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Historians Resist Publishing Online

May 1, 2018

A survey of historians by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has found that three-quarters have never published their work online, preferring to publish in print instead.

Of those who had never published online, seven in 10 cited a lack of prestige online as the reason they had chosen to publish print articles or books instead. Of those who had published online, over 60 percent said that doing so had widened the public audience for their work.

Earlier surveys found a similar reluctance from historians to publish online, thought the most recent survey found that midcareer historians are publishing more online -- perhaps because they have tenure and have greater freedom to do so. Historians’ attitudes toward publishing online seem somewhat at odds with their attitudes toward technology. Another survey by the academy, published last year, found that most historians gather materials and analyze them using digital tools.

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Lindsay McKenzie

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