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Digital books and the salvation of academic publishing

Roger L. Cross (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 1 November 2011




The paper seeks to propose that librarians act to ensure the continued existence of small, specialized, and non‐profit publishers as avenues of intellectual and academic discourse in an era of growing publishing monopolies.


The paper reviews the profitability of commercial publishers and their plans for expansion in the digital book market, and contrasts this with the continued financial hardships of public‐welfare academic publishers.


The problems for non‐profit academic publishers will not be solved by simply “going digital”.

Practical implications

Librarians need to exclude small academic publishers from further burdening through collective collection development.


The paper reviews developments in digital book publication from the perspective of a 1997 conference on the “crisis” in academic publishing with current business practices and expansions by large publishing houses.



Cross, R.L. (2011), "Digital books and the salvation of academic publishing", The Bottom Line, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 162-166.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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