Since its origins, academic publishing and the academic book have pursued the objective of preserving the quality of the published content and the efficient dissemination of the knowledge produced by the universities. These cardinal goals nowadays face obstacles which call into question the regular performance of university publishers. The indiscriminate proliferation of publications, the self-publishing phenomenon, the crisis of traditional channels of distribution and retail, and finally the recent and apparently definitive mingling of the number of readers are only the most conspicuous elements of a puzzle that plagues the scientific edition. In this paper it is maintained that the very fate of scientific communication - and particularly its closest and eldest ally, the academic book - depends on the ability to overcome the challenges listed.
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