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More Journal Articles and Fewer Books: Changing Publishing Practices in the Social Sciences

The number of scholarly journal articles published each year is growing, but does that growth affect other modes of scholarly communication like book authorship? Drs. William Savage and Anthony Olejniczak of the Academic Analytics Research Center recently published a study exploring this phenomenon in the Social Sciences – an area where both journal articles and books are common publishing strategies. The authors argue that the “quantification” of the social sciences over the last two decades new, made possible by the availability of large-scale data sources documenting social phenomenon, has dramatically changed publishing in the social sciences. While journal articles per person increased as much as 64% between 2011 and 2019, books per person decreased by as much as 54%. The article was covered by Times Higher Education and is available open access via PLoS ONE (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0263410).

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