"The Problem: specialist books in the Humanities and Social Sciences (including but not exclusively monographs) are under threat due to spiralling prices and reduced library funds.
Access is restricted: while academics could choose to bypass existing publishers and just post content on the Web, the general consensus within academia is that they would prefer to have their books professionally published.
Only a few hundred copies make it into the eight to twelve thousand research universities, and very few teaching universities have access to these materials. For many individuals private purchase is beyond their reach.
A Possible Solution: cover the costs of creating the first digital copy through a library consortium and make the titles open access. Publishers would continue to generate additional revenues from the sale of print, ePub and PDFs in bespoke formats."
(Frances Pinter, 2011)
"The motivations that lead researchers to publish in different formats – particularly in scholarly journals – differ significantly across disciplines. Researchers in the sciences are more likely to see publication in a learned journal as a ‘natural’ means of communication with their desired audience, while their colleagues in engineering, the humanities and the social sciences are more likely to see it as meeting essentially external requirements for research assessment and career advancement.
In these latter disciplines, therefore, the rise of journals is more closely associated with an environment where there is increasing emphasis on measuring, assessing, and evaluating research, its outputs and impact."
(HEFCE on behalf of JISC, UK, 2009)