May 19, 2022

A New Issue Brief from ITHAKA S+R: “Stop the Presses: Is the Monograph Headed Toward an E-Only Future?”

Here’s a new issue brief written by Roger Schonfeld, Program Director, Libraries, Users, and Scholarly Practices, at Ithaka S+R.

Title: Stop the Presses: Is the Monograph Headed Toward an E-Only Future? (10 pages; PDF)

From the Paper:

As scholars and students have grown increasingly able to gain access to needed scholarly materials in digital format, both their work processes and libraries’ approaches to managing these materials have been fundamentally transformed. For journal literature in particular, the digital version—either a born-digital current issue or a digitized backfile—has become the default mode of access in most cases, with many libraries consequently deaccessioning little-used print journals in favor of electronic-only access. The digital availability of journal issues has made it clear that the atomic unit of a journal is an article, raising a host of questions about what this means for the journal as a bundle. While print versions of scholarly journals continue to play an important role in meeting community preservation goals, digital versions are, with a few important exceptions such as richly illustrated titles, proving to be a reasonable substitute if not an absolute improvement in satisfying discovery and access needs for scholarly journal materials. Now, as more and more scholarly monographs grow increasingly accessible in digital form, libraries and publishers are grappling with how to answer the question: will monographs also make a complete transition from print to electronic format?

Direct to Full Text: Full Text Issue Brief (10 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.