What if scholars, publishers, and tenure-and-promotion committees embraced short-form e-books as a respectable way to deliver serious scholarship? A Kindle Singles model could help academics and publishers pick up the pace of production. It could be priced low enough to appeal to library budgets. It wouldn’t devour precious shelf space. It would suit libraries’ current desire to build up their e-book collections. And it might pull in new readers for serious scholarship. The approach would also free up scholars to write shorter, if that’s what their project called for. Not every idea needs 300-plus pages to fully explore. Daniel Cohen, an associate professor of history at George Mason University and an advocate of revamping the academic-publishing system, calls this “right-sizing scholarship.

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