'Filosofía pirata, edición libre', discussion with Perro Tuerto y Pucho (El Rancho Electrónico) y Gabriela Méndez Cota (Universidad Iberoamericana) for the Mexico city radio station Ibero, September 12, 2019.

Open Humanities Press – The Inhumanist Manifesto

Pirate Philosophy, This Is Not A Pipe Podcast

HyperCritical Theory

Übercapitalism and What Can Be Done About It

Recent publications

Masked Media (limited edition paper-only publication for The House That Heals The Soul exhibition, Tetley, Leeds, 2018) 

 The Inhumanist Manifesto: Extended Play (Techne Lab, 2017)

Open Access

Most of Gary's work is freely available to read and download either here in Media Gifts or in Coventry University's online repositories PURE here, and CURVE here 

Radical Open Access

« How to Produce a Critique of ‘Open’ in 3 Easy Steps | Main | Piracy In Theory and Practice »

The Crossick Report and the Strange Case of the Missing Monograph Crisis

What are we to make of the somewhat eccentric understanding of the monograph crisis that is conveyed in Geoffrey Crossick's report, Monographs and Open Access, for HEFCE in the UK?

According to this report - and contrary to what had often previously been thought - the monograph crisis isn't so much about a decline in the number of monographs that are being acquired by libraries because said libraries can no longer afford them due to the high and rising costs of journal subscriptions. Nor is it about the impact this state of affairs has on the kind of monographs that are being published - more short academic/trade books, textbooks, introductions and reference works selected for commercial reasons; and fewer original, specialised research monographs chosen on the basis of their academic quality and value. Nor is it about the consequences of all this for the academy, and for early career academics especially. No, the monograph crisis is said to be more about the number of monographs that are being published. And since the latter is apparently growing in the UK (although it's worth noting that the term monograph is often used quite broadly in Monographs and Open Access to take in edited collections, critical editions and other longer outputs such as scholarly exhibition catalogues), then one of the report's conclusions is that it's not appropriate to talk about a monograph crisis. 

How has this (mis)understanding of the monograph crisis occurred? Is it a simple mistake? (Given the membership of the Expert Reference Group and the list of international experts consulted for Monographs and Open Access, it would be surprising, indeed shocking, if it had gone unnoticed.) Or does it have something to do with the fact that redefining the monograph crisis in this way has the effect of shifting the focus away from the policies and practices of those publishing companies that are responsible for the rising costs of journal subscriptions: i.e. precisely the state of affairs that is regarded by many as being one of the major causes of the monograph crisis, and therefore as something that needs to be taken fully into account if the issue is ever to be adequately addressed?  Is this the light in which the conclusion of the report's summary, which emphasizes the importance of 'working with the grain', and of ensuring that any future policies for open-access monographs 'sustain and enhance' how people currently produce and communicate research in the arts, humanities and social sciences, is to be read?


For a more detailed analysis of Geoffrey Crossick's report for HEFCE, see Janneke Adema, 'The Monograph Crisis Revisited', on her Open Reflections blog. Geoffrey Crossick has replied at length to 'The Monograph Crisis Revisited' and provided a response to some of my questions in the comment section of Open Reflections.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>