If you work with digital repositories or in the scholarly communication world, you may be aware of the AHA’s new recommendation regarding history dissertations. In order to protect junior faculty’s ability to get a book published, they are pushing PhDs to embargo their work for six years. The quote that gets a lot attention is this: “History has been and remains a book-based discipline, and the requirement that dissertations be published online poses a tangible threat to the interests and careers of junior scholars in particular.” It remains a book-based discipline for how long? Or, what does one mean when they say book? Paper-bound copies, eBooks, or some form of digital publishing through open-access? Instead of publishing monographs for tenure that few will read, why not modify tenure requirements and engage with a broader audience? For more coverage read articles from The Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed.
While not the American History Association, I thought this A-HA video provided a good metaphor for escaping the world of old media.