honestly, it's like nobody explained to you in week 1 of university during orientation what each type of resource is for
okay, so you prefer reading topical reviews. that's great. most journals produce them. they're even put at the front of every issue! it's very handy.
articles and books, even within the narrow example of academia, have very different purposes. book-length monographs are not written for
the undergraduate or postgraduate seminar-teaching room. why you're arguing for their relative merit or demerit based on your weekly seminar sessions is beyond me. 'all books are bad because i could not find use for them in my 1-year master's'.
Come to think of it I believe these days it's rare in university classes for students to be assigned entire books as coursework, bar introductory classes. Nine out of ten times it's articles and select chapters. Academia itself has moved towards more journal focused output for a few decades now.
saying that 'academia has moved towards journal articles' because books aren't used in seminar rooms is laughable. the seminar room is the very bottom tier of academic activity! the vast majority of an academic's work is their research, not teaching students!
the original comment, again, was that you read a shockingly low number of books per year, in total. you could read books about birdwatching for all i care. it's just a strange lack of curiosity. go right ahead if you want to glean 'knowledge' of the world by reading book reviews. there are readers like that, people who base all their opinions on novels based on their reception in the sunday broadsheet supplements. slightly missing the point of the exercise of reading for your own benefit, putting together your own ideas, doing your own research, etc., but nevermind.
and no, those general history books are not produced for 'obsessives or hobbyists'. lmao. there is a general reading public who like general history, just like they enjoy pop-science or detective stories or memoirs or any other number of genres. it is by far the reading majority. how many people do you think read the latest book on WW2 compared to reading topical reviews from academic journals? but please, tell me more about the publishing industry.
No there's definitely been a traceable switch in focus to more output in journals. Not in the least because # of citations have become an incredibly important measuring stick. You're not going to get there by spending years writing a bunch of tomes.
research evaluation criteria have changed a lot, yes, that's true. but no academic today is even getting a foot-on-the-rung as a post-doc without a book contract. that's how the industry works now: most PhD theses need to be expanded into books to establish an academic's credibility. many, many postgraduates have several journal publications under their belt by the time they have finished their doctorate. they do not tend to get jobs. the book is still an overwhelmingly more influential statement of credibility and expertise. you do realize that a PhD itself is far nearer to book-length than article-length, right?
you are right that academics require an almost annual or five-year churn of journal articles on top of this, to stay 'active' and relevant; it's been pilloried as a 'publish or perish' culture for about the last 20 years. it does not speak to the benefit of journal articles, i have to say. it's just a situation of fierce competition in which every scrap of idea or research finding is up-converted into a journal article, for the sake of career survival.
again, it's like you don't understand their different purposes in an academic context. i cannot be bothered to explain to you why academics write journal articles and why they also write books.
Last edited by uziq (2020-07-03 02:21:07)