May 21, 2022

Opinion: “Monographs on the Move?: a View on ‘Decoupling’ and Other Prospects”

The following opinion piece was published on the Insights: the UKSG Journal website today.


Monographs on the Move?: a View on ‘Decoupling’ and Other Prospects


Andrew Lockett
University of Westminster


Insights, 31, 37
Published on September 26, 2018
DOI: 10.1629/uksg.435


In the context of the recent debate about the movement towards a monographs mandate for the UK, this opinion piece considers the logic of ‘decoupling’ that underlies it. It also looks at the real opportunities to improve on the current extraordinarily durable high-price system for publishing long-form research. Thinking around decoupled monograph publishing has positioned academic authors as the individual consumers of diverse publishing services (a wide array of which are fast emerging) in the face of significant scholarly caution. Furthermore, a danger of renewed market dominance by price-makers in an open access environment remains, with the risk of inequitable outcomes that may mirror problems that have arisen in journals. Opportunities may also arise for new local initiatives, especially collective and community-based publishing, with academic libraries likely to be in the middle of a fast-changing and contested environment for publishing monographs.

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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.