It's the End of the Dissertation as We Know It, and I Feel Fine

Well, not exactly.  But Michael Bérubé writes in The Times Higher Education that the dissertation may have run its course.  As part of a study of tenure and promotion in the humanities, it became clear to him that there was an impending crisis.  While schools still require junior faculty to publish their dissertations with university presses, publishing houses are not financially able to edit, print, market and sell books that will only move a couple hundred units.

Bérubé writes,

Still, the crucial question remains: why are we continuing to demand that our junior faculty produce monographs that fewer and fewer libraries are going to purchase – and still fewer people are going to read? Can’t we think of some other, better way to conduct scholarly exchange?

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