The Upside to Edited Books

By Katelyn Hoover on Nov 1, 2019

Book projects are an excellent medium for academicians to showcase their most recent research endeavors. However, they can be daunting to begin, and with various formats, it can be confusing to know the requirements and benefits for each type of publication. Additionally, there are significant time commitments regardless of the type of book project. Understandably, researchers want to partake in projects which return results worth the time and effort that they have expended, and many believe that authored book projects yield the largest benefit to them as a researcher.

While both authored and edited books have merit, we are going to discuss the positive aspects of editing a book, which oftentimes are overlooked because of the clear benefits of publishing authored books. Unlike authored book projects, which are usually written entirely by one to three authors, thus limiting the scope to a single point of view and research perspective, edited books, including edited monographs, Handbooks of Research, and Case Books, provide an opportunity for a wide range of perspectives and regions to be represented within a single body of work. While each edited book typically has between one and five editors, the chapters are contributed in large part by other researchers recruited by the editors. The editor, who is an expert on the topic, selects the chapters that provide timely and significant research for inclusion into a carefully curated reference that further enhances and expands the literature in that field.

Successful editors use their academic connections to recruit researchers from around the globe to contribute to their projects. With the potential for multiple authors on a single chapter, along with the editors themselves, this allows for far greater global representation and perspective representation across a single body of work.

Edited book formats also put less pressure on the editors themselves. While they are expected to recruit the content included in their book and apply their expert knowledge of the topic to validate the research, they are not required to write it. Instead, they receive chapters from other researchers and approve or reject them based upon the reviews that result from the double-blind peer review process as well as their vision for their book project. It is also possible for editors to write introductory chapters and submit a chapter to their own project, allowing for their specific research on the topic to be represented without requiring that they contribute all of the content represented in the book.

In addition, edited books are viewed positively by academic libraries. Libraries are able to add global perspectives on a topic to their collection through the addition of a single title. Edited book projects tend to have broader subject areas that allow for a larger coverage of individual research topics. They also have the advantage of being contributed to by various experts in the field.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for an edited book proposal, please do so through IGI Global’s online book proposal form. If you are interested in contributing a chapter to an edited book project, please visit the Publications Seeking Submissions Page.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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