Authored and Edited Monographs: What's The Difference?

By Grace Hamburger on Nov 7, 2019
Authored and Edited Monographs: What's The Difference?

Every scholarly manuscript has one or more researchers behind it. For some, there may be more collaboration involved than others, and it might seem obvious that credit for the writing always solely goes to the author or authors. With an academic piece, however, this is not always the case. Authored monographs and edited monographs are in fact different, both in how they are written and who receives different levels of credit for the work. But which is which, and where does your work fit?

What Is A Monograph?

First and foremost, let’s define a monograph in terms of academic writing. In general, a scholarly monograph is an academic publication that is a thoroughly researched study of a single subject or an aspect of it. Essays, dissertations, and theses can all fall into the category of monographs, and they are backed up with plenty of research. Monographs can cover a wide range of topics, from art to science, as long as a topic is being discussed in great depth. Monographs are considered to be a vital aspect of career progression in academia, and subject matter is as diverse as the researchers that write them. The leadership and level of collaboration for these publications can vary greatly based on whether they are authored (led by only a few individuals who are solely authoring the work) or edited (led by only a few individuals who are coordinating the work, with numerous contributing authors).

What one can expect when publishing an authored or edited monograph:

Authored Monographs

An authored monograph describes a document that is solely written by one or multiple authors. As the document is being written, it is always with the authors, and they retain full authorship control of the monograph throughout the publishing process. The authors are the ones guiding the reader through the entire subject, and all ideas come from only those authors who have been tasked with the work. The perspective and flow of the piece are usually the same across all chapters. Credit for the full publication is always given to the authors, which is especially important for citation purposes.

Edited Monographs

Academic papers don’t necessarily need to come from a limited group of people, but can in fact be a collection of pieces. This is what is referred to as an edited monograph. Editors recruit articles or chapters from several researchers all over the world on a topic and compile them into a single volume. Gathering all of these pieces can take a lot of time. Calls for papers must be administered, and then once received, the work undergoes an exhaustive peer review process. The range of time periods can give a lot of differentiating data. The variety of authors and perspectives can create monographs that in some ways may oppose themselves, making a document seem almost contradictory. But this wide range of ideas on the same topic can also make research feel more well-rounded. Contributing chapter or article authors are credited with their work within the text and through individual chapter-level citations, but edited monographs ultimately give the full publication-level credit to the editors when referencing the work in citations. Editors retain control of the document in all stages of the publishing process.

Regardless of the type of monograph, authors and editors are sure to encounter very similar challenges as they strive to refine the work prior to publication. Understanding these struggles, which oftentimes include concerns for grammar and the readability of the text, eContent Pro International offers an extensive list of editorial services such as English language copy editing, which can support you and/or any contributors to your work.

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