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Why Is a Book?

Despite the conscious and well circumscribed aims we may have in mind when we plan and implement technologies, all technology – like all human designs – is ultimately wayward, and always comes with unintended side effects. Digitisation, for example, has unintended side effects for the production, distribution and consumption of scholarly communication. Some of these side effects touch the very heart of scholarship. Consciously pursued goals such as Open Access and Open Science function in effect as red herrings, deflecting our attention away from more fundamental but much less visible changes in scholarly communication. We will examine some of the consequences for research output (writing), research input (reading) and research evaluation, with special regard for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • Adriaan van der WeelAdriaan van der WeelLeiden University

    Adriaan van der Weel is Bohn extraordinary professor of Modern Dutch Book History at the University of Leiden and lecturer in Book and… More →