"In some humanities disciplines publishing a monograph is a necessary prerequisite on a tenure track. In historical science, for example, it is regarded as a proof of a scholar's competence and prestige," comments Dr. Starčič.
She and her colleagues researched the ratio of monographs and book chapters among all publications for five countries - Finland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, and Belgium (only Flanders region). They concentrated on two areas - business/economics and history.
As it appeared, not many countries maintain statistics of such ratios in their scholarly publications. Norway, in particular, is a pioneer in creating a comprehensive database of such type.
336,681 peer-reviewed publications were covered in total. For the five statistical sets, the number of monographs varied from 2% in Flanders to 10.6% for Poland, while book chapters went from 20.5% for Flanders up to 55.8% for Poland.
All in all, there is no basis for assumptions that book publishing in humanities is on the decline. "Our research shows that in countries with official statistics for ratios of book publications the number of such publications tends to grow, which comes in contradiction with existing rankings estimations," concludes Starčič.
Aslib Journal of Information Management