The Academic Book of the Future

Academic Book of the Future

This two-year research project explored the future of academic books.

Published date:


The Academic Book of the Future project was a two-year research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Library, focusing on the current and possible future states of academic books in the changing academic, publishing and library environments.

The project will conclude on the 20th June 2017 with the launch of its final policy report by Dr Michael Jubb. We will also reflect on two years of research and engagement activities, led by Dr Samantha Rayner (UCL) as Principal Investigator, with the Co-Investigators Nick Canty (UCL), Professor Marilyn Deegan (KCL) and Professor Simon Tanner (KCL), and including numerous contributions across academic, librarian, publishing and bookseller communities.

The event will be introduced by Professor Andrew Thompson, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The project team will be joined by Professor Geoffrey Crossick (University of London), Dr Frances Pinter (Knowledge Unlatched), Professor Shearer West (University of Sheffield), Chris Banks (Imperial College) and Caroline Brazier (British Library) for a panel discussion on the issues raised in the report.

Key questions

The event is open to all, regardless if you are an expert or are keen to learn more about this area for the first time. The numerous events and two Academic Book Weeks, held in the last two years as part of this project, helped us to uncover the complexity of stakeholders, relationships, processes and developments in the changing landscape of academic books. We hope that this final event will reflect this diversity and set us onto a further journey of exploration and discussion.

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?

Find out more

Find more about this project

Arts and Humanities Research Council


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