Why do Academics Write? (via University of Venus)

Hat-tip to James McGrath for calling this to my attention. What an excellent piece and one that follows nicely with the current debate over accreditation, legitimacy in academia, and the usefulness of biblioblogs in the world of the Academe. Mary Churchill writes:

An academic monograph does not reach a large audience. This type of writing is necessary for tenure and promotion, for legitimacy within an elite group. It takes years to publish our work in the form of a book. We are often required to eliminate the most ground-breaking parts of our work and what we do write is often outdated by the time it is published. More and more, it seems that our books are written for tenure and promotion rather than for making a difference and/or changing the way people think.

We all know that printed books (even journals, newspapers, magazines, etc) are nearing some kind of end and that the world of readers is not waiting for the world of publishers. (see rise in free digital book downloads, self-publishing, blogs, print on demand, etc.)

Print on Demand is a rising way for academics to print.  More recently, Richard Carrier published his book on Lulu, but he was not the first.  James McGrath, Jim West, and other scholars have found Print on Demand to be quite an effectual tool to get out their perspectives; quite clearly there must be a reason for this shift and Mary seems to hit the nail on the head.  Online journals like Bible and Interpretation are ways for scholars to get our pre-release information on their books, write reviews, publish articles, and so forth, for free, to the lay audience (see my links).

Why Do Academics Write? I met one of my fellow writers from University of Venus for coffee yesterday. She has a book release party later this month (yay!) and we started talking about writing and the differences between writing for a narrow academic group within your discipline and writing for the readership of this blog.  We talked about how writing for University of Venus has really forced us to think about accessibility … Read More

via University of Venus.  Anyway, do read on.

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