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According to our analysis, the top producer of "single-author works" in art history over the past 20 years(1985-2004) has been Yale University Press, accounting for 487 of the 1,990 single-author works produced by these eight publishers.Cambridge University Press published 367 single-author works over that period, followed by MIT Press (253) and the University ofChicago Press (221). The University of Washington Press also published more than 200 single-author works during this 20-yearperiod (206). With the contraction of Cambridge University Press's art history output by more than 50%, the field stands to forego thepublication of at least a dozen single-author works per year (based on Cambridge's average annual output since 1995).

(Click for a larger version for the graph.)

Relationship of ph.d. conferrals to art history monograph publication data

The most recent increase in the number of Ph.D.'s awarded in the field comes at a time when the number of arthistory-related titles being published by university presses has leveled off and the number of single-author works (most of themmonographs) being published has begun to decline.

This subsection of the report was written by Lawrence T. McGill; it is excerpted from his report The State of Scholarly Publishing in the History of Art and Architecture .
Year by year, the number of art history titles published by university presses between 2000 and 2004 has trackedas follows: 404, 412, 388, 355, and 390. Meanwhile, the number of Ph.D.'s awarded in art history over the same period of time(1999-2000 through 2003-04) was: 225, 221, 213, 260, and 259.

It may be instructive to look at the relationship between the number of art history titles published byuniversity presses and the number of Ph.D.'s awarded by the field on a year-by-year basis over time. A simple way to do this is tocompute an annual ratio between the two numbers, by dividing the number of art history titles published in a given year by thenumber of Ph.D.'s conferred during the academic year ending in that same calendar year. For example, in 1989, there were 239 arthistory titles published by university presses. During the 1988-89 academic year, there were 161 art history Ph.D.'s awarded. Dividingthe former by the latter produces a ratio of about 1.4 art history titles published per Ph.D. awarded in the field.

Carrying these calculations out for other years shows that during the 1990s, when the annual number of arthistory titles published was growing at a respectable pace (95 percent more titles were published during the late 1990s thanduring the late 1980s), this ratio rose to about 1.8 art history titles published per Ph.D. awarded. In other words, relative to therate at which the number of Ph.D.'s awarded increased during the 1990s, the rate of art history titles being published increasedfaster. As of the latest year for which we have both publishing and Ph.D. data (2004), however, this ratio has now gone back down to1.4, where it was in 1989. This declining ratio in recent years is one factor contributing to the sense of "crisis" reported byscholars interviewed in the course of the study.

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Source:  OpenStax, Art history and its publications in the electronic age. OpenStax CNX. Sep 20, 2006 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10376/1.1
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