that the number will change, possibly downwards and perhaps to an average number, which may require some people to submit less, and some more. While there is, and will continue to be, a need to get that right number of pieces, the question of the perceived quality of those pieces is much more significant. Pressure to publish more often comes because of a perception that what has…

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One response to “Why I prioritise writing books over articles, even in an era of research assessment

  1. Thanks for sharing Jeremy. Edited books are a tough sell – too many potential readers are interested in a fraction of the content, and so read a chapter or two in a library. So editors are finding it hard to persuade press editors who are struggling to persuade marketing and sales of their viability. I should probably have mentioned open access books, though you are surely correct about the bias.

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