Publishing, in terms of printing books, began for the Western world in the 1500s. Before, stories and messages were conveyed through paintings but it is the printing press which has allowed more voices to join the chorus of history – it is no longer just the victors that have the privilege of writing history.
Despite how slow history is when following trends, the age of digital publishing has become history’s and other academic studies’ triumph. It has boosted the development of journal articles and the debates that surround them. Once we had to wait for journals to be published, then shipped, then,for other academic’s opinions to respond to the article to then be printed all over again; it all took a rather a long time.
But now the business is more fluid and up-to-date. Communication is easier to find, share and access due to the build up of databases for all academics. I bet our ancestors never thought we would ever develop printing this far. It also means that obtaining academic books furthers cost efficiency, as there is less money spent physically publishing the book and distributing it, particularly for a niche audience.
Historians have become smarter in their business by embracing and becoming creative in how they present content, such as through history magazines. There is still a lot of development that could happen but for an area of academia that has always been suspicious of change it is making headway. More magazines are being produced digitally and digital archives are blooming around the country – it could almost be called a revolution.
Perhaps the next step is to fully utilise the networking available through social media and produce research projects with greater sophistication, precision and creativity. We may catch up with the big leagues of academic digital publishing after all.