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Daniel Altshuler: all research outputs, and especially books, should be published open access

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The 2016 Emerging Scholar Monograph Competition is on and any fresh PhD holder can submit his or her book proposal until 31 January 2017. On this occasion I am pleased to present an interview with the winner of a previous edition, Dr Daniel Altshuler, whose book “Events, States and Times An essay on narrative discourse in English” has been recently published in open access by De Gruyter Open.

You won a previous edition of the Emerging Scholar Monograph Competition by De Gruyter Open. Consequently, your book has been recently published. Congratulations! Could you tell me what convinced you to take part in this competition?

I was intrigued by the opportunity to publish open access. It was the main factor.

Your work concerns mostly formal linguistics and semantics in particular. Do you think that open access to your work is necessary? Maybe all researchers working in your field have access to your works through their libraries?

Many researchers have access to journals where formal semantics is published. But not books, which are usually expensive. Publishing a book length project via open access is therefore consequential. Having said that, I am a firm believer that all research, regardless of length, should be published open access.

Science works best when there is community engagement. Open access makes it easier to motivate and maintain such a community.

“Events, States and Times” is your first monograph. Was the process of authoring this book challenging for you?

It was challenging because of time pressure. But the time pressure also kept me focused. I enjoyed revisiting and building on my dissertational work. The monograph gave me a chance to retell my story in a new way; one that was informed by collaborations with colleagues.

Did authoring this book positively influence your career?

Absolutely. It allowed me synthesize many aspects of my work into a coherent narrative, one that I look forward to sharing with colleagues around the world.

What advice would you give to current PhD students about authoring a book?

Give it a few years. Let your thoughts marinate.

We are living in a academic environment which is increasingly orientated toward publishing research papers. Can you see any advantages of an academic monograph from the author’s perspective?

It allows one to build bigger bridges, synthesize more work. I really appreciated the opportunity to create a longer narrative.

Do you think that academic monographs will remain an important part of academic communication in future?

Absolutely, especially if open access becomes the norm.

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