Will our understanding of “a book” fundamentally change with Open Access? Its faster turnaround from writing to publishing content has inspired new methods of book production like “liquid books” or “book sprints. Both point in a direction I am interested to explore in this blog post, inspired by Elizabeth Eisenstein’s still outstanding historical study “The Printing Press as an Agent of Change” (1979). In her big book worthwhile reading, the historian explores the effects of the printing press, and finds that the rise of book printing establishes a different form of knowledge. For example, making more books easily available established the method of textual comparison still used in the academic world today: citations.
Will Open Access introduce new forms of knowledge in a similar way? One could argue that it might for example change what we expect to find in a book, now that the push for Open Access in academic publishing has finally reached the more book oriented studies, which by now foster a growing range of publishing options.
Via Florence Piron