chapter  21
14 Pages

Packaging Scholarship 1

WithDavid Henige

This chapter looks at scholarly research, writing, and publishing as an economist might. This implies treating it as an ensemble of commodities, produced at a cost, assuming a particular form, having intrinsic but also contextual value; aimed at target audiences or market segments, and responding to oscillations in supply and demand. Publishing scholarship necessarily operates a little differently. There is some visual range available—color photographs, type faces deemed to be user-friendly, and graphics. Most scholars elaborate multiple treatments of their major work over time; intended for different audiences; prompted by new data; or spurred by tenure, promotion, or curiosity. The chapter provides a generic approach and includes in packaging: the way research is carried out; the way it is pictured as carried out; the discourse; the accessories; the advertising; and the target market. "Research and development" are often blamed for the high price of consumer products, for instance, pharmaceuticals.