Scholarly quality: all ye know and all ye need to know?
In the ongoing conversation about the current and future health of the marketplace for scholarly monographs, there tends to be a lot of discussion around the issue of quality.
This is understandable. Quality is a very comfortable topic for all concerned, since (with relatively few exceptions) scholarly books don’t generally get all the way through the editorial gauntlet of serious publishers unless they’re works of pretty high quality. Publishers, authors, readers, and librarians would all agree on that, I think.
For some commentators, this seems to be pretty much all one needs to know: if the books are of high scholarly quality, then this means that a) they should be published and b) they should be bought—if not by individual readers (the taste and discernment of individuals being notoriously inconsistent) then at least…
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