The Academic Book of the Future

Academic Book of the Future

This two-year research project explored the future of academic books. While the project ended in 2016, its legacy is ongoing.

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The Academic Book of the Future was a two-year AHRC and British Library partnership exploring the future of the academic book. The Project brief was ‘to explore the future of the academic book in the context of Open Access publishing and the digital revolution’. 


The project grappled with questions such as:

  • What is an academic book?
  • Who reads them?
  • What can technology do to help make academic books more accessible?
  • How can we make sure academic books, whether print or electronic, are kept safe and preserved

The policy report went further into issues such as:

  • Is academic book production outstripping demand?
  • Can library budgets keep pace with the ever-growing book production?
  • Will academic books become a new frontier of Open Access?
  • Are our discovery, access and preservation systems fit for the future?



Project Outcomes

Project activity ended in September 2016, however the project legacy is ongoing. The project website provides information about the project and its research outputs. 


The project’s two reports provide a wealth of information on the changing landscape, challenges and innovation in this area.

  1. Academic Books and their Future. A Report to the AHRC and the British Library (Michael Jubb, 2017)
  2. The Academic Book of the Future Project Report. A Report to the AHRC and the British Library (Marilyn Deegan, 2017)


Find out more

The project’s dynamic and innovative nature is also captured on the UCL Press’ online platform, which presents the content in the form of a BOOC (Books as Open Online Content) titled the Academic Book of the Future, capturing a rich, multi-format content from the project. 

The project work is also captured in The Academic Book of the Future book, edited by Rebecca E. Lyons and Samantha J. Rayner, and published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Arts and Humanities Research Council


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